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Table of Contents

Support Students, Support Transformation

Russia's Abandoned Children

When the Saints Came Marching Home!

Alumni Accomplishments

The Kenya Connection

Laurentian Reviews

Table of Contents

 When the Saints Came Marching Home!
By Eunice Kelly

 I recently accompanied my hero to his 50 th reunion at St. Lawrence University. It wasn’t easy getting him there. When the reservation form came in, he kept tossing it and I kept retrieving it.

Excuses, excuses, excuses. The classmates who were his true buddies were not going. The date was rife with conflicts. It was a five-hour trip. His fraternity was no longer on campus. He wouldn’t know anybody.

I believe that a 50 th reunion is an important rite of passage. If you are walking, talking and breathing, and your alma mater throws you a party, you should make an effort to show up. It’s a chance for reflection on past and present and a brief encounter with your own mortality. Only the well-examined life gives meaning to the journey.

Besides, I love reunions, especially those of other people. To stop his nagging spouse, he relented and sent back the crumpled, garbage-stained reservation form. He owes me for my persistence. He had a ball.

St. Lawrence is a university that knows how to get all gussied up and strut its stuff for its returning alums. He hadn’t been on campus since his 25 th, and he was in awe of the progress reflected, not only in stone and mortar, but also in devotion to student-focused academic excellence.

The man who wasn’t going to know anyone knew everyone. The four-day event, a time span we feared would compel us to dwell too long in the land of reminiscence, flew by. So has half a century.

He was handed an elaborate reunion packet that included a charming memory book. I read it cover to cover. My hero never turned a page. I conducted an informal survey and concluded not paying attention to packets is a guy thing.

At social events, I would introduce a fact gleaned from the memory book and women present would recognize my reference point. They had read the book. Nary a guy had a clue as to the source of my information.

Real men don’t use campus maps either. I never left the room without it. My hero never knew he had one. The fact that when he graduated St. Lawrence had 10 campus buildings, and now boasted 69, didn’t compromise his faith in winging it.

The feminist in me noticed two returning males to every woman. At first I feared something in the North Country was causing women to die off quicker, but the reason was less lethal. In his senior year there were 831 men and 440 women on campus.

The distancing of women showed up in other statistics. Back in 1954, a male athlete had seven varsity teams for which to vie. Women had one. Today, men have 16, women 15, with one (riding) that is coed. In 1954, women constituted 14 percent of the faculty, while today they represent 45 percent.

The only figures that made comparisons other than celebratory were those involving tuition. In 1954, tuition, room and board totaled $1,360. In 2003-2004, it totaled $35,945.

I don’t have the exact statistics, but I can give you the gist of a comment made by the president, Daniel F. Sullivan, at a talk for alums. In answer to a question on cost, he explained that while the greatest percentage of students pay in the middle $20,000 range, even those paying full tuition are subsidized. The actual cost to the institution for each student is about $60,000. Wow!


Excerpted and adapted with permission from The Valley News, Bristol, Conn., June 17, 2004. The writer, longtime author of the paper’s column “View from my window,” is the wife of “my hero,” Francis K. “Bud” Kelly ’54.