A few Tar Heels clad in caps and gowns on Sunday weren't seniors and weren't at Kenan Stadium to graduate. After a weekend spent celebrating their 50th reunion, the class of 1957 topped off their festivities by leading in the procession of graduating seniors. The General Alumni Association hosted reunion activities during the weekend at the George Watts Hill Alumni Center for the classes of 1957, 1962, 1967 and for students who had graduated more than 50 years ago. "You always want to come back," said Mary Newsome, a member of the class of 1957 and of the planning committee for the event. "Once you've been here, there's an aura that follows you for the rest of your life." The event has been held on the same weekend as commencement for several years, giving members of the 50th class a unique opportunity to participate in the graduation ceremony, said Linda Rainey, manager of alumni activities with the GAA. Many of the reunion's attendees were members of the class of 1957, with 182 registered. The weekend marked the passing of 50 years since they graduated as well as their induction into the Old Students Club, an organization for those who graduated 50 years ago or more. Mary Elmendorf, a 1937 graduate said she saw two members of her class at the reunion. She added that the University is different from when she attended. "We women all had to live in Spencer and we had special rules," she said. "We all had to be in by 11 o'clock and eat all our meals in Spencer." The reunion's seminars, campus tours, lunches and dinners provide alumni a way to stay connected to the University, said Ann-Louise Aguiar, coordinator of alumni travel with the GAA. Rainey said funding for the events came from the GAA, from participant fees and from an endowment. She said that with funding coming from several sources, she couldn't give an estimate of the cost. Marian Kitchin, of the class of 1957, said she enjoyed the Old Students Club Luncheon. "It was great. I can't believe we had all that free food," she said. At the luncheon, about 550 people filled a large dining room and chatted with former classmates. After lunch, Kitchin and others congregated in the lobby of the Alumni Center, looking for familiar faces and talking. "So much of it looks the same, that's what is so neat," she said of campus. Kitchin said the 50th reunion marked the last time the GAA would organize a reunion for her class, but she still plans on coming back. Contact the University Editor at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Alumni usher in new class of graduates
Class of 1957 reunites at GAA
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