Alumni Reunion Brings Back Memories

By John Grennan

More than 700 graduates and friends returned to campus for Reunion Weekend in July to catch up with classmates and share stories from their glory years.

“It was gratifying to see so many alums return to campus,” said Brother President Ronald Gallagher ’69, who split time between his contemporaries and the younger alumni he has taught through the years. “It’s a great reminder of the many deep friendships which have been made during the years here at Saint Mary’s.”

In warm-up events on July 18, individual classes held golf tournaments, barbecues and dinners at various off-campus locations, including the Orinda Country Club, the Pyramid Alehouse in Walnut Creek and Joe’s of Lafayette.

“It’s a bit surreal to be back,” said Sarah (Souza) Lewis ’03, who joined her old classmates staying in the dorms.

On July 19, nostalgia swirled through afternoon gatherings at the former Poplar Grove, Galileo Lawn and Ferroggiaro Quad. Members of the classes of ’58, ’63, ’68, ’73, ’83, ’88, ’93, ’98 and ’03, some pushing strollers with potential Gaels inside, toured the campus and took note of new buildings, including Filippi Academic Hall.

George Silvestri, Tim Wong and Bill Corrigan, members of the Class of 1963, could hardly believe how much SMC has changed.

“Back then, the first floor of De La Salle Hall was the only classy place you could meet people from off-campus or hold big events,” remembers Silvestri, an Integral major who helped organize debates on such topics as the creation of Medicare.

At the makeshift pub in Delphine Lounge, Charlie Wilson, Nick Massetti and Rich Meiss, all ’68, recounted the playful hazing they received as freshmen from older students.

“I still have the SMC beanie that they made us wear around campus,” Wilson said. “I remember one day they made us wear all our clothes inside out and backwards.”

The ’68 crew was not always on the receiving end of the mischief, however, as archrival Santa Clara University found out.

“A group from our class calculated what it would take to turn the Santa Clara pool into seawater,” said Meiss, highlighting an application of lessons from Brother Myron Collins’ chemistry class.

“And then we put leopard sharks we caught in the Bay in the pool,” Wilson added.

The evening ended with class dinners in Oliver Hall and the Soda Center, where classmates snapped photos and danced to the music of Diamond Dave Hosley.

“It was very exciting and emotional to be back,” said Rick Reviglio ’88, who traveled from Nevada for the reunion. “When you live in this beautiful campus setting for four years, you become very close to so many special friends that had such an impact on your life.”

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