Reunion 50 Years . . . and counting

You will have to pardon me if I wander completely away from our travels for another post.  If you are mostly interested in RV travel, stop reading now.

I had forgotten what it is like to be immersed in my class at Brown. It is wonderful to be surrounded by minds as sharp and focused and well informed in so many fields. These guys and gals rank among the brightest in the country and it is a bit daunting at times to be a part of this group. Then we meet those who graduated after us and see how the university has been able to choose from an even more highly skilled set of minds. Many of us feel that we barely made it out of Brown with average grades and we find that the average has risen so high that we wonder if we could succeed in this group.

The campus is vastly changed and in so many aspects totally unchanged. Around the edges the new buildings and the not so new building that were not there 50 years ago ring the Green.  But the Green and its buildings look unchanged from 50 years ago or even 100 years ago.  Much has been changed inside the academic building. Nothing has changed in the dorms. We stayed in a dorm where I had lived 51 years ago and the furniture is unchanged and other than some accommodations for the needs of women and handicapped they are unchanged except for a coat or two of paint. We wandered into my Freshman dorm and located my 2nd semester room on the 4th floor, indeed it is unchanged from 1960.

A feature of Reunion at Brown is the Fora offered by faculty and others returning for quinquennial reunions. We attended three. One was offered by classmate Lee Berk who was receiving an honorary degree for his role in creating Berklee School of Music. Another was a presentation about a lost museum and its recreation. The final one was moderated by an Editor/Author and it was panel of four author/editors with various kinds of work. They all contributed to a book of readings in commemoration of Brown’s 250th year which we were also celebrating. After all we graduated 50 years ago on Brown’s Bicentennial.

Commencement this morning was a treat and a trip into topology. We each passed or were passed by every member of the procession twice. As the leaders passed through the Van Wickle Gates which were opened outward, they stopped on either side of the route and the next group passed through and likewise split and stopped. We stopped in turn and watched the younger classes pass down the hill to line up at the side.  Everyone went passed us. When the last alumna from the class of 2013 passed the first group, that group, the Class of 2014, proceeded down the hill passing us and we joined in behind them passing all those who had passed us. As we passed the graduating class we knew we were at the end and we had high fived hundreds of fellow graduates of Brown. It is hard to guess how many participants there were, but the complete evolution took over two hours. The great planning of David London, our incoming class president, put us in a restaurant just two blocks from the end of the procession on the Providence River for refreshments and goodbyes.  It does not seem likely that 1964 will ever again bring together 209 members of the class – we were just over 800 when we graduated.

We Approach Van Wickle Gates Opened Outward

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