Class of ’63 celebrates 50th Reunion
Each year, as hundreds of seniors and graduate students prepare to “walk the steps” of Bellarmine Hall to receive their degrees, the University also recognizes those graduates who walked before them 50 years earlier.
There was an atmosphere of pride and excitement this weekend as members of the 50th Reunion Class of 1963 processed at Commencement alongside the new graduates of the Class of 2013.
The efforts of a strong planning committee were reflected in good attendance. Alumni came from as far away as the Washington State, the Dominican Republic, and Japan. Most had arrived on Friday in order to spend the evening and much of the day Saturday catching up with each other and reminiscing. The group had a walking tour of campus with Alumni Chaplain Rev. Charles Allen, S.J., and on Saturday they attended a faculty panel on the changing environment of education and keeping the Jesuit mission alive, followed by an update on how the University campus has grown and changed since they attended Fairfield.
Many class members had submitted summaries of their lives since they graduated for the Class of 1963 Memory Book. After graduation, the men went on to careers as teachers, doctors, priests, and many other professions. Many served in the armed forces.
At lunch, University President Jeffrey P. von Arx, S.J., extended special thanks to the Class Committee and especially Roger Lynch ’63 for spearheading the 50th Reunion effort and presented the class with medallions noting their new status as “Golden Stags.” There was an exciting moment as the Class of 1963 Reunion Giving Committee (pictured on right), consisting of E. Gerald Corrigan (not pictured), Joe Russionello, Roger Lynch, and Tom Hartnett announced a class gift of $3.6 million to the University. The amount is the largest 50th Reunion gift ever, breaking last year’s record from the Class of 1962.
“You really have set bar high for future Reunion classes, while supporting future generations of Fairfield students,” said Fr. von Arx.
After the Baccalaureate Mass on Saturday afternoon, the Class of ’63 enjoyed a cocktail reception and dinner dance.
“It was a very special, emotional time—especially the Baccalaureate Mass and processing in at Commencement,” said Steve Francis ’63. “It’s the like the University was giving back to us, telling us how important we are to them and how appreciated we are. I really recommend it to all future Reunion classes. It was a wonderful weekend. You just didn’t want it to end.”
Click here to view more photos of the 50th Reunion.