Class of '69
45th Reunion Report
May 29 - June 1, 2014
Click here to see our entire 45th Reunion Photo Album
I am happy to report that we had a truly memorable 45th Reunion. The weather was as nice as those of us who live in Princeton can ever
remember, and the outstanding Program put together by our reunions team led by Dan Harman
went off without a hitch. The only downside was that Bill
and Anne Charrier, who had spent so much time working on behalf of the Class these past five years, were unable to attend because they were participating in the wedding of their niece in Charleston, SC. We were continuously reminded of their efforts when we entered Holder Courtyard under the bright electric sign Anne designed and built. We missed both of them, but Dick Bott
filled in ably as emcee for the weekend.
For those of you who made it back to Princeton, thank you for coming. I hope you enjoyed the weekend as much as I did. Close to 250 of you attended and our total attendance exceeded 500. Normally attendance drops off 20% from the 40th to 45th, but our class almost attained the same level of participation as we had at our 40th, just one of many marks of our Class spirit.
To Classmates unable to attend, I will try to give you a sense of what took place starting from the beginning of the weekend.
THURSDAY: Events kicked off with our second Class of 1969 golf tournament. X Shannon
and I organized the event at Springdale where Mike Gehret
and Gary Sykes
are also members, and we had 25 Classmates and spouses participate. We played a scramble format and the winning team was Clay McEldowney
, Jack McCarthy
and Trudy Sykes
who shot an astonishing 3 under par! We then assembled in our Holder headquarters where we had a reception with a raw bar in Hamilton Courtyard and an Italian-themed dinner in Madison Hall, one of the dining halls where we used to eat 45 years ago and which still bears the name we remember. Close to 150 people attended the reception and dinner, and after dinner, the legendary Philadelphia DJ, Jerry Blavat, who many of us listened to while in high school, put on quite a show. Throughout the weekend we were treated to great beer from Devil’s Backbone Brewing Co. in Rosedale, VA, partly owned by Martha Ferguson
, wife of classmate Rod
. The beer was so superior to what other classes were serving that we had numerous visitors come to our tent specifically for the beer.
FRIDAY: Classmates started arriving in earnest on Friday, and during Friday and Saturday were able to see 10 classmates participate in the Alumni Faculty Forums. Friday morning we had a presentation about plans for the campus by one of the University architects followed by a tour
of the campus sponsored by our Class and the Princetoniana Committee. After lunch on Friday, the Princeton University Marching Band serenaded us. Later that afternoon we were treated to the world premiere screening of a video promoting the
PICS (Princeton Internships in Civic Service) Program, the main endeavor of our Class Community Service Fund. We then adjourned to the Frist South Lawn for our wine-tasting reception where we began to consume the 200+ bottles donated by over 20 of our classmates.
Vocalist and keyboardist Gary Adamson from the aptly named band, Back to the Garden 1969, provided background music. Thanks to Class Sommeliers Dick Bott
and Wayne Wilson
for organizing this event.
The highlight of the reception was President Chris Eisgruber’s visit when Marc Miller
and Jim Floyd
, our Honorary Classmate Committee, welcomed him as an Honorary Classmate and presented him with the classic ’69 logo vest. Chris was very gracious and also displayed a great sense of humor. After Chris spoke we enjoyed 5 bottles of 1982 vintage Bordeaux donated by Lynn Shostack. It was a special opportunity for all of us to sample some legendary wines and remember classmate Dave Gardner
Then on to a Brazilian barbecue dinner where we managed to consume almost all of the remaining donated wine while listening to the Tigertones.
After dinner we returned to the Headquarters and were entertained by Big Ray and the Kool Kats, a very diverse band from Charlottesville, VA who played a great mix of the music from the 60s, 70s and 80s.
SATURDAY: The first class event was the Class Photo on the steps of Clio. In keeping with our tradition, no two people were dressed the same. If you haven't already ordered your photo, you can do so directly at www.panfoto.com (click on Reunions).
A very moving hour long Memorial Service followed in the Chapel orchestrated by Paul Sittenfeld
and featuring the talents of many in our class and their spouses. Tom Hudnut
delivered an eloquent homily. Our numbers crested at lunch in our tent with close to 500 people. The P-rade featured our own Charter Bus on a float in the middle of our procession. We marched to the beat of "Dancin’ in the Street” and you could feel the energy level of the younger classes rise as we marched/danced by, while handing out strings of beads and yin-yang tattoos.
After our Saturday evening dinner attended by more than 450 people, we held our Class Meeting when the following slate of new officers proposed by the Class Nominating Committee was unanimously approved: Rick Kitto, President
Paul Sittenfeld, Secretary
Chuck Freyer, Treasurer
It was also announced that Bill Charrier
and Dick Bott
would serve as Executive Vice Presidents, Bruce Freeman
as Class Agent and that Dan Harman
will continue to serve as Reunion Chair. The new administration will formally take office at the beginning of the University's fiscal year, July 1st.
We also had the opportunity to witness the presentation of several awards. Gregg Lange ‘70 and Bruce Millman ’70 represented The Alumni Council and presented the Society of the Claw Award that recognizes those who make reunions special. The award went to Dan Harman
and Bruce Freeman
. Our Class President’s award was also presented.
This award originated at our 35th Reunion to recognize exceptional service to the Class, the University and the Community. This year's awardees are Dick Bott
and Chuck Freyer
. They join our prior awardees Bruce Freeman
, Marc Miller
, Jim Gregoire
and Paul Sittenfeld
After dinner, Ivory Jim and the Headhunters entertained us, and the evening concluded with a two-hour performance by the Charter Bus which brought back many memories, especially their closing with "Try a Little Tenderness”. Hard to believe that 45 years have passed.
SUNDAY: Our magical weekend closed with the now traditional Sunday Jazz Brunch at the Mathey College Common Room (Lower Cloister of the old Commons dining rooms) featuring celebrated Classmate Barry Miles (Silverlight)
, playing piano alongside his brother Terry '79 on drums, as part of a trio. We had a great turnout for this event too – almost 140. It was a wonderful way to conclude our reunion.
If you have any photos you took over the weekend, particularly those of our Saturday evening dinner where we don’t seem to have many, please contact Jeff Kaplan
, and ask him how he’d like you to submit them.
It was great to see so many of you here.
Have a wonderful summer! Rick