Franklin & Marshall College’s 2013 Reunion Weekend June 7-9 brings together the "3" and "8" graduating classes, from 1953 to 2008, to reminisce and celebrate their F&M experience.
While many alumni have returned to campus over the years, others are coming back for the first time. With this year's registration outpacing three of the last four Reunions, about 1,200 alumni and guests are expected to attend.
"I know some of the guys haven't been back in decades; I know some of them haven't been back in 50 years," said Lowrey Heaver '63, class committee chair. "As you get older, you realize the four years spent in college were probably the best years in your life."
Reunion Weekend is an opportunity for classmates to share with one another their fond memories at socials, luncheons, dinners and other programs the classes have scheduled for the three-day affair.
Celebrating its 50-year Reunion, the Class of '63 committee managed to contact every one of its 289 current active members and expects about 120 to attend.
Reunion Weekend happens because of determined and organized volunteers in each class, said Donna Pflum, associate director of alumni and parent relations.
"It's a testament to the dedication of the volunteers," Pflum said of the more than 175 alumni who worked to make Reunion happen.
College faculty, coaches and staff all support and welcome alumni and guests back to F&M. Twenty-six Reunion Student Ambassadors will be on campus to assist with the alumni and guests and weekend programming.
For alumni of all generations, much has changed in their lives and in the world in the years since they graduated F&M.
Ted Golfinopoulos '88, co-chair of his class committee and a member of F&M's Leadership Council, will return to campus to celebrate the quarter-century anniversary of his graduation.
"A lot has happened in those 25 years," he said. "It's nice to get back to what was a really good part of my life and reminisce with old friends about it."
Friday’s highlights include the Nevonian Society induction and luncheon to honor the Class of '63. Alumni who are celebrating the 50th anniversary of their graduation, along with their spouses or partners, automatically become members of the society, which honors the life achievements of its members.
At the event, F&M President Daniel R. Porterfield and F&M Alumni President David Taylor will present C. Richard Beam '49, a distinguished Pennsylvania German scholar, and James D. Hoeschele '59, a groundbreaking chemist and scholar, with the Alumni Citation -- given to individuals who are distinguished in their profession, showed leadership and have a record of accomplishment. Evelyn N. Farkas '89, a leading figure in U.S. foreign and defense policy, will receive the citation at Saturday's Alumni Celebration.
Also at the Alumni Celebration, the Alumni Medal will be awarded to Anthony L. Ross '91 and H. Art Taylor '80, who have held key leadership roles with F&M's African-American Alumni Council, among numerous other alumni activities. The medal is given to alumni in recognition of their sustained and distinguished service to the College.
Porterfield also will present the inaugural President's Cup to the Reunion class with the highest percentage of alumni giving participation.
Saturday afternoon at Stahr Auditorium in Stager Hall are alumni forums, featuring NASA astrophysicist Michael Mumma '63 discussing breakthroughs in understanding the universe; New England Heart and Longevity Center founder Stephen Sinatra '68 talking about the heart disease epidemic among men and women over age 40; author Patrick McGuinn '93 discussing the promise and peril of today's education reform movement; and songwriter Jeff Cohen '88 performing some of his music.
A champagne toast is scheduled Saturday evening at a newly built arch over Klauder Apple Walkway. The structure is the Class of '08's gift to the College with F&M's motto, "Lux et Lex" ("Light and Law"), gracing the arch.
"The intent was to provide a traditional looking new structure with a link to the historic campus," said Michael Arnold '08, co-chair of his class committee.
Brick columns supporting the arch contain eight bricks taken from Old Main that the class designated as the College's cornerstones -- Community, Innovation, Excellence, Leadership, Service, Loyalty, Philanthropy and Tradition.
A plaque for the arch reads, in part: "May all who pass through this archway fondly remember their time at Franklin & Marshall those who shaped their F&M experience."