A theme to not only our own 55th Reunion, but the entire Reunion and Commencement Weekend, was a tribute to the indomitable, friendly spirit of Gina and John Driscoll, who received the Raymond E. Baldwin Medal, Wesleyan’s highest alumni award, for their years of extraordinary service to Wesleyan.
Tributes from Wesleyan officials and members of all classes showed the love and appreciation for John and Gina beyond just our class. They received a long standing ovation when the alumni association president praised them at the Saturday Wesleyan Assembly. At our post-assembly lunch, President Michael Roth ’78 thanked them for their service. At our class dinner Saturday night, former president Colin Campbell, our honored guest, spoke eloquently about their dedication to the entire university community. And the Douglas Cannon made its first appearance in 10 years in John’s honor (more about that later)!
Twenty-three members of our class joined the festivities. On Friday afternoon, Robin Cook [see page 79] participated in a WESeminar, “A Conversation with Wesleyan Writers,” and many class members were invited to the president’s reception honoring leadership donors and volunteers. Our initial class event—the 55th Reunion Reception—was then convened at the Patricelli ’92 Theater.
Saturday morning, we gathered for coffee at Boger Hall for a wide-ranging conversation, led by Bruce Corwin, class president, on members’ own lives, and reflections on the impact of the Wesleyan experience. Following the traditional Parade of Classes and Alumni Association meeting, we joined Reunion classes from 1940 through 1966 at a catered luncheon.
Our class dinner was held in the atrium of the Gordon Career Center. One of the highlights was the awarding of Wesleyan University Service Awards to Phil Calhoun and Jim Gately. Phil was honored for his service in the Admission Office, as acting secretary of the university, as an assistant to President Campbell, and as “an enabling founder, benefactor, and head coach of the first Cardinal crew team.” Jim was honored for being “an active force” in our class in organizing Reunions, encouraging support for the Class of ’62 Scholarship fund and the Freeman Driscoll International Scholarship, and hosting Wesleyan events in Philadelphia. We shared a moment of silence after the names of 35 deceased class members were read aloud. Bruce closed the dinner by urging everyone to start thinking about making our 60th Reunion another success.
Thanks to the members of the class who participated in Reunion Committee phone calls to plan the events: Robin Berrington, Phil Calhoun, Bruce Corwin, Dick Dranitzke, John Driscoll, Dick Dubanoski, David Fiske, Jim Gately, Dave Hedges, Bob Hunter, Bob Krugman, Gene Peckham, and Rick Tuttle.
Oh, yes. The Douglas Cannon. Early arrivals to the Saturday night dinner were treated to the sight of the Douglas Cannon sitting on the reception desk. Wesleyan photographers were on hand to take a picture of John Driscoll with the cannon, and shortly afterwards, officials took it away. You may recall that during our college years, the Cannon had been stolen in November 1959 and then recovered and remounted in April 1961. After many subsequent removals and reappearances since that time (Wikipedia has a good history, if you’re interested), it was last seen briefly at a 2007 Inauguration reception for President Roth.
There has been speculation that the Cannon is actually in University hands. Hmm. When the cannon arrived, there were over a half-dozen university photographers, public relations officials, and security personnel on hand. After the brief photo-op with John, the Cannon was quickly covered and whisked away—with the efficiency of a U.S. Secret Service operation—into a waiting Wesleyan security van. Hmm. The Wikipedia article was updated by the next day to refer to the Cannon’s “reappearance at the Class of ’62 Reunion dinner.”
At the Saturday morning session, Bruce expressed regret that our class agent, Phil Putnam, was unable to make the trip from his home in Essex due to a longstanding illness. Phil subsequently said to me by telephone that he was undergoing treatment that he hoped would lead to PT and then being able to get around with a cane. Sadly, instead Phil took a turn for the worse. At the end of June, he passed away in the Middlesex Hospital Hospice unit. Phil had a great spirit, and served our class well. He will be missed.
John Hazlehurst is “transiting” from the Colorado Springs Independent/Colorado Springs Business Journal to establish two glossy magazines, Colorado Fun and Cannatimes. He’s still doing high-altitude long-distance bike rides.
Charles Seibert invites classmates to read an essay he published describing “a cautionary tale” of the 1960s as a result of his political activity in the civil rights and anti-Vietnam war movement (dailynous.com/2017/02/28/ghost-senator-joe-mccarthy-haunts-philosophy-graduate-student-guest-post).
Steve Trott has become involved with the Boise Philharmonic Association, which he says is “a long way from ‘Michael’.” He chaired the committee selecting the conductor/music director and was in charge of programming the past two seasons. He writes, “My sophomore class in Music Appreciation at Wesleyan with a professor whose name I can no longer spell—Alex S.— got me started, for which I am very grateful.”
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