Gael Family Reunion

The class dinners were held outside on the Chapel lawn for the first time. “The view of the Chapel is something that so many alumni connect with,” said Courtney Lohmann, associate director of alumni and volunteer engagement. “We thought, what could be more special than dinner under the stars in front of the Chapel?”

Saint Mary’s alumni celebrated family in its many forms at the annual alumni reunion. More than 700 alumni returned to campus from July 19 to 21 to reminisce and reconnect.

“It’s like a family: once you’re in the family, it’s your community,”a explained Dick Claeys ’63. His father, Reder S. Claeys ’32, and daughter, Carla Rodriguez ’93, also attended Saint Mary’s. “She likes to remind me she is the only one in the family who graduated magna cum laude,” Claeys laughed.

For Claeys and other members of the class of ’63, SMC’s 150th anniversary brought back memories of the College’s centennial, which was marked during their senior year. Claeys was on the centennial planning committee and remembered listening to the main speaker, then-Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson, and dancing to “Les Brown and His Band of Renown.” Fifty class of ’63 members returned for their 50th reunion and to mark the occasion, they held a nostalgic seminar on the Seminar—and how it shaped their lives.

—Caitlin Graveson ’11