(October 26, 2009) Graduates from the classes of 1964, 1965 and 1966 gathered at New College over the weekend of October 23-25, 2009, to celebrate the 45th anniversary of the College’s first entering class in 1964. Over 90 alums, spouses and former faculty/staff from the era participated in a packed weekend of campus tours, meetings with students, mini-seminars, dinners and relaxation. Accommodations were located at the Gulf Beach Resort and Motel on Lido Key.
Highlights included a well-attended “meeting of the minds” with current students at the Four Winds Café, a President’s Welcome Dinner at College Hall featuring student musicians and a closing dinner at the Jane Bancroft Cook Library that included brief remarks about the future of the library from its newly-appointed dean, Dr. Brian Doherty. At the dinner, guests were serenaded by Acapellago, New College’s accomplished acapella singing group. In a surprising and humorous moment, they sang the original New College song rescued from the history stacks by archivist Gail Novak. Glenda Cimino ’64 read a poem she wrote especially for the evening and Acapellago added a last touching moment by singing “Sittin’ on the Dock of the Bay” while alums danced with each other and sang along.
The New College Charter Classes typically gather every five years to celebrate a new milestone. This was one of the largest charter class gatherings ever, according to Jessica Rogers, vice president of alumnae/i affairs at the College.
“The alums especially enjoyed the interaction with the students, some of whom even hopped on board the campus tour cars,” said Rogers. “They loved experiencing the creative side of the students, and were equally impressed with the science students who gave a mini-class on the beach about their marine biology research in Honduras.”
A second mini-class was led by Professor Emeritus of Philosophy Douglass Berggren, who spoke on “Experimental Radical Post-Modern Education and New College,” and a third was given by current Assistant Professor of History Bob Johnson, who spoke about “Patriotism and the Problem of Whiteness in American Politics.”
Over the course of the weekend, Charter Class alums were invited to stop by the library and The Keating Center to record their reflections about New College as part of the NCAA “Tell Your Story” archive project. Many of these stories will be incorporated in the celebration of the College’s 50th anniversary in 2010-2011.
The telling of one’s personal story exemplifies the feeling of homecoming that characterized the entire weekend.
“Many alums were returning for the first time to campus since graduating,” stated Rogers. “One alum commented to me, ‘This was not at all like a typical college reunion. It was more like a family reunion.’”
For a smooth-running family reunion, special thanks are due Alum Coordinator Austin McCann; Foundation staff and Physical Plant staff for driving shuttles and providing set- up and clean up for all of the weekend’s events; the Office of Public Affairs for donating special gifts for the weekend and conducting alum interviews; Campus Space Scheduling for help with logistical support and event needs; Educational Technology Services for AV and tech support; Kim Vorperian and the staff of the Four Winds Café for hosting the student meet and greet and providing weekend catering; Director of Enrollment Jamie Marcus, for coordinating admissions counselors for campus tours; the Office of Student Affairs for registration donations; all of the student volunteers; President Michalson, for hosting a farewell dinner at his home, and Doug and Barbara Berggren and John and Kitty Cranor, for opening their homes for breakfast and brunch.
The Charter Classes Reunion Weekend was coordinated by alums Claudia Blair ‘66, John Cranor ‘64, John Daugherty ‘64, Ray Enslow ‘64, Carol Holder ‘64, Jerry Neugarten ‘65, John Peters ‘64, Charlie Raeburn ‘64, Vicki Raeburn ‘65 Jeanne Rosenberg ‘64 and David Rollow ‘64.