Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Sudden, Sad News to Report

On the heels of our reunion, we have just learned of the passing of Dave Ferguson, former class president and trustee candidate, who died Sunday. Many at the reunion had heard of his battle with brain cancer, but the news still comes as a great shock.

Dave was one of the most accomplished and popular members of the class, which makes the loss all the more difficult to take, especially as a sad closing to the 30th reunion weekend.

I will be preparing a remembrance for the next edition of the alumni magazine, which goes to press within the next several days. Bill Rawson and other friends are helping. Please send me any comments you have via e-mail to apjmk@aol.com.

A page on Dave, prepared for his run for trustee last year, can be accessed here.

Bill Rawson (e-mail link) knows more family details for those who wish to make contact.

Monday, May 30, 2005

Reunion Enjoyed By All -- Turnout Was Great!

Here's a quick post at the end of the Memorial Day weekend to report that the reunion was a great success, with a surprisingly large turnout. My unofficial count was 78 classmates, and the Saturday night dinner crowd with relatives and friends swelled to around 130 or so.

By 30th reunion standards, that qualifies as huge. And the fun certainly qualified as extraordinary. We had great programs, excellent food (lobster!) and the final Sunday morning Conversation provided enough inspiration to keep everyone going for another five years.

I will have more to say, as I compile my final set of Class Notes later this week. Thanks to Grant Haskell for a great party, and thanks to all who came and communed at TD.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Call Off the Alarm on Attendance

I was guilty of ringing the alarm bell on attendance, but now see the (near) final list and am immensely relieved. We should see somewhere around 60 to 70 classmates, and with spouses, kids and other guests, the Saturday night dinner could swell to 130-plus.

So, not bad for a 30th, the reunion sages say.

I was about to type all the names in here, but that will have to wait until the weekend. Have to prepare for the Conversations by re-reading my own book from five years ago.


Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Time for the Real Conversations -- At Last

A few days from now, we will finally engage in real, face-to-face "Conversations" at the big (we hope) 30th reunion. We have a couple of sessions planned -- one on Friday evening to get things started and a final send-off on Sunday morning.

I have a feeling, after compiling your Class Notes the past five years, that there is a lot left for us to say. The story that first came together in the 25th reunion book has continued to play out in the quarterly Notes installments since. Life changes abound -- career switches, spiritual transformations, divorces, new marriages, relocations, kids to college, new babies (believe or not), and sad passings.

Amid the change, I have been left to wonder -- what has this 30-year investment of ours amounted to? If our diplomas were mortgages, we'd be burning them. And hoping to be "free and clear." But the changes suggest we're nowhere near finished. What have these Amherst-sown "lives of distinction" produced? What more is there to do?

We have pursued our careers in medicine, the law, the media, government and business, while the world has gotten more complicated, less livable, less equitable, less compassionate. Did we take our eye off the ball? Weren't we supposed to save the world? Perhaps we focus on our own little worlds just to find some comfort and running room.

And then the change consumes (distracts) us.

Did the world expect more from us? Did we expect more from ourselves? Let’s talk about it. Are we happy? Are we too hard on ourselves? Which is it?

Have we challenged ourselves enough? Have we pursued our ideals or simply settled for success? Do we have enough left, after a 30-year investment, to challenge ourselves to do something bigger and-or better?

Some topics:

Perspective. How has our view of the world – and our place in it – changed, or not, in 30 years?

Love and marriage.


Work vs. Fun.


Health in middle age. Physical and mental.

Religion in middle age. Reason vs. Faith.

Death. Three stories since the 25th.

Amherst. What did it really mean? Did it propel us, inspire us, or just label us?

Am I being provocative enough? Come prepared to air it out. See you all soon.