Dear 1968 Classmates,
Last fall, as most of you carried on with your ordinary lives, a subset of the Class of 1968 met in Northfield to continue planning for our upcoming 50th reunion, June 1-3, 2018.
The morning hours were wound down as each person summarized the last 50 years and then related a college memory. The life stories went pretty well, but the memories were often a bit sketchy.
He: “We went to a freshman dance together.”
She: “No we didn’t, that was ——.”
And there were memories that began with a long list of caveats like, “I think this was how it happened,” or “maybe the people I remember were not actually there, but…”
All of this resulted in stories that were probably more “truthy” rather than true. Yet the session did spur fond memories as well as moments of high hilarity. But not all of the stories were funny. A number of them reminded us of the political and social turbulence that was ever-present in the late 1960s. However, the common thread that laced all the tales together was St. Olaf, and the life-altering nature of that four-year period.
Because of that session, we have decided that the theme of our reunion will be “Help Us Remember,” in recognition of the fact that corporate memory has real value. As people related stories of events and people, our minds generated pictures and emotions that have long lain dormant, and there was both joy and sadness in those recollections.
Those images and events were created both by and for all of us who shared that time together. We plan to broadly celebrate that experience, sharing the ways in which our lives were shaped by those years together. Fifty years later, there is no “in” group, there are no grudges or slights and the realities of time and life have given each of us a personal history that can, in many ways, be traced back to the period of 1964-1968 on a windy hill in Southern Minnesota.
So, join us. Bring your sketchy remembrances, your life story, and your pictures to
St. Olaf this June. One of the hits of our day was the Beatles’ “With a little help from my friends,” released in 1967. That concept still resonates 50 years later.
See you in June.
The 50th Reunion Committee