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Reflections on a 50th Reunion
Posted 11/04/2011 09:42AM

By Nancy Hayes Golden '61, 50th Reunion Chair

The class of 1961 came back for its 50th! That by itself was wonderful for a group that has resisted “reuning” from the start. Thirteen of our classmates came from all over, some as far as Florida, Arizona, California and even France. I think without exception, we found a wonderful comradeship that we hadn’t been able to have 50 years ago in our adolescence. We are now a group of grown women who have experienced life in its many guises, been ‘round the block a few times and who, of course, look at life very differently than we did when we were 17. We found friendships where before there were acquaintances and deepened friendships that we’d perhaps let lapse. Hopefully everyone was as glad to be there as I was and as gratified that the magic that can come to an event like this did seem to happen.

Most of us arrived Friday morning and got to experience some of a day at the very changed Lincoln. We attended a silent meeting, took tours of the school and attended classes. Some of us got to the discussion of Priscilla Leviten Warner’s (Class of 1971) book and found it very, very interesting. I was lucky enough to find a freshman physics class I could sit in on (and still understand). It was a real eye-opener! Not run the way our classes were! It seemed chaotic to me at first, but I began to settle into the fast-paced give and take between the teacher and students. The kids were not shy in asking questions, volunteering answers or sharing their opinions. It seemed to be very successful.

The physical aspects of Lincoln have changed a great deal, and sometimes it was hard to recognize where you were because you found a teachers’ restroom where there used to be a math room or other similar surprises. But it was lovely to see the new cafeteria and library and certainly the new athletic center must make such a difference.

One of the things we enjoyed most, I think, was being able to kick off our shoes and chat over tea and wine at Dwight House for a while on Friday afternoon. It was the time for us to really get to discuss our memories of Lincoln. We also took that time to present our class scribe, Sherry Gardner Cameron, with a Lincoln rocker in gratitude for all the years she’s worked so hard keeping us together.

Class of 1961
The Class of 1961
Back row:
Nancy Hayes Golden, Sherry Gardner Cameron, Joan Ray, Patricia Robbins Bogash, Nancy Hill Joroff, Linda Clave  Front row: Martha Prescod Noonan, Kristin Mellen, Marilynn Fera Nereo, Liliane Fulconis Guiriec, and Lane Engles

Cameron and Hayes
Nancy Hayes Golden '61 (right) presents Sherry Gardner Cameron with the Alumnae Citiation Award.

Hayes and classmates
Nancy Hayes Golden '61 holds a photo of herself in the play Sabrina while Sherry Gardner Cameron '61, Anne Elder McCormack '61, Liliane Fulconis Guiriec '61, and Arlene Tate Schuler '72 look on.

Marilyn Fera Nereo commented about the reunion experience “It was amazing to see friends from 50 years ago.  Funny how there weren't many surprises. Our personalities were totally recognizable and it was very clear to me that we're still the same people - just a bit more polished from life experiences.  I was very glad to go to this reunion and I don't think I'm alone in feeling the sisterhood among us.  Lincoln School has grown with the times.  Women are treated differently than we were 50 years ago.  Most of us were able to discuss these shortcomings, and most of us were really glad to see the changes. Thank you to Lincoln School for giving us Dwight house.  For me, the conversation there was most meaningful. We have become a very gutsy group of women."

Patricia Ann Robbins Bogash observed the changes in Lincoln as well. “What wonderful opportunities these girls have now as far as elective choices – Photography, Bio-sciences, ROBOTICS!  WOW!  What would we have done differently with our lives had we had those opportunities during our time at Lincoln?  We will never know, of course, but I believe each of us expressed the thought that we made our way down different paths, but ultimately have succeeded in ways we never would have envisioned during that time so long ago!!  We ultimately found our places in life thanks to the solid basics we learned at Lincoln!”

Pamela Halewood Morse offered this: “I was really glad that I had attended the 50th reunion.  Although our class wasn't known for its cohesiveness, I was surprised by our frank discussions at the reunion.  I wish that we could have had such discussions as classmates all those years ago, but as impressionable teenagers, it could not have happened.”

And from our scribe, Sherry Gardner Cameron “I loved seeing everyone who came for our 50th reunion.  The differences that we experienced in our Lincoln years have disappeared. I wish more girls had come…  Hopefully [more] will come back for our 55th or at least our 60th.”

I would also add that when I entered college, I was surprised by the level of academic excellence all around me. I would have been overwhelmed, I think, if I hadn’t been well prepared at Lincoln. In fact, I probably wouldn’t even have been at that college because I might well not have been accepted.

Lincoln’s commitment to the education and development of young women is its greatest gift to its students!



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