So the title of this post isn’t as narcissistic as it sounds — really. Let me explain.
Did you know that the Class of ’76 has a bit of a reputation? We’re rumored to be, as a group, a bit more cynical, a lot less involved with Wesleyan, and generally more averse to any kind of volunteerism (at least as far as our alma mater goes). We have been known to get out our checkbooks during fund drives, but on the whole that’s the extent of our involvement.
That’s why I say it’s meaningful that I became class secretary. Our first three secretaries (Dave Terrie, Byron Haskins, and Mitch Marinello) were all involved with Wesleyan life when we were students. I’d be willing to bet that most of us knew at least two of them, and many of us knew all three. I’m also willing to bet that most of you didn’t know me, or knew me only by sight. I was one of those “background students” who didn’t leave much of a mark during my time on campus.
I’m probably the last class member who should serve as secretary, yet here I am! Why is that? So many of our classmates have disengaged from Wesleyan as an institution. We keep in touch with the friends we made there; we hold our own sporadic mini-reunions, but that’s it. We don’t send in information for class notes, and we don’t attend official reunions. We rely on people like Mike Donnella and Byron Haskins to do all the heavy lifting.
Let me urge you to re-engage with Wesleyan and the Class of 1976. Becoming Class Secretary and working with the Reunion Committee has been a surprisingly satisfying experience for me. Reconnecting with classmates I never really knew on campus has been more fun that I ever expected. More importantly, it has allowed me to reassess the importance of Wesleyan in my life and to appreciate what a very special place it is. If you’ve relegated your memories of Wes to that “Better To Forget” folder in your brain, haul it back out and open it! I promise you that there are wonderful memories inside.
No one is thrilled with the idea of a Zoom-based 45th reunion, but we’ve done our best to make it as interesting as possible. The good news is that you can attend for free — no airfare, no hotel rooms! So please log on and join us. Come back and take another look at the place that helped make you who you are. Come back and tell the rest of us what you’ve been doing — not the LinkedIn version, but the personal story. We’d love to see you again!
Karen Williams Harmin ’76