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CLASS OF 1957 reunion

Class of 1957

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Dear Classmate,

Welcome to the class of '57 alumni web site.  I volunteered (in opposition to Eisenhower's maxim) to be the web coordinator so that I could keep you aware of the deliberations of our Reunion Committee and also help to entice you back to Hamilton for our 55th reunion May 31-June 3, 2012.

I propose that the symbol for our class reunion be the 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air sedan.  This classic automobile is probably the most recognizable American car of all time.  With its tasteful and elegant styling and period use of tail fins and chrome, this car has been highly sought after by collectors and enthusiasts.  The image of the 57 Bel Air has been used countless times for toys, graphics, movies, and television.  This car has been considered an "Auto Icon". What better standard bearer for us vintage--never old--'57 Hamiltonians!

The Reunion Committee is comprised of 21 of our classmates and representatives from the Hamilton College Alumni Office--including Erika Klar, Jon Hysell, and Sharon Rippey.  By default our class co-presidents Richard Feleppa and William Braunlich are the co-chairmen of the committee.  We have already met twice by phone conference, once in early April and again in early May 2011.  Meetings will resume in the fall.  To date we have apportioned the calling of all of our classmates by committee members this summer to encourage you to attend the 2012 reunion, which will be bigger and more interesting than usual because of the college's concomitant bicentennial celebration.

We also have made preliminary suggestions about presentations for the Alumni College.  As you know, there are several Alumni College lectures and panel discussions going on during the reunion weekend.  These usually last an hour, including plenty of time for questions and comments by the audience. Our class would like to sponsor two--possibly three-- of these educational forums allowing classmates to share their professions, hobbies, and/or talents.  So far the following ideas have been offered:

A panel discussion on volunteerism and/or second careers

A lecture by one of our classmates (Peter Browne, I believe) who has been involved with a particular type of volunteer work

A talk by a representative (if someone is willing to do it) from the Mohawk Valley Resource Center for Refugees (MVRCR) about resettling 13,000 refugees from several countries to Utica, N.Y., which has helped to revitalize that city.  This story was a recent presentation on NPR, and I found it fascinating.

A panel discussion on the ways our liberal education at Hamilton helped to prepare us for various professional careers.

Our committee has plenty of unfinished business when we resume our meetings in the fall with work to be done on Reunion Giving to the annual fund, the planning of our class dinners and other specific class events during reunion weekend, and more definitive decisions about alumni college presentations.  If any of you have thoughts or suggestions about the alumni college, class-specific reunion events, or anything else, please don't hesitate to contact me.

I have included some lovely original ektachrome photographs of the college, taken in the mid '50's by Bill Wieting, class of '59.  He has generously allowed me to use these photos for this web site, and hopefully they will pique your memory of those wonderful college days that we all shared.  Rich Feleppa sent me a few pictures taken during our 50th Reunion.  If any of you have other interesting photographs, please send them to me or to the college directly: and these can be included in the web site.

On May 26, 1812 the Board of Regents of NY state approved the charter for the foundation of Hamilton College, initiated by Samuel Kirkland and inspired by Alexander Hamilton.  200 years have nearly passed since that time, and the college's bicentennial celebration will--in part--coincide with our 55th reunion weekend.  The next two issues of the Hamilton Alumni Review will be "bicentennial issues".  The fall publication will mark the opening of the bicentennial commemoration over the weekend of September 23-25, 2011.  The spring issue will precede the actual 5/26/12 ceremony.  Both issues will "celebrate Hamilton's rich legacy, its vibrant present  and the promise of its third century". The September kickoff will provide several events, including a bicentennial commemorative assembly, several colleges, fireworks, and live entertainment.  Similar events are planned for our 55th weekend next spring.  The college is planning a 200th BIG PARTY with twice as many as usual returning alumni, historical re-enactments, musical entertainment, and fireworks.  I would propose a performance of Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture, ala the Boston Pops. I urge all of you to attend one or both of these events.

Best regards,

Bob Kraunz '57

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