Hopefully this will be the last blog for awhile that I write concerning things during the past 50 years of my life. However, I do want to share some observations from my recent 50th class reunion at Susquehanna University, in Selinsgrove, because it turned out to be a very special day. I almost didn't go since I didn't have many close friends at SU. My physics classes were very small and my math classes weren't much larger. I didn't belong to a fraternity and I spent my final year commuting. Much of my spare time was spent traveling with the football and basketball teams, working on campus, visiting family in the area, participating in church services and activities in Sunbury, and dating my wife to be. And my very best friend, Jim Herrold, my roommate for two years, passed away over a year ago. So I really didn't have many friends there. But fortunately, I chose to attend.
As it turns out, three of my best friends, members of the basketball team, were there and we really enjoyed being with them and their wives. During the four years that I was there, SU probably had the best basketball record of any four years in SU history. The fellows on the team were fun to be around - they were clean cut and mature. Our captain was about eight years older than the rest of us, had four children, worked 40 hours a week and commuted from Shamokin every day. He led the league in rebounding. An amazing story. Another good friend was one of SU's top scorers. And my roommate the first year was the team manager. It was fun to talk about the "good old days" with them. The two players looked like they could play tomorrow. In fact, the scorer, still plays in an over 70 league and his team has competed for national titles.
It was very interesting to see how folks have changed. Some have really aged and a few even had canes. But many seemed to be in very good shape for being about 72. I'm not sure where I fit in, but many humored me by saying that I hadn't changed much. Yeah, right! And everyone was so friendly - even those who I hardly knew or remembered acted like long lost friends. I guess wer were 50 year survivors and had that in common. Even the spouses were very friendly - my wife had no trouble striking up conversations with many of the wives who were there.
One of the highlights was getting to see my physics professor who I had for all four years. He came to SU when we came there and he finally retired last year. I had seen him twice before since I graduated. One day we visited SU's tremendous new science building and I was fortunate enough to see him then. And, I was amazed that he knew me right away - I must have made some sort of impression on him - either good or bad. But he always was very friendly and interested in his students and I was glad that he came to our reunion to see some of us.
Much has changed there over 50 years and SU now has a beautiful campus with top notch facilities. The sports complex is amazing, although few of their teams can match those from our time there. We saw a quarter or so of their football game against Moravian. I think both teams looked smaller than our present high school team at Penn Manor. Both teams hadn't won a game all year and SU was fortunate enough to finally gain a victory. When we were there our team was one of the top small school football teams in the nation. We even beat Temple. Our coach was the father of the present head coach of the Dallas Cowboys.
The dormitories are also much improved. Our class was the first large class in SU's expansion. As a result, they were short of rooms. My first year four of us were squeezed into what had been a storage room. The second year, three of us were squeezed into a room in a building which burnt to the ground a few years later. That didn't surprise me. In my third year we enjoyed the luxury of a brand new dorm and I worked as a proctor there. My old classrooms have been completely renovated and you barely can visualize what they had been. And one more major difference. When I went there it cost us about $10,000 per year. Today it cost about $42,000 per year. Wow! But it is a great school with a great campus and staff.
One final comment - 154 of us graduated in 1963. About 84 of those contributed or pledged to a fund in honor of the man who served his first year as president when we arrived as freshmen. That pledge amounted to $2,219,000! Obviously many of the 84 must have had very successful careers and earned and saved quite a bit, much, much more than I did. But while I couldn't prove it with my meager donation, Susquehanna gave me a tremendous background and I have no regrets in going there. If I could do it again, I would jump at the opportunity. Those were great years and I thank God for leading me there.