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April 2007

Reunion: Old friends, new memories

More than 300 people came home in April.

For some, it was the first time they had been back to campus in 50 years. For others, such as Dr. Nancy White '46, it was the most recent in a long line of reunions. For all, it was a time to relive old memories, reconnect with old friends and rekindle friendships.

Barbara Alley Simon, right, gets ready for UNCG's Grand Reunion Luncheon, along with other 1957 classmates. The class of 1957 celebrated their 50th anniversary at Reunion.

"One sweet moment came when Frances Brame Dew '33 looked over at Willard and Evon Welch Dean '42 - who were not wearing name tags - and recalled their names and teaching them 11th grade French," said Mary Swantek, assistant director of reunion and constituent programs.

Among other highlights of the weekend was a fashion show of clothing through the ages, a Caribbean dinner complete with a life-size cutout of Johnny Depp as Jack Sparrow - and especially the moment at the Grand Reunion Luncheon when members of the Class of 1957 came in singing their class song,

"There are tears all around," said Jodee Ruppel, assistant director of campus programs and outreach, who helped plan reunion this year.

This was the class' 50th reunion, and 1957 alumnae sported pins with their old yearbook photos so that everyone could recognize one another. For five years, a reunion committee has planned for this event and built excitement with luncheons and newsletters.

The class put together a memorabilia book and a slide show of pictures from then and now. They recreated their senior class show with the help of current music students, singing such songs as "What's a Woman's College to Me?" and "What Taylor Wants, Taylor Gets." A CD with songs from the original show sold out.

The Class of '57 also raised $613,656 the second largest class gift in the university's history. Those who contributed to the fund (at least 50 percent of the class) designated where their dollars went. Some established new funds or new scholarships while other supported existing endowments.

It was all part of a memorable weekend.

"My favorite part of reunion was hearing all the stories from participants," Ruppel said. "You learn how it used to be and see how loyal our alumni are. It refreshes my spirit and loyalty as well."

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