First Chem/Phys Renunion aims to raise $400K for renovations


Meredith Herrick, News Editor

On Sep. 23, an anonymous donor will be matching funds raised at this years Chem/Phys Reunion, which will serve as a fundraiser to revamp the Theory Center.

“What a lot of people nowadays don’t realize is that this course, in some form, has been around since the 1950s,” Chem/Phys teacher Mark Vondracek said.

The Chem/Phys Reunion is not only to celebrate students and teachers who have been involved in the program but also to raise money for renovations for the Theory Center. The renovations are still being planned out but are going to cost about $400000.

The Theory Center is a nickname for the adjoined Chem/Phys classrooms. It hasn’t been renovated in over 12 years, since the classroom got moved to its current location.

“It certainly helps build a community for most of our classes… it’s where study groups might meet, or we use it for peer tutoring,” Vondracek said. The Theory Center can also be used for independent research, and as a study room during free periods.

The attendees will be traveling from around the nation to make this event. Some are commuting from as far as California, and representing classes as far back to the 1980s.

Activities at the Reunion range from presentations about careers in the field, to tours of the ETHS campus. The keynote speaker will be Amie Wilkinson, a renowned mathematician.

However, the most exciting part of what is happening this year is what’s going on behind the scenes. An anonymous donor will be matching the funds raised dollar for dollar until $37500 to help finish off the fundraiser.

“I think the renovations will really benefit the program because it’s where a lot of people go for help, because it’s such a challenging course” Sophomore Maya Weiss said.

The renovations are going to make the Theory Center a more modern place for student research. The classrooms are going to be more open with modern equipment available for student use, such as upgraded water, electric, and gas. Many students who take the course go on to STEM fields like engineering, while some students have gone overseas to help non-profits and charities. Other students go on to teach chemistry and physics.

The reunion is expecting 100-130 people including retired teachers, former students, current staff, and students.

Tickets and donations can be made on the ETHS web store: