On the morning of August 26, alumni of Mount Tamalpais College gathered at Marina Park in San Leandro for a heartwarming reunion filled with food, laughter, and meaningful conversations. Despite the initial gloomy weather, the day brightened up as more cheerful faces arrived.
The event’s organizers, Alumni Affairs Associate Corey McNeil and Office Manager Dmitry Orlov arrived early to set up tables, chairs, and a delectable spread of food, ensuring everything was perfect for the gathering. They were soon joined by a diverse group of MTC alumni who brought along their families and friends. MTC faculty and staff also graced the occasion, some bringing their beloved four-legged companions.
Corey McNeil first came up with the idea for the Alumni Picnic with a heartfelt purpose. “I aimed to extend the sense of community that was formed during our time as students, or in some cases, during incarceration,” he explained. “Additionally, we wanted to celebrate each other’s achievements since our release.”
The smiles and laughter exchanged among the attendees served as a poignant reminder of the support network they had leaned on during their academic pursuits. Amidst the camaraderie, there were some notable moments at the picnic: Zakee Hutchison, relapsing in his addiction to chess, attended the picnic with his fiancée, Chantel. He wasted no time and headed straight for the chessboard, engaging in a strategic battle with his long-time rival, Raphael Calix. However, Zakee soon found himself in a challenging match against a tenacious 7-year-old opponent.
Eddie Herena, an MTC graduate from the class of 2010, proudly introduced his lovely daughter Adeline and wonderful fiancée Jessica. Despite his busy schedule working at Pilot, Eddie emphasized the importance of cherishing his freedom.
The transformation of Randy Akins was a topic of discussion. From facing a life sentence to becoming a source of help and support, Randy attributed part of his remarkable journey to his mentor, David Cowan, who taught him how to drive and helped him obtain his driver’s license upon release. In summary, the Mount Tamalpais College Alumni Picnic was a heartwarming and successful event that rekindled the bonds of friendship and support among alumni, faculty, and staff. It provided a platform for reconnecting and celebrating the diverse paths that alumni have embarked upon since their time at MTC. Thank you to all who joined us!
Photos courtesy of Macy Bartlett