Class of 1969
President's Letter



My Fellow Sixty-Niners:

Graduation from Oberlin is not just a rite of passage, but of consecration.  The task of Obies like us, our noblest purpose, is not simply to achieve individual success, knowledge, or even happiness, but rather to transform in some modest way the world around us, to elevate and redeem it through creative acts of redemption, and thereby transform and redeem ourselves.

Unlike other colleges and institutions of higher learning, this monastic enclave has been charged since inception with a utopian sense of moral mission, a pervasive idealism about character and conduct, authenticity and meaning that takes root and embeds deeply inside us during four years of youthful incubation.  It leaves an indelible imprint, a genetic encoding, that works its internal alchemy to shape who we become, what we do, how we do it and, as we pause to ponder after fifty years, why.

The worldly virtues of expediency and pragmatism are subordinate to virtue itself.  Here a moral map, an aesthetic vision, however unarticulated or unconscious, unfolds within.  This is the glue that binds us all together, even today, decades later.  It is our shared DNA of mission, purpose, conviction, and ultimately sacrifice beyond the realm of mere ambition.  We are the converted.  We are the infused.  We are the undeterred.  We are the sanctified.  We are the possessed.  We are the Sixty-Niners.


Plans for our 50th Class Reunion in May 2019 are now underway.

As our reunion approaches, my correspondence by necessity must become more transmittal in nature, fulfilling the ministerial duties of my office, and thereby less creative.  I apologize in advance and will do my best to steer a middle course.

Our Vice-President, Carol McLaughlin Fishwick, and I have joined several enterprising classmates on a Reunion Committee chaired by our Class Agent, Walt Galloway.

Walt brings decades of leadership experience to our collective undertaking and we're fortunate to have him at the helm.

Our committee and college reps all convened on campus for three days this past September.

The other members of the RC, alphabetically by first name, are:  Bill Treuhaft, Biz Harralson, Bob Shay, Bonnie Wishne, