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Class News

Class News

Here it is.
A place to keep track of what your East friends are up to and to share milestones in your life with your classmates and all East alums. Graduations, weddings, reunions, babies, new jobs, retirement, grandkids, that chance encounter at the base of the Eiffel Tower with another Pioneer. Just send what you want to share to the Class Agent listed for your year. Don’t see a class agent listed? Sign up to be one by emailing Maria Allen or calling (616)235-3535.

Click the decade to jump to more about each class within that period.

2010’s
2000’s
1990’s
1980’s
1970’s
1960’s
1950’s
1940’s

 

2010’s

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Class of 2017

Class agent: Auden Elliott

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Class of 2017 Senior Retreat

From Class Agent Auden Elliott: 

"Everyone seems to be doing well and finding their place in their respective universities and new professions. Allison Hubbard performed in a showcase at Roosevelt University in Chicago where she is a part of the theatre conservatory. She sent along this quote: 'Life in a theater conservatory is really crazy busy but my classes are really awesome. I get to study under some of the best people in the business! I got to perform in the Freshman Showcase five weeks into school which was wonderful! Each student got the chance to be showcased in a dance, song, or scene and we all performed in group numbers that had all seventy of us involved. It was a great way for us to be introduced and welcomed into the theater conservatory!'" Here's a picture of Allison performing (photo by Megan Grosso):

 

Class of 2016

Class agent: Emily Milanowski

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2016 EGR Alumni (l-r) Midshipman Georgia Deems, Cadet Nathan Hein and Midshipman Andrew MacGregor met up at the 118th Army-Navy Football Game December 9, 2018.
(submitted by Kathy MacGregor)

 

Class of 2014

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Here are nine of the Class of 2014's new University of Michigan grads: Caroline Kremers, William Laffrey, Laura Donohue, Dakota Bernard, Allaire Donohue, Peter Mack, Katie Keane, Joe Donohue, and Sophie Brown. 

 

Class of 2012

Class agent: Margaux Aquino

5th Reunion
December 22, 2017 at Gray Skies Distillery 9pm - Midnight.
Reunion information and registration.

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Class of 2010

Class agent: Olivia Avery

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2000’s

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Class of 2007

Class agent: Kaitlin Ronda Merpi

10th Reunion
Friday December 22, 2017 at Carolina Low Country Kitchen at 7pm
Contact Spencer Merpi with reunion questions.

Class of 2007 Facebook

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Class of 2006

Class agent: Sarah Stillo

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Class of 2006 Reunion Photo

Updates: 
Katherine Khorey and  a friend won Chicago Startup Weekend back in April. They’re working on launching their platform now. It's a mobile app for short stories: updates are on the Shortfics website.

Valerie (Walworth) Dawson has two children: Ana Ray, 3, and Maximillian, 1.  Her new address is 1513 Sterling Oaks Dr Moncks Corner, SC 29461.

Irene (Casillas) McKenzie and husband Taylor bought their first condo in Chicago.  Irene works at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital as a nurse practictioner for a pediatric brain tumor program.  Her husband Taylor recently started his own lighting company called McKenzie and Keim (based in Chicago).

Alex (Fairchild) Oates and Tyler Oates welcomed baby Olivia in July.

Kayla (Kalmbach) Williams and husband moved back to Michigan in June 2017 after spending 2 years in China.

Marla (Kalmbach) Woodward is completing her MBA at the University of Oxford in cold and rainy England.

Rachel Shapley married Steven Brusca summer 2017 here in Grand Rapids, Michigan. They live in Hoboken, NJ. 

Casey Milroy married Michael Beaudoin summer 2017 in Milwaukee, WI.  She is completing her masters in education through the University of Wisconsin.

Natalie (Corbett) McCarty is completing her masters through the George Washington University family nurse practioner program. 

Kelsey (McDonald) Macintosh and her husband Kyle welcomed baby #2, Eva, in October, 2016. 

Mary Fix is having a big year as a photographer. Her work is being featured in Elle Mexico, Nylon, Elle Indonesia, L'Officiel Singapore, Eileen Fisher, New York Magazine, etc. To see more, her web site is www.maryfix.com or you can follow her on instagram @maryfixfix.

John Abraham graduated from Harvard Law in the summer of 2016.

