Tuesday, October 22, 2013

What A Class

I don’t know how many of you attend your class reunions.   I have never attended a class reunion.  There were close to 1,000 members in my graduating class from Penn Hills High School. I enjoyed those days at one the largest high schools in the state, but sometimes I envy those who had small classes and continue to stay in touch.   I’m told they demolished the old building and have a state of the art new one, so I will never walk those old halls again.

After I tossed the tassel at Slippery Rock State College, Corrine and I moved on to our new life as newlyweds.   The funny thing about our courtship is that she and I attended the same high school but never knew each other.   Truth is I knew who she was, but she didn’t know me.   We met ‘officially” on the first day of college.   Best thing that ever happened to me.   You would think we would have made it back for a reunion, but no.   Slippery Rock is now a university, which makes no sense to me.   But I was pleased to see one of the players for the St. Louis Cardinals was drafted out of Slippery Rock!

I graduated the first time from Princeton Theological Seminary in 1973.   The second time was when I received my Doctorate of Ministry in 1990.   The class of 1973 was once labeled, “the worse class ever to come through seminary.”    In some ways the recognition is deserved.   Those were turbulent times.   The summer before I arrived the students had locked the Trustees in the library conference room and would not let them out until they made a statement condemning the war in Vietnam.   Eventually the trustees survived the ordeal but never made any public announcement.

Members of our class often led the community protests and three of our own were  arrested by the FBI for pouring cement onto a railroad switch in an effort to prevent the construction of munitions at the at the foundry in Pennsylvania.    Like I said, turbulent times to study the Bible and theology.

And yet, out of the class of 73 came some of most amazing people I have ever known.  Many went on to lead large and prestigious churches all across America.   Some moved on to become professors, or lawyers, a College President and heads of major foundations, like the Lilly Foundation.   It was quite a class and I’m proud to be a part of it.

So, for the first time ever, and thanks for the gift you provided, I will be attending my very first class reunion, the 40th Anniversary of the Class of 1973 from Princeton Theological Seminary.   The seminary even lassoed me to be on the “Reunion Committee”.    It’s been fun connecting with my old class mates inviting them to the reunion, which will include the Inauguration of our new president,  Dr. Craig Barnes.   You might remember, Dr. Barnes was with us a few years ago and remembers Sardis fondly.   I will give him your best wishes. Have you been to a class reunion? What should I expect?




  1. You may have difficulty recognizing them!

  2. Enjoy every moment with your class mates. I attended my 50th high school class reunion in July and it was wonderful. I graduated in a class of 54 students, some who had been together since kindergarten. 45 of us attended including our exchange student from South America. Sharing our memories and realizing how important we were to each other from elementary school through graduation was an amazing experience.

  3. How wonderful that you were once dubbed "the worst class ever to come through seminary"! Especially since nowadays we are all agreed that there is something special and unmatched about the Princeton Seminary Class of 1973. It was a pleasure to have you back on campus!