CLASS OF 1986 | 2021 | ISSUE 1

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reunion year

For this issue of Class Notes, rather than share stories about individual members of our class, your class secretary would like to celebrate us as a community and celebrate our journey through life. This spring marks 35 years since we graduated, which puts us at about the halfway mark from 20 to 90. We’ve done so many interesting things; there are so many interesting things still to come.

      In the interim, we have certainly gotten dispersed geographically: we can be found in 44 states and several foreign countries, though there are 15 states where a couple of us can be found (AK, AL, AR, DE, ID, KS, KY, LA, MO, MS, NE, OH, SC, TN, WV). At the other end of the scale, there’s New York City where more than 80 of us have congregated. When reviewing our class list and our majors, I had not realized that nearly 1-in-7 of us were English majors (about 100 out of about 750) and that 200+ others were nearly equally distributed among four other majors: Art, Biology, History, and Government. If those five majors made up half the class, maybe we weren’t that diverse after all? Though in each of the five there are quite a few subdisciplines. In any event, what we did at age 18–22 may have helped set the trajectory for our lives, but those majors don’t fully encompass who we are today and why we are loved and appreciated, and while there probably were some broken hearts along the way, hopefully we didn’t accumulate too many enemies.

      In recent years through this Class Notes column we’ve learned about spouses, children, parents, jobs, hobbies, trips, and various passions. We’ve heard of deaths, illnesses, divorce, intermittent retirement, and career shifts. At my urging, you’ve also told of local, often unrecognized, things such as coaching youth sports, serving on the school board, or volunteering at a church or food pantry. These things may not be splashy, but they make a difference, and so it was a pleasure to honor and recognize you for them.

      For myself, on New Year’s Day of 2020, I decided that I would make a conscious effort do at least one additional good deed each week­—sometimes it was mailing a check to a small, under-resourced charity, other times I added things such as hacking back at invasive plant species and picking up trash on the beach. In January 2021, I looked at my list of the 52 things from 2020 and decided to continue this weekly tradition for another year.

     To help broaden our horizons, please continue to share your stories. I’d love to hear about what you are doing and your community involvement. My email is easy to remember (ehoward86@wesleyan.edu), but note that your notes to me won’t be shared with the class. With this issue I’m stepping down from my role as class secretary, and I also asked for others to serve as co-administrators of our Facebook group. As secretary for the past decade, I’ve enjoyed corresponding with many of you, but after 10 years, it is time for someone else.

     I have the honor to be your obedient servant.

ERIC HOWARD | ehoward86@wesleyan.edu