Graduating class of 1961 honored

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With more than a year since Pacific’s football program returned after a 19-year absence, the opportunity arose to combine Homecoming with class reunions.

Homecoming and Family Weekend is expected to be a huge event with Boxer Alumni this year. Last year, there were no reunion events specifically for alumni during Homecoming.

Jerry Frye and Bob Dernedde, both of the Class of ’61, have worked hard to ensure that everyone from their class got an invitation to their class reunion.

While Pacific is offering assistance to other classes that want to reunite, the class of 1961 is the only one that will be having a full reunion. They will be celebrating their 50-year reunion during Homecoming weekend, which will take place Friday, Oct. 28 from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

At this time, they will be inducted into the Golden Guard, or as alumni like to joke, the “Old Guard.” They will receive a special medallion to commemorate their induction; a precession across campus will follow the induction, ending at Old College Hall where they will sign their names into freshly-poured concrete.

“This tradition has been honored since the early 1990s,” said Martha Calus-McLain, Director of Alumni Relations and Pacific graduate of 2003.

When Old College Hall moved to its current location, the sidewalk signed by previously inducted members of the Golden Guard was also moved to stay close to the historic hall.

In addition to the Arts and Sciences Class of 1961, reunions are taking place for Arts & Sciences Class of 2001, Occupational Therapy Classes of 2001, 1991 and 1986, Physical Therapy Classes of 2001, 1991 and 1986, Physician Assistant Class of 2011 and the Optometry Class of 1981.

Another big event for the alumni is the Greek Breakfast, where Greek alumni and actives can connect. For a period of 10 years, the class reunions were held in June, making it difficult for current fraternity and sorority members to attend. The largest attendance this event has ever seen was 66.

According to Calus-McLain, the number of attendees is expected to exceed that number this year. The Greek Breakfast will take place on Saturday, Oct. 29 from 9:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. The cost is $8, but students will meal plans can use a block meal or declining balance to pay for the meal.

Also reconvening over breakfast is the Black Student Union. In the 1960s and ‘70s, there was a dramatic spike in the number of African American students attending Pacific and with the Class of 1961 reunion, there will be an opportunity to reunite alumni that were a part of the union.

Overall, Homecoming and Family Weekend are expected to bring together Pacific’s community, meaning all current students, alumni, family, faculty and community members can unite and support the Boxers.

In Calus-McLain’s words, “When you invest not just your dollars, but time, energy, and heart into something, it becomes a part of you.”

When alumni come back to Pacific, they take a stroll down memory lane. As they walk the familiar path to the resident hall or revisit the University Center, memories of their college days come flooding back. Pacific is forever a part of their memory.

This is why, regardless of age, once you’re a Boxer, you’ll never stop being a Boxer.


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