|Reunion Report: 1963|
The 40th reunion of the class of ’63 began for many with a welcome offer of baggage assistance by Brown undergraduates as we moved into our Chapin House headquarters. Friday’s welcome reception was our first opportunity to reconnect with classmates. We moved on to the Ratty, where three different a cappella groups serenaded us during dinner. We noted that conversation topics now relate to retirement, careers of our children, and the joys of grandchildren. Some of us went on to Campus Dance, huddling in the cold drizzle or taking to the sparsely populated dance floor to keep warm.
Saturday’s Commencement forums were outstanding, as usual, generating lots of discussion. We joined together for our class luncheon in a warm tent on the Pembroke campus. Outgoing president Bob Nickerson introduced our new class officers: president Judy Neal Murray, vice president Glenn Cashion; secretary Jennifer Williams Ketay, treasurer Gordon Williams, reunion chair Bob Nickerson, and Web master Charles Sokoloff.
At our class seminar Andrea Whitaker Baumann and William Twadel shared experiences from their Foreign Service careers. Later that evening we assembled at the charming Squantum Association. We had a magnificent view of the Providence River and were entertained by a Dixieland band. Those able to get tickets to the pops concert featuring Harry Connick Jr. returned with rave reviews.
Sunday’s annual hour with the president was a great opportunity to experience the incredible energy, vision, and leadership of Ruth Simmons. At the all-class memorial service, which followed, we were relieved to learn that only about eight members of our class had left us since our last reunion. More spontaneous activities filled the afternoon, including a Pembrokers’ lunch and boat tours of Newport Harbor courtesy of Dayton Carr. Back in Providence, various groups gathered for dinner, some at Olive’s, our designated meeting place for WaterFire.
A solid group of hearty individuals braved the rain and cold on Monday for the Commencement March led by aides to the chief marshal Jennifer Williams Ketay and Jim Valeo; and our class marshals, Barbara Smith Langworthy, John Kaufmann, and Nancy Scull. Though it might have been nicer on a gloriously sunny day, there was something about all suffering together that enhanced the camaraderie. Singing along to the Brown Band’s rendition of “Ever True to Brown” on the return trip strengthened an already festive mood.
—Jennifer Williams Ketay and Nancy C. Scull