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Time to reappear

Ah, Reunion. The quinquennial self-improvement program… the recurring nostalgia fest… the cut-and-come-again social marathon… It’s a Skidmore Groundhog Day, and I’m already in training. I’m facing an astonishingly high-numbered reunion this year—my thirty-fifth, to be exact. I have become an “older alum.” Funny thing is, I don’t feel any older than when I first got dropped off at Skidmore Hall in September 1968. True, it was Skidmore Hall the elder, the one at Circular and Spring Streets, on the old downtown campus.

Regardless of ages (mine or Skidmore’s), what I like best about Reunion is that the weekend is a nonstop oral history. I’m so familiar with my class’s collective experience that I can add to any recitation by any of us. At some point a classmate is certain to begin: “Remember as freshmen we had to do mealtime community service at Father’s Hall, the dorms had housemothers, our dates were announced by hall phone, Happy Pappy was the best weekend of the year, and no one was around on other weekends because we all were road-tripping at men’s colleges? But by the time we were juniors, boy, had things changed!”

It’s a familiar litany that we never tire of repeating, or hearing. During our college years American society and campus culture were both engulfed by dramatic, even radical transformations. But I think each class has a similar story, tracking the social changes of the times. (Change? Oh, yeah. It never lets up. There are only two male alumni in our class, and one of them now has a son in Skidmore’s class of 2010.)

I’m proud of what Skidmore has become, but I also loved what it was. My classmates and I will recount our history again (fondly, with laughter and tears), when we gather for Reunion in a few weeks, May 31–June 3.

I hope you’ll be there for your own oral histories, all you 2s and 7s: it’s time to return. Peace, love, and shag haircuts.

Deb Sehl Coons ’72
Alumni Association President