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Class of 1957

Bicentennial Reunion Letter

Dear Classmate,

Welcome to the class of '57 alumni web site.  I volunteered 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 the Hamilton campus for our 55th reunion May 31-June 3, 2012. This reunion will be bigger and more interesting than usual because of the college's concomitant bicentennial celebration, and it’s less than 2 weeks away.

I propose that the symbol for our class reunion be the 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air sedan. This car has been considered an "Auto Icon". What better standard bearer for us vintage--never old--'57 Hamiltonians! In fact, the college is planning on using the Chevy image on a commemorative pin for our class.  The pin—along with other buttons—can be picked up at the information table at the time of registration.  Please don’t forget these items.

The Reunion Committee has been composed of 21 of our classmates and representatives from the Hamilton College Alumni Office--including Erika Klar, more recently John (Fred) Rogers, and Sharon Rippey, who is presently Director of Alumni Relations.  By default our class co-presidents Richard Feleppa and William Braunlich have been co-chairmen of the committee.  We have already met seven times by phone conference—from April 2011 to early May 2012. To date 24 of our classmates have registered for the reunion.

The following committee members volunteered to chair the sub-committees necessary to make the Reunion a grand success:

1.  Bill Scoones—Gift Chair. This is an     enormous job, and Bill is to be congratulated for his willingness to assume this responsibility.  By early May 2012 gifts and pledges to the 55th Reunion Gift Campaign  have totaled $35,942. Only nine additional donors are needed to achieve our original 80% participation goal.

2. Chris Durham and Tom Farrell-- Class Dinner Programs. The Thursday night cocktail and buffet dinner will be held at the home of Patsy Couper  W’44 on 1015 Wildflower Way at 6 PM,  and transportation will be provided from the Kirner-Johnson Circle at 5:50 PM.

The Friday night class dinner—exclusive for our class-- will take place  at the Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute, 310 Genesee Street, Utica and a shuttle service will also be provided leaving at 5:30 p.m. from the Kirner-Johnson circle. The cocktail party with cash bar will begin at 6 PM.  Paul McGiffin will lead a tribute entitled Moments of Remembrance for those classmates who have died. Maurice Isserman, Professor of America History and author of On the Hill: A bicentennial History of Hamilton College will give us a short talk before dinner—specifically confining his historical viewpoint to Hamilton in the 1950’s—a time coinciding with our own student experience. The  shuttle will bring us back to campus in time for an booming (literally and figuratively) fireworks display and an informal jazz session.

On Saturday night the half-century dinner will be comprised of our class principally, as well as neighboring reunion classes..  The on-campus site for this event will be the Dwight lounge at the Bristol center. Coach Gene Long as been invited. In addition cabaret singer KT Sullivan and wife of Steve Downey ’60 will reprise her afternoon concert with a few songs from her repertoire of timeless tunes.

3. Bob Lambert—College-sponsored Events or Attractions. A "world-class" jazz concert by the Nicki Parrott Trio will take place at 9 p.m. on Saturday night in the Fillius Events Barn. Bassist/vocalist Nicki Parrott has enthralled music lovers at the last three Fallcoming jazz events and she returns to Hamilton with her own trio. Nicki has recently teamed up with pianist Rossanno Sportiello and together they have created an intriguing program of tunes covering jazz, the Great American Songbook and a touch of classical music.

4. Bob Kraunz—Web Coordinator.  Bob helped to design the commemorative class pin with the help of his daughter Amy, a video editor in Los

5. Jim Bromley and Phil McNall—Alumni Colleges . 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 plans to sponsor two of these educational forums. They will be:

by John Hind, class of ’80 and Bruno Collapietro, class of ’57. This program will take place on Friday. June 1 at 11 AM in the Kirner-Johnson building, room 203.
Mr. Hind lettered in football and lacrosse while he was an undergraduate at Hamilton. He earned a master’s degree in athletic administration from Kent State University in 1991.  He was a very successful lacrosse coach at Butler University  from 1991 to 1999, when he became an athletic administrator at Butler. Mr. Hind is currently Director of Athletics at Hamilton, a post that he has held since 2007.
    Our classmate Bruno was the sports writer for the Utica newspaper as a student, and he also served as an editor of the Spectator. He played 4 years of baseball at Hamilton before going on to Cornell Law School. He has had a long and successful career as a lawyer in Binghamton, NY. According an edition of  Sports Illustrated published in May 2011, Bruno was still playing ice hockey at age 75 and had completed his 700th consecutive game.
Bruno will share stories of athletic accomplishments during his four years at Hamilton, and Jon Hind will recount some of his own student-athlete anecdotes and provide an update on the current stat of Hamilton sports.

HAMILTON COLLEGE AND THE CIVIL WAR  by John Wayne Mahood, class of ’56.
This lecture will begin at 2:30 PM on Friday, June 1 in the Kirner-Johnson building, room 203. Mr. Mahood will be introduced by Professor Maurice Isserman.
After graduating from Hamilton, Wayne earned an M.A. at the University of Illinois and a Ph.D. at Syracuse University. He chaired the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education at SUNY-Geneseo from 1969 to 1994. He has written or co-authored eight books, five of which deal with the Civil War.
By 1860, Hamilton College was caught up in the strife that resulted in the Civil War. A patriotic spirit led more than half of the 1861 graduates to enlist and ultimately 226 to serve, mostly as officers. Wayne takes a look at those patriots in this presentation.

The college has arranged an open house at the Mohawk Valley Resource Center for Refugees, 309 Genesee St., Utica  for Thursday May 31 from 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM.. Several months ago there was a fascinating program on NPR concerning the efforts to resettle more than 14000 refugees from 31countries to the Utica area. Since MVRCR has been intimately involved in that project—one that helped to economically revitalize Utica-- the alumni office thought that an open house  should be incorporated into those events available on reunion weekend, and I urge all of my classmates to attend.

On Sunday morning, June 3 there will be a Service of Remembrance followed by Blues and Brunch at Harding Farm.

6. Al McGann—Choosing a class president. With Al’s help in searching for viable candidates the committee has chosen Co-Presidents to lead us over the next 5 years. The names of our new Presidents will be revealed at our Saturday evening class dinner.

7. Housing.  For on-campus housing the college has reserved rooms for our class at the Samuel Eels House (formerly AD). As of May 9, all on-campus housing is filled. There are a number of off-campus accommodations in the area, and the college has booked blocks of rooms at several hotels.  For more information click on the “Accommodations” link on this web page.  

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. Click on the picture on the right showing the portrait of George Nesbitt to start the slideshow

On May 26, 1812 the Board of Regents of NY state approved the charter for the foundation of Hamilton College, initiated by Samuel Kirkland (founder) 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 college is planning a 200th BIG PARTY with twice as many as usual returning alumni, several events and alumni colleges, historical re-enactments, musical entertainment, and fireworks. I hope that many of the class of ’57 will be able to attend this historic event.

Best regards,

Bob Kraunz '57