The 25th Annual Alumni Reunion held June 9–11 provided an
opportunity for hundreds to relish past memories and create new
ones. Those celebrating graduation years ending in “1” and “6”
traveled to the Queens campus from near and far to celebrate this
year’s theme of “Welcome Home” and participate in the many planned
Kicking off the weekend on Friday was the McCallen Society
Annual Recognition Luncheon followed by the Alumni Convocation held
to honor outstanding members of the St. John’s family. During the
event in St. Thomas More Church, friends and family looked on as
recipients of several distinguished awards were recognized.
Saturday was brimming with activities beginning with a Welcome
Home breakfast, walking tours, a brunch cruise around Manhattan,
seminars and a barbeque lunch. It was a time of retrospection and
inspection for many who were, for the first time, venturing back to
alma mater since graduation. “The 50th year anniversary of
graduation is a big one,” said Andrew Genninger ’56C, who traveled
from his home in Chula Vista, CA, to celebrate. “The last time I
was here, there was one building on campus. Things are certainly
different now.” Many expressed awe at the growth of St. John’s with
its modern buildings, neatly-manicured lawns and comfortable dorms
that provided housing for many participants staying the weekend.
“It’s been 16 years since I have been at the school and I can’t
believe how much it has changed,” said Veronica Gliebe Croucher
’86GP who, along with her husband, Calvin, came from Bridgewater,
NJ. “It’s beautiful. They have really done a great job here on the
campus. It’s great to come back.”
Hon. Joseph Gibbons ’51L had yet another reason to celebrate as
he and his wife, Ann, marked their 56th wedding anniversary over
the weekend. The couple, who met in Brooklyn in 1947, were
surprised by Reunion organizers with a corsage for Ann and cake
during the barbeque lunch held at Montgoris Dining Hall. According
to Joseph, there is nowhere else they would rather be. “Five years
ago, we were here for our 50th reunion and we promised all of our
friends that if we were still around for the 55th [college reunion]
we would come,” he said standing beside his wife. And their secret
to wedded bliss? “Keep quiet,” he said jokingly.
The highlight of Saturday was the Gala Celebration with a medal
ceremony honoring members of the classes of 1956, 1966 and 1981 and
followed by a cocktail reception and Gala Dinner Dance held for the
first time in the Taffner Field House. Top hats, boas and blinking
stars were adorned as attendees danced the night away.
The festivities rounded out with Sunday’s Alumni Reunion Mass
held at St. Thomas More Church and a champagne brunch in Montgoris
Dining Hall, decorated with roses of various colors. During the
brunch, gold, bronze and silver medals were awarded to those
celebrating the 50th, 40th and 25th anniversaries of their
graduations and remarks were made by University President Rev.
Donald J. Harrington, C.M.