Reunion Report 2015
Once again, for Reunion 2015, March 19 through 22, Joe’s Girls returned to the Valley and Gettysburg. All Together, 137 strong, all milestone classes from 1950 through 1970 attended, joined by representatives from classes 1963 through 1974. It was a wonderful chance to share memories with classes that were on campus together. The classes of 1966 and 1971 came to start planning Reunion 2016, just a year away.
The Wine Social Thursday was the place to find old friends, some returning for the first time in 45 to 50 years. The reception was always the same – a smile and then hugs. Cathy Hill, ’70 travelled the farthest – from Dubai- for reunion. The Class of 1960 enjoyed having John Bailey as their guest for the weekend. His wife was a member of their class.
Snow blanketed the campus on Friday as many braved the elements to visit. Because of the weather, Merril Sollenberger, our FEMA contact on campus, kept the tour inside as much as possible, including a visit to Vincent and the auditorium. Friday evening, the classes of 1960, 1965 and 1970 held individual class dinners at the Wyndham, sharing memories late into the evening. Saturday morning, Dee Gallo, Archivist for the Daughters of Charity, again spoke about the Civil War and shared information from early college Catalogs. Reverend Kevin Farmer who commented he was born the year the “Golden” class graduated celebrated the Mass at the Basilica.
The banquet was a memorable event with over 165 alumnae and guests present. Susan Flanagan Conrad, ’65 presented a glowing tribute to her classmates with remembrances of their time together at SJC. The Class of 1965 won the Hassel Cup and the Sister Mary Ellen Kelley Award, which they then shared with the Class of 1970. The Class of 1950 won the Class of 1952 Husbands/Friends Cup – the first time the Class has won an award. And the class of ’65 amazed us all – their 50th reunion contribution to charity was $28,520 which is a record contribution. $22,370 went to the Seton Outreach Center and $6,510 to the scholarship fund. What a remarkable accomplishment from a class who has contributed so much to the association in both time and money! The donation to the Seton Outreach center resulted in the immediate re-activation of the DePaul Dental Program which had been suspended because of a lack of funds. As Jane Manning Brennan ’65, co-chair of the purse fund, said “we were ‘blown away’ by your amazing generosity to the Purse Fund. Hooray for the Class of ‘65’.
Reunion ended with the breakfast and Annual Meeting on Sunday morning. There was no lack of energy even at 8 AM – it sounded like no one had gone to bed, the noise level was the same as the banquet the night before!
The best part of reunion is the smile on the face of each alumna as they enjoy each other’s company. As Jerry Scarpa, ’60 said – “it is very special”. Betty Jo Cappuccino Brechka ’70 said that ‘stepping back in time was amazing and seeing how all of us have grown up was incredible. I am so sorry I missed so many reunions before this one! God willing, it won’t happen again.’ Pamela Hackley Howton ’70 said it was great seeing everyone and the class looks amazing! Mary Reaves Valentine, ‘70 commented that it was a fabulous weekend. ‘I knew I would have fun – but not that much fun!”
And the Golden Class of ’65 celebrated in style. A highlight for all attendees was Janet Welaj Klaer brought everyone back in time dressing ‘in style’ – she wore the class plaid skirt, round collar, knee socks and penny loafers to the Friday dinner and dressed in a formal tea pouring outfit for the Saturday banquet, complete with white gloves and a hat. Sue Flanigan Conrad brought her nurses uniform for all to see. Barbara Merson Tyne said ‘Janet stole the show both nights with her fabulous outfits. Thanks Janet, and thanks, Maureen, for your incredibly hard work.” Barbara Wixted Hayes commented “I am soooo glad I went to our 50th and renewed friendships.” Missy Steiner Tobia wrote “can’t believe it took me so long to attend a reunion! It was absolutely glorious, from the first exuberant shout out to the over and over again tearful goodbyes. It felt like we were just picking up where we left off”.
Maggi Mullahy Yates commented “I am thinking of all the people who I really did not know during school whom I have met and really enjoy at reunions.” Eileen Sekerak Sullivan wrote “I must thank my husband for driving me to reunion. He enjoyed himself very much – he wants to go back!” Jean Tierney Terza said “one of the best things is getting to become closer to the girls we didn’t hang out with at SJC.” Maggie Quayle Bellew said “I want to express my gratitude and appreciation for a long awaited, much anticipated and thoroughly amazing reunion. Every time I think of it I start to smile and feel such joy. What amazing women shared our years at SJC.”
Marilyn Koudelka Rogers wrote “ I cannot find the words to express how fabulous our reunion weekend was. To all who worked so hard to make it so perfect – THANK YOU! I have no idea what went on behind the scenes but to those of us just basking in the results, it couldn’t have been more perfect – well except for the snow, maybe. Thank you, Sue Flanigan Conrad for capturing our years so beautifully”
Eugenia McAuliffe Kelly summed the ’65 weekend up, “I must say I am still basking in the afterglow of Reunion 2015 - the 50th for the class of '65! How proud I am to be part of such a wonderful group of women who came to the Valley 54 years ago to set forth on their life journey formed in the charisms of Mother Seton and her Daughters. We bonded - as MB reminded us - after the 4 years into a cohesive group that remains to this day. Gone are the masks and anxieties of youth, and open are we to just loving and enjoying each other, and appreciative of the talents we all bring to the group wherever we are! And talents galore there are! The Philly group under the direction of Janet Klaer created the most hospitable atmosphere for our class dinner and the ever open Hospitality Suite. You were all surprised at how well we sang in the old Chapel during the Friday Jubilee Mass, but I was not, because that is who we are and what we do! However, I was blown away by the amount of money our class raised for the 2 purses under the direction of the "Janes" - definitely outstanding! Sue Flanagan's reflection at dinner on Saturday was written and delivered as only Sue can do it! It totally captured our class and there was not a dry eye in the place nor the absence of the occasional heart throb. Until we meet again, may God bless us everyone!”
The joy and appreciation shown by each alumna makes the work worthwhile. The reunion committee is looking forward to another great reunion in 2016. Dates are Thursday, March 31 to Sunday, April 3. Remember, we are working to continue reunions through 2025 – which means 10 more. We would love to see more of you at a non-milestone year for you.
To relive the weekend memories from wine social to Sunday breakfast, view our Reunion 2015 slideshow.
Please enjoy sharing the unique spirit of the SJC Alumnae as they celebrated being All Together (includes some of the photos from our slideshow set to music).
*Tip: click the full-screen button () in the video player to expand the video to full screen.
Add your comments below or on our Facebook Page!
(*we will not share your email with anyone, anytime.)