Class of 1966 Holds 50th Reunion

By Staff Writer Jonathan Ko

Alumni from the Class of 1966 reunited in the Bell Tower Quad on October 8. Dozens of former students from one of the first graduating classes came together from cities across the US to reminisce about their high school days and update each other on their jobs and lives.

edsc_0006The alumni, now in their late sixties, remarked on how little the school had physically changed as well as how the culture has shifted since they attended high school. Many noted how the school had retained its open, airy feeling, while others remarked on how the bell tower used to be made of wood. A common discussion point was pointing out areas of the school and remembering what students used to do there. People flipped through yearbooks and past editions of the Smoke Signal, recollecting their high school years and reconnecting with their friends.

The reunion was organized by Class of 1966 Alumna Mary Pzyer-Hammond, who began work on the event two years ago. Along with a committee of eight members, Hammond spent hours reaching out to people and contacting them through social media and old addresses. Speaking about her motivation for conducting the event, Hammond said, “It’s great to hear what people have done with their lives and what people are doing now.”

At 11 a.m., alumni began arriving in the Bell Tower Quad. The event started off quietly, but soon people started guessing each other’s names and catching up with each other. Friendly conversations continued over lunch until the reunion ended at 1 p.m.

edsc_0017A common conversation topic was the culture change at MSJ. Hammond said, “When we went to school, it was 97 percent white … Now it’s about 90 percent Asian and that changes the whole dynamic.” The alumni were split on whether the changes were positive or negative, but they universally agreed that the culture had evolved. Class of 1970 Alumna Diane Gilkey-Ray said, “It’s changed big-time. Academic, pressurized — it’s that culture for pressure.” Alumni had differing opinions on what this meant for the school. “I loved the [present] culture. The students [are] wonderful,” said former Math Teacher Nancy Hendrick, also from the Class of 1966. Other alumni advised that students should try to enjoy high school while it lasts. Class of 1966 Alumnus Thomas Rondeau said, “We didn’t have all this burden and stress and we turned out okay … You’re only young for a short time. Enjoy it.”

As a whole, the event was heartwarming and many old friends reconnected. On the topic of future reunions, Hammond said, “We will have more reunions now that we’ve connected with so many people.”

Photos by Staff Writer Jonathan Ko

8 Comments on "Class of 1966 Holds 50th Reunion"

  1. Mary Ann Pyzer- Hammond | October 13, 2016 at 9:50 am | Reply

    It was a beautiful day to be back on Mission campus. Sharing old memories and reliving those events while walking thru the halls and enjoying lunch beneath the bell tower.
    Thank you to Jonathan for taking the time to hear our stories and sharing aspects of the current student culture . It’s good to see and hear Warrior Spirit is alive and in good hands.

  2. Richard Gilkey | October 13, 2016 at 2:15 pm | Reply

    Fun day, we had a wonderful time even though I was class of 67. It was great to see Tina Scott, not only a past student/cheer leader, but also a neighbor of mine for many years. Names rang bells, but it was a long time ago when we walked past each other on campus. Thank you Mary for extending the invitation.

  3. Maureen McCabe Addiego | October 13, 2016 at 2:52 pm | Reply

    As The Smoke Signal’s first editor, I was delighted to come across the article on Facebook and to see just how much the school newspaper has evolved. As part of the first graduating class, I recently attended the 50th reunion and my brother and many friends attended the 50th reunion of the Class of ’66. I certainly remember those long Friday afternoons getting ready “to put the next edition to bed” and eagerly awaited the day the finished newspapers arrived on campus. Great memories. Keep up the great work!

  4. Michele Steadman | October 13, 2016 at 10:22 pm | Reply

    A lot of hard work and energy went into the two day event! The committee did such a great job of finding people and bringing us together on various levels. I have such happy memories of people and times. I sure hope we get together again soon. I didn’t have enough time to talk with everyone and see how you all are doing. It was fun to actually walk on campus and see what is the same and some good changes. I hope the current students remember to stop and smell the roses. Have some fun along the way.
    Love you guys, MSJ class of ’66!

  5. Linda Galli-Oneto | October 14, 2016 at 1:12 pm | Reply

    I was so glad the 1966 reunion was two days because after fifty years you have a lot of catching up to do. I would ask that if anyone knows of an alum that did not get found for the reunion please have them contact one of us on the committee so we can have current info next. Great Fun Linda Galli-Oneto

  6. It was so nice to see everyone!

  7. Hey warriors, great seeing ya’ll after so many years. Had a wonderful time . The committee put together a memory for all of us to hold dear to our hearts. Good job.

  8. Natalie Mills Cole | October 23, 2016 at 7:05 am | Reply

    It was great fun having Bob’s Burgers and reminiscing around the lunch tables. Great job Mary Ann Pyzer Hammond.
    It is also fun to talk with the current students. We learned a lot about how some things have changed and some things never change.

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