Alumni return to campus, heat up Reunion Weekend

Reunion 2008On their connecting flight from Washington, D.C., 1978 graduates Dale Kaiser and Sheila Lamont reminisced about their Oswego days en route to their 30th college reunion. It was a pretty typical ride for the old friends traveling from Knoxville, Tenn., and Boulder, Colo., until another passenger chimed in.

“SUNY Oswego?” he said. “I’m Class of ‘78!”

It was a classmate from California on the same flight.

These are the types of unexpected meetings that punctuated the Oswego Alumni Association’s annual reunion festivities, which drew more than 1,100 to campus June 6 through 8. Classes, clusters, Greeks and friends made one of the largest reunion groups ever.

Attendees came from all over the country and world to revive the good vibes from their collegiate experiences. Kaiser and Lamont joined their pals Jack Ottomanelli and Sean Denvir as the four have done every five years since they graduated.

“It’s the great experience I had here,” said Kaiser while attending the “Come as You Were” barbecue and bonfire at Fallbrook. “I’ve had a pretty good life, but those were the most fun four years.”

Major events like the Fallbrook barbecue, “Picnic on the Lake” and “Taste of Oswego,” drew several hundred members of all classes while the Golden Alumni Society, Class of 1968 and silver anniversary Class of 1983 had more exclusive get-togethers.

Many attendees came to catch up with friends or catch a sunset on the lake. Even for circles that have stayed close since graduation, gathering on campus makes for a special experience.

“It’s nice to come back here and be together in a familiar setting,” said 1998 graduate Sherrie-An Brutsman Nacke, who spent most of her weekend with former roommates Cheryl Webster Crounse, Molly Casey St. John and Kate Monroe Follen.

In addition to special events for the classes of 2004, 2003, 2002, 1998, 1983, 1979, 1978, 1977, 1968, 1963, 1958, 1953, 1948, 1943, 1938, 1933 and 1928, Greek organizations held cookouts, receptions and other events for their members of various years.

Many Greek alumni coordinators reported large crowds during events that coincided with Reunion Weekend. Alpha Sigma Chi celebrated its 85th anniversary while Alpha Delta Eta, Beta Tau Epsilon, Delta Chi, Delta Kappa Kappa, Phi Lambda Phi, Sigma Tau and Theta Chi Rho all hosted reunion events that often draw current members and those with more distant pledge years together.

“It’s one thing to see their face on a composite photo, it’s another to meet them in person,” Oswego junior and current Delta Kappa President Tom DiRoma said.

Fraternity and sorority brothers and sisters also made for a memorable Saturday night at the Elks Lodge in the city of Oswego. More than 500 turned out for a performance by Edge of Darkness, a reunited band of 1960s alumni.

A full gallery of Reunion photos is availabe online here.

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PHOTO CAPTION: Good times—Former roommates Kate Monroe Follen, Cheryl Webster Crounse and Sherrie-An Brutsman Nacke celebrate the Class of 1998’s 10-year reunion at the “Come as You Were” barbecue at Fallbrook.

(Posted: Jun 12, 2008)

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