Dear Classmates of ’71,
On three glorious days and nights this October, we plan to reunite in Chapel Hill to celebrate our eventful, memorable years at Carolina. Our college years, much like today, were times of great change and transition. Working with a small reunion steering committee and the UNC General Alumni Association, we are diligently seeking to create an eventful experience while dedicating enough free time for best friends, groups of friends, teams and alumni from various residence colleges and student organizations to make their own special plans during the reunion weekend.
Contemplated at this point:
• A late Thursday afternoon (Oct. 21) class of ’71 50th reunion opening reception at Graham Memorial or a similar venue. Dinner is purposely left open.
• Stimulating, interesting enrichment sessions on both Friday and Saturday morning on topics relevant to today and yesteryear. Each session will be approximately one hour in length. In developing these forums or panel discussions, every effort is being made to incorporate thought leaders from our class, who in their careers became leaders in business/finance, medicine, education, media, athletics, etc. along with distinguished current or past UNC faculty members. The possibilities for these sessions are enormous. For example, the class of ’71 was replete with outstanding athletes. One exciting prospect is a forum in which several of our star athletes from our class recall and discuss their personal and team experiences at UNC.
• Friday afternoon party. A very casual social event which we can possibly schedule in a somewhat rural setting just outside of Chapel Hill. A blue-grass band or other music is being considered. Evening hours are purposely open.
• Following a Saturday afternoon of free time for reminiscing, strolling down Franklin St. or exploring “ole haunts,” we will all hopefully gather for a culminating grand celebration of our reunion weekend, usually in the form of a celebratory banquet/dinner dance.
As you are probably aware, the original plan for our 50th reunion was to have it during the 2021 Commencement weekend. Due to COVID-19, all reunions had to be cancelled this spring, as they were in 2020. Considering the growing availability of COVID-19 vaccines and the improving statistics, we have optimistically rescheduled the 50th reunion for the weekend of Oct. 21-24. A weekend without a football game was purposely selected so that many hotel/motel rooms will be available at more affordable prices.
One important caveat: Should we learn that campus policies will not allow for on-campus events due to COVID-19, we will naturally have to indefinitely postpone our reunion and reschedule in another season. We hope to learn more by midsummer.
Nonetheless, we are encouraging you now to contact several of your favorite friends from our class to verify that they received this notice about our 50th reunion. Over these 50 years, many of us have moved, changed email addresses and phone numbers several times and haven’t thought to notify the Alumni Association in Chapel Hill. If you have or obtain updated contact information on any of our classmates, please email it to Jennifer Guy ’09 at email@example.com. The GAA desperately needs accurate information for each of our classmates for future reunion communications.
Likewise, we encourage you and your friends to make lodging reservations for our reunion weekend, Oct. 21-24, as soon as possible. This traditionally is a beautiful and very popular weekend in Chapel Hill. View a list of some of the hotels/motels which are closest to campus and downtown, including phone numbers, at alumni.unc.edu/1971. Please be careful to study and to remain mindful of the relevant cancellation policies. Bookmark this page, alumni.unc.edu/1971, as we will be updating it with additional reunion details in the weeks ahead.
Please join us in looking beyond the recent environment dominated by the fear, loss and restrictions associated with the COVID-19 virus as well as the divisive, polarizing national discourse. On the horizon is great cause for celebration: our 50th reunion for the UNC class of ’71. As we countdown to our reunion, join the conversation in the official class of ’71 Facebook group.
Don’t miss this “once in a lifetime” opportunity to reconnect with ole friends from Carolina and stimulate many treasured memories. Please call your friends, start making reservations and stand-by for further details. Thank you!
With warm regards,
Vice President: Chris Bean
Secretary: Connie Giles Wattles
Treasurer: Craig Benepe