 

Class of 2005

Class Agent: Andrea Segovia

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Class of 2005 Yearbook Photo

 

Class of 2004

Class agent: Andrew Martin

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Class of 2003

Class agent: Morgan Evans

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From Class Agent Morgan Evans:

Anna Gering Vandenburg and Eric Vandenburg, both ‘03, had a baby girl and moved back to Grand Rapids last year. 

Dylan Cassard and his wife had a baby girl. Dylan also accepted a job as the Presentation Technology lead at Celebration Cinema North. 

Jennifer Walworth is getting married in August. 

Courtney Rawlings Brown got married on April 14th and is spending her honeymoon in Ireland, the UK, and Rome. She lives in Zeeland and works at Magna Mirrors in Grand Haven as an advanced manufacturing engineer.

Megan E. Smith Jovanovich traveled to Kyoto, Japan in April with her family, including sisters Jennifer (‘04) and Abby (‘09), for their brother, Andrew’s (‘09) wedding. 

Katy Schousen and Sean Roslaniec, both 2003, currently work at the same hospital in Seattle. 

Nick Schultz and his wife, Laura, retired from professional ballet dancing with Grand Rapids Ballet in December and have relocated to New Zeeland with their 2 year old to work as ballet masters with the Royal New Zeeland Ballet. 

Traci Corl Millet has gone back to work at Lakeside Elementary after being a stay-at-home mom for 10 years. 

Shannon Sutton took time off of work to travel throughout the US, New Zeeland, and Bali. 

Tricia Somerdyke put together a 3-on-3 basketball tournament for her daughter, whose team beat East Grand Rapids. 

Shelly Swainston Houghton bought a house and started her own kitchen cabinet re-finishing business. She also spends time with her 3 kids playing soccer, and with her husband who is almost one year cancer free.

Sarah Faasse is getting married in Grand Rapids in November. She is also working on her pediatric gastroenterology internship and applying for pediatric transplant hematology internships. 

Allison Miller Kaulfuss lives in Rochester Hills with her Husband and 1-year-old daughter. She currently works for Steelcase, but is transitioning into a role at her family’s business, Grand Rapids Chair, as a member of the product development team. 

Katie Lich MacCallum recently returned to work in Pharmaceuticals for R&D after staying home with her kids for 4 years. 

Sam Rhodes Verplank is living in Spring Lake and working in real estate. 

Rosa Vinas Crawford lives in Colorado with her kids. She is a portfolio manager and real estate broker. In her free time, she trains and performs circus acrobatics. 

Anna Estrada Bullis lives in Cascade with her husband and four kids. She stays busy homeschooling her kids and working part time in financial services. 

Class of 2001

Class agent: Carly Johnston

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Class of 2000

Class agent: Jane Stancil-Steele

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Brienne (Ritzenhein) Postema has helped open Carolina Lowcountry Kitchen in Gaslight Village! GR Magazine article featuring Brienne. 
 

 

1990’s

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Class of 1998

Class agent: Sarah Stiehl Tupper
20th Reunion
July 28, 2018 at Grand Rapids Downtown Market - 8pm
Reunion information and reservation

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Class of 1997

Class agent: Sarah Straveler

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The Class of '97 celebrated its 20th year since graduation with a reunion at H.O.M.E. in The BOB Saturday, August, 5, 2017. Over 90 Pioneers (excluding those still serving a study hall detention) gathered for food, fun and friendship. Truly a wonderful evening of renewal for all. Reunion activities continued Sunday with a tour of the high school and a family picnic at Manhattan Park.  Contact Sarah (Marshall) Straveler at egrclass1997@gmail.com for more information.

Class of 1997 Reunion Photo

 

Class of 1996

Class agent: Conor Dugan

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Class of 1996 Reunion Photo

 

Class of 1995

Class agent: Rachel Lee

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Class of 1995 Yearbook Photo

 

Class of 1994

Class agent: Sarah Conway

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Class of 1994 Reunion Photo

 

Class of 1993

Class agent: Margo Toms

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Class of 1993 Reunion Photo

Mike Baker married Kimberly Slendak July 3rd. Here's a picture from their wedding: 

From Class Agent Margo Toms: "Jackie (Campbell) Hanson is opening a yoga studio in Versailles, KY, called 'Yoga Room.' It turns out three people from our class live in KY: Jackie, Megan (Dembinsky) McFarland, and Mike McColl."

