On a hot, sticky evening in Kenan Stadium, on Monday, June 1, 1970, we graduated from Carolina.
Yes, it has indeed been almost 50 years, and soon you’ll receive a message from our freshman class president, Professor Bland Simpson, who not only enjoyed growing up in Chapel Hill and attending Carolina, but has also long taught and continues to teach Creative Writing at UNC.
And like me, Bland will encourage you to circle these dates –Thursday, May 7 – Sunday, May 10, 2020, for our 50th Class Reunion.
We’ll begin Thursday evening with a reception in Graham Memorial (near the Davie Poplar, the Old Well and Franklin Street), and we’ll conclude, adorned in Carolina blue gowns, processing into Kenan Stadium on Sunday (to late 60’s music selected by all 1970 attendees).
We have only this one opportunity to celebrate our 50th reunion, and we welcome your suggestions and your ideas for enrichment programing, for elements to include in our 50th anniversary edition of the Yackety Yack, and for what you think should be “must haves” at our Saturday night golden-anniversary gathering.
Most importantly, we need – and ask – your personal commitment to attend and to encourage other classmates to attend. Only by personally reaching out (call, email, write, visit, text, FaceTime, Skype, etc.) can you be certain that all those who you most want to see will know that you’re going to attend and that you really want them to attend, too.
Even if it is your first return visit since June 1, 1970, now is the time to start making your personal plans to come to Chapel Hill. If you have friends who live in the Triangle, please don’t wait for them to reach out to you to invite you to stay with them. Contact them, and invite yourself to be their guest. Yes, be bold, and if you live in the Triangle and have classmates with whom you really want to share this special weekend, reach out to them now and offer them your guest bedroom(s).
If you don’t have friends in the Triangle but have classmates with whom you’d like to share the weekend, why not consider coming together at an area Airbnb? Many did just that in during the class of ’69 reunion and felt like they had had one grand, nostalgic Jubilee weekend.
Our individual journeys over the past 50 years have been varied – with joys and sorrows, successes and failures, dreams fulfilled and aspirations unmet. We will come together because we realize something special happened during our time together in Chapel Hill and at Carolina – even if we didn’t know it then and even if we didn’t all know each other. We will come together in 2020 because we are fortunate to be healthy and are anxious to share this very special, once-in-a-lifetime occasion.
So, for now, please press the reply key, and please simply affirm the following:
• I/we will be there!
• I/we will contact other classmates. (If you are a GAA member, you have 24/7 access to our online alumni directory where you’ll find the latest contact information for Carolina’s 330,000+ living alumni. If you are not a GAA member, please just send me the names of those you’d like to contact.)
• I/we would like to serve on the Reunion Planning Committee.
• I/we live too far away to serve on any committees, but here are some suggestions:
When I returned to Carolina nearly 37 years ago, quite honestly, I didn’t anticipate that I’d still be here and still serving as alumni director. Well, I am fortunate to still be here, and I am anxious to do all that I can, with each of you, to make our 50th reunion the very best.
Thank you for what you have done, are doing and will do. In the meantime, you can also look back on our 45th Class Reunion.
Yours at Carolina,