The Wire @ WPI Online
VOLUME 11, NO. 2     SEPTEMBER 1997

All Fired Up About Reunion '97

This year's Reunion program offered something for everyone, with special events geared to younger alumni and fun food and entertainment for children. The mix of events covered a broad spectrum from elegant to informal. While the 50-Year Associates dressed up for cocktails and hors d'oeuvres on Beechtree Circle at sunset Friday evening, the Class of '67 threw a pub party in Gompei's Place, with plenty of pasta and pizza. Members of the Class of Ś72 were welcomed back by Bernie and Gayle Brown, who hosted a class party at their home on Saturday.

A New England Clambake at Higgins House Friday night had alumni donning lobster bibs and relaxing to the bluegrass beat of Slo-Grass. On Saturday, in addition to the traditional parade, a Young Alumni Reunion Party on the Quad offered clowns, face-painting, and a make-your-own-sundae buffet designed to please the smaller set, while their parents enjoyed a barbecue, sunshine and conversation.


Class of '17 Attendance Cup:

Class of 1947; Runner-up, Class of 1937

Hospitality Suite Award:

1st place, Class of 1957; 2nd place (tie), 1947 and 1967; 3rd place 1937

Stephen J. Hebert '61 Golf Trophy:

Joseph L. Ferrantino '67

Women's low gross: Deborah Hebert

Class Gifts (totals as of Reunion Weekend)

Class of 1957 40th Anniversary Gift $2,332,697

(First $2 million gift!!!)

Class of 1947 50th Anniversary Gift $203,315

($100,000 to a symposium on Excellence in Teaching)

A 75th for Herr -

John "Jack" Herr '22 is an elder statesman among WPI's 50-Year Associates, who often earns recognition as the oldest alumnus in attendance at campus events. This year, the 96-year-old took his place at the head of the Reunion Parade to celebrate the 75th anniversary of his graduation. A mechanical engineering major and an engineer with American Steel and Wire Co. for 40 years, Herr recalls riding a cableway over the Colorado River in the 1930s to inspect construction in progress on the Hoover Dam.

While waiting for the parade to begin, Herr reminisced about a smaller, greener WPI. "Those buildings weren't here when I graduated," he said. "The gymnasium was only half done."

Herr visits campus at least once a year from his home in Branford, Conn.

- and a 25th for her

"It was just a fluke," insists Lesley Small Zorabedian '72, who holds a special place in WPI history as the first woman to earn a bachelor's degree after trustees voted to admit women in 1968. "It had to be someone. I was just in the right place at the right time. But I'm proud to be a little footnote in the history of WPI."

Zorabedian matriculated along with Jayne Rossetti, who left WPI before graduation. In her sophomore year, 24 more women enrolled, and 15 earned bachelor's degrees in 1973.

Through service on the Alumni Council and her Reunion Committee, Zorabedian has kept in touch with her classmates, whom she recalls as "a nice bunch of guys." She even married one of them‹John Zorabedian Jr. They have two children and live in Reading, Mass.

From WW II to WWW:
'47 turns 50

The generation that survived D-day now sends e-mail. They were a small class, shuffled from college to college by the military, often drafted before they could graduate. "We were down to 12 in the class at one point," recalls Ed Begley. "I was the only one in my Spanish class. I sat at the professor's desk, in his office. You had to do your homework!"

Still, 40 of the faithful returned to celebrate their 50th Reunion, where they surprised everyone by scooping up the Class of Ś17 Attendance Cup, with 32 percent of the class attending. The 50-Year-Associates inducted these newest members with bronze medallions presented at a banquet Friday night. A special guest, dear to the hearts of V-12ers, was Professor Emeritus Albert Schwieger, former head of the WPI naval training unit.

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Last modified: Mon Oct 20 12:25:26 EDT 1997