Class of 1992

Class agent: Geoff Laham

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Class of 1992 Reunion Photo

 

Class of 1991

Class agent: Parker Frost

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Class of 1991 Reunion Photo

 

Class of 1990

Class agent: Sarah Mulvihill

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Aaron and Amy (Bearss) Kaufman welcomed Oliver Baron Kaufman into the world on Sept. 5, 2017 at Lenox View Hospital in New York City. Oliver weighed 8lb. 14oz. and is the couple’s first child.

 

1980’s

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Class of 1989

Class agent: Please contact Maria Allen if you are interested in being the '89 Class News Agent.

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It’s time to start thinking about your 30 year class reunion! Cheri (Morse) Reid and Trish (Meade) Reid, with support from the EGR Schools Foundation and Alumni Association, are planning the event. Make sure you receive upcoming reunion information by: 

1. Joining/Following the East Grand Rapids High School - Class of 1989 Facebook page to stay up to date as we start planning.
2. Share this post on your Facebook page to help find other class members.
3. Visit the EGR Schools Foundation-Contact Us page to update your contact information.

Stay tuned for Summer 2019 save the date info!

 

Class of 1988

Class agent: Elizabeth Welch

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Class of 1986

Class agent: Tory (Stuart) Duca

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Class of 1986 Reunion Photo

 

Class of 1985

Class agent: 

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Class of 1984

Class agent: Michael Allen

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Class of 1982

Class agent: Mark Davis

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Class of 1981

Class agent: Suzanne Wickman

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Class of 1981 Reunion Photo

 

1970’s

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Class of 1977

Class agent: Lynne Marino

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Class of 1977 Reunion Photo

 

Class of 1976

Class agent: Steve Edison

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Class of 1976 Reunion Photo

 

Class of 1975

Class agent: Meg Goebel

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Class of 1975 Yearbook Photo

 

Class of 1973

Class agent: Molly Murray, Linda Siebold

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Class of 1973 Reunion Photo

DAVID BOWERS RECEIVES THE FLORIDA BAR
"GERALD T. HART OUTSTANDING TAX ATTORNEY OF THE YEAR" AWARD          

The "Gerald T. Hart Outstanding Tax Attorney of the Year Award" is presented annually by The Florida Bar Tax Section to the individual who has made “major contributions to the advancement of the practice of Tax Law and who exemplifies the highest standards of competence and integrity.” Bowers, a shareholder and Board member of Jones Foster, is a Florida Bar Board Certified Tax Attorney.  He has over thirty years of experience in estate planning, business planning and tax planning.  He is a former Chair of the Tax Section of The Florida Bar (a member for over 30 years); former Chair of the Tax Law Certification Committee of The Florida Bar; former Chair of the Palm Beach Tax Institute; and former President of the Palm Beach County Fringe Benefit Council.  He earned his law degree from Ohio Northern University and his LL.M. from the University of Florida (1981).  David is a graduate of East Grand Rapids High School 1973 in Michigan.

 

Class of 1971

Class agent: Sue (Massingham) Camp

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In spring 2015, Katie Tinkham Scheffler Lannamann, received the Planned Parenthood of Southern New England’s Everyday Hero Award.  From a Facebook post at that time by her daughter, Liz Scheffler, “My mom has worked tirelessly for years for women's reproductive justice and I couldn't be more proud to be her daughter.  Always passionate about women's rights, she has fought for reproductive justice with several organizations. She is a founding officer of the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice of Connecticut.”  Katie earned her law degree from the University of Michigan in 1978 and currently lives in Florida where she manages the Florida Interfaith Coalition for Reproductive Health.

Just this past April 8, 2018, Dr. Laura Cowan received the Steve Gould Award from the University of Maine.  The award was created in 1981 by the family and friends of Steve Gould in memory of “a man of honest and passionate concern for others.” The award is given to those who have demonstrated superior qualities of unselfishness and compassion in the course of service to the university and its ideals. Her nomination noted “that in her three decades as a member of the UMaine community, Cowan has been a leader, role model and mentor supporting women colleagues, students and staff, and committed to effecting positive change.”  Laura received her Ph.D. from Princeton in 1988 and is an Associate Professor of English at the University of Maine. She has served as the department chair and graduate coordinator. Cowan’s research focuses on literature and the environment, modernism and feminism. Her latest book is on feminist writer Rebecca West; her next volume will be on Rachel Carson.

