Janet Reyerson from the Class of 1971 was unable to attend her 50th high school reunion in person, but wrote a heartfelt and touching letter to her classmates.
We are a tribe – connected through shared experiences which have shaped who we are today. While we huddled together on campus, the country experienced the exuberance of Neil Armstrong’s moon walk, the despair of Martin Luther King Jr’s assassination, and that of Robert Kennedy; the ravages of the Vietnam war and the threat of the draft; the turmoil of protests and riots across the country; the Kent State shootings; free love, Woodstock, and the social revolution; the first ever Earth Day celebration; the opening of the first Starbucks, and the invention of the first personal computer. We heightened our political awareness with mock debates as the states began to ratify the 26th Amendment to lower the voting age to 18, making us the first US Citizens to vote at that age.
Meanwhile, on the campus, we watched as the nuns began breaking out of the cocoon of their full habits to reveal the face of their individuality. It was a time of unfoldment for teachers and students alike. Thankfully we survived Monsignor Wagoner’s sex education lectures, and the campus lock-downs at lunch time not because of any outside threats, but because someone felt there may be too much socialization going on. Ladies, how many times did we have to kneel on the floor in Homeroom and hurriedly unroll our waist bands to show that our skirts were actually knee-length?
Through our many clubs and associations, we built bridges and came together in ways we might not otherwise have. Although I was not necessarily popular or overtly social, I made countless subtle connections that were very deep on a heart level and resonate still today. To you I may not be much more than a picture in a yearbook, but who you were impacted who I am, and I am filled with gratitude.
To you I may not be much more than a picture in a yearbook, but who you were impacted who I am, and I am filled with gratitude.
Over the years the pendulum has swung, taking each of us to many highs and lows in life. No matter how varied our experiences have been, we have each met them with passion and resilience that we witnessed and taught each other in our years together. Yes, we now have a greater depth of life experience and maturity, but at the core of it are the seeds we planted together right here. Who we were continues to echo in my heart and throughout these halls. Let the love, light, joy, passion and compassion resonate within each of us today and all who walk here in the years to come.
-Janet Reyerson class of 1971