In business news, Jeff Dixon joined Legacy Trust as Senior Vice-President for Senior Portfolio Management in September 2017.  Jeff has over 30 years’ experience in portfolio management, previously working for Comerica Wealth Management in Grand Rapids from 1987 – 2017.  Jeff serves as a Board member and Executive Committee Treasurer for Mercy Health St. Mary’s.

 

 

 

Class of 1970

Class agent: 

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1960’s

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Class of 1969

Class agent: Lisa Wenger-Menerick

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Shelley (Allen) Kohorst writes: "My husband, Bob Kohorst, has been appointed the U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Croatia.  We leave January 9th for our post."

Class of 1968

Save the Date: Reunion September 21-23, 2018

50th Reunion Information

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Class of 1967

Class agent: Margaret Idema

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Class of 1967 - 50th Reunion

A special evening celebrated by the '67 alumni at Kent Country Club September 30, 2018.

From Class Agent Margaret Idema:

"In June of 2017, I traveled for three weeks in Alaska with a friend with whom I have done a number of adventuresome trips. For the first 10 days, we rented a little Nissan pickup truck and traveled overland from Anchorage up to Denali (formerly Mt. McKinley), to Fairbanks and back to Anchorage to get our flight to Haines. There we met our group of 8 others (plus 3 guides) for 13 days of rafting in some of the most remote parts of both the Yukon Territory as well as southeast Alaska where we ended the trip. One of the most surprising things to me was that we didn’t see one other person the entire time! That’s how remote we were. The sun never set (we were there during the summer solstice) but we didn’t mind the long twilight 'nights.' We’d just lie back on our sleeping bags often listening to calving glaciers or birds looking for mates. We came upon brown bear (ie, grizzly bear) tracks on many of our day hikes and saw a few bears from a safe distance at other times. A memorable moment was watching a bald eagle soaring overhead, swooping around for a moment or two before diving near our raft to pick up its dinner of salmon. What a thrill it was to experience such remote areas of Alaska that most people never have a chance to see."

 

Class of 1966

Class agent: Gary McInerney

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Class of 1966 Reunion Photo

 

Class of 1965

Class agent: Mike Sebastian

Visit the Class of 1965 Website

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Class of 1965 Reunion Photo

Alan Silverman had a poem published in The Chronogram, A Mid-Hudson Magazine of Events and Ideas. Here's Alan's poem:

Three Reasons I Like Potholes

Birds bathe in them.
They slow people down.
If Death drives a new car
he'll think twice
before coming down my driveway.

 

Class of 1964

Class agent: Lou Murray

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Class of 1962

Class agent: Robbie VanSolkema

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Class of 1962 Reunion October 6.2017

Seated in front row is: Mr. Bert Froysland and wife Mae. He was our English Teacher.
We had people from California, Washington State, Colorado, Texas, Florida, North Carolina, Georgia and Ohio and of course Michigan. Submitted by Robalyn VanSolkema

Class of 1962 Reunion Photo

 

1950’s

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Class of 1958

Register now for the Class of 1958 - 60th Reunion

June 8-9, 2018 in Grand Rapids, MI

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Class of 1957

Class agent: Libby Headrick

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The Class of 1957 held their 60th Class Reunion over the October 13 & 14th weekend. Friday night was a beautiful evening so about 30 people took the bus to the football field to witness a celebration for our own Dave Mehney, who was honored at his retirement after 28 years as freshman football coach. Following the ceremony we traveled back to our old High School (which is now Wealthy Elementary School) to tour the facility, enjoy “Yesterdogs” and all their trimmings, and reminisce with old friends.

Saturday afternoon about 40 people enjoyed a light luncheon and tour of the Brookby House (also known as the Blodgett Estate). For those who attended, the experience was extremely rewarding and informative.

 Saturday evening found 70 classmates and spouses at Reds at Thousand Oaks. We had folks from California, New Mexico, Oregon, Texas, South Carolina, Nevada, Kentucky and Florida. In spite of the inclement weather, all enjoyed a delicious meal and lots of conversation. Our delightful MC, Chuck Jennings, led us in invocation, and entertaining tidbits from days gone by.

 All in all, the weekend was perfect. Everyone enjoyed themselves and it was so good to catch up with old friends. We are now busy working on a class directory and will mail a copy to all our classmates when it is available.

Before the 2017 Homecoming football game, Dave Mehney was honored for his 28 years of service as an East Grand Rapids football coach. Surrounded by family, friends, fellow coaches, and many of his former players, Mehney used the occasion to thank everyone who had helped him along the way.

Near the end of his remarks, Mehney also made a big announcement: He’s pledging $100,000 to the East Grand Rapids Schools Foundation in the form of a matching gift. “I’m pledging to match every dollar that’s donated up to $100,000,” Mehney said to the crowd including his 1957 classmates who were in attendance, “and I’m hoping you’ll soak me for all of that amount.”

Dave Mehney at 2017 Homecoming Game
Class of 1957 55th Reunion Photo

 

Class of 1956

Class agent: Sue Allen

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Class of 1956 Reunion Photo

 

Class of 1955

Class agent: Ren Brander

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Class of 1955 Reunion Photo

From Class Agent Ren Brander:

"For the last few years I have volunteered for work projects with the Sierra Club in the west. This year when unable to get the assignment I had hoped, I expanded google search for volunteer opportunities worldwide. This led me to www.wearebamboo.com. After reviewing the material and especially the reviews and discussing it with the US representative, I decided 'Two Countries: Thailand and Cambodia, for over 50’s' was the best choice.  For two weeks we saw the most beautiful temples in Bangkok, mingled with Thailand’s gentle giants the elephants in 'the elephant village,' visited Cambodia’s World Heritage site of Angkor Wat, and built a palm house for a family outside Siem Reap, Cambodia.  In Siem Reap we visited a most fascinating organization that trains HeroRats able to detect landmines and TB.  Find out the fascinating information at www.apopo.org. All this with 20 lovely people 3 of which were from the US, the rest from the UK."

Longtime friends Dave Berles and Glen Young met up this spring at an East girls tennis match. It was the first one Glen had attended. Fortunately, Dave has been to a few over the years, so he knew exactly what Glen should wear.

 

Class of 1953

Class agent: John Rose

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Class of 1953 Reunion Photo

Ted Luce writes from Lafayette, Indiana: 

"We're in our seventh year operating an Honor Flight out of Lafayette.  I've been a part of it since its beginning.   As a retired Army Lieutenant Colonel, I had a vested interest in this program.  It has been my way of giving back.

"You can only speculate on the degree of pride we have being able to say that we've taken over 1600 war veterans to Washington, DC to see the memorials to their service.  We started taking WWII veterans.  After a few years, their numbers began to diminish, so we added Korea veterans, and now we take Viet Nam veterans as well.  The emotions run high with some of the Viet Nam vets confronting their memorial wall for the first time.  We gave these guys the parade they never got, and now, we see Viet Nam vets all over town wearing their hats proclaiming their pride in their service to their country in that war."  

 

Class of 1952

Class agent: Elizabeth Crosby

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Class of 1952 Reunion Photo

From Betty Jo (Muir) Crosby: "The Class of '52 had to develop 'Plan B' after their Saturday night reunion dinner on October 7 at the University Club was canceled because of a power outage in downtown Grand Rapids. An impromptu reunion planning meeting was held in the parking lot at the Fifth Third Bank building with cell phones going at full speed. The party was moved to Kent Country Club where a very good time was had by all who made the connection. Alumni from Florida, North Carolina, California, New Mexico and Wisconsin as well as the 'local' alumni attended the reunion, which was the 65th for the class."

 

Class of 1951

Class agent: Jean Swaney

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A few 1950 and 1951 alumnae gathered in August to reconnect and reminisce. 
Standing: Fran (Whinery) Hall, '51, Patti (Sligh) Ver Sluis, '51, Sandy (Reynalds) Olds, '50, Jean (Grigware) Swaney, '51, and Judy (Ford) Landman, '51
Seated: Nancy (Bosch) Bow, '51 and Susie (Fentress) Allen, '50

 

1940’s

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Class of 1948

Class agent: Bob Allaben

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Class of 1948 Reunion Photo

 

Class of 1947

Class agent: William Kopp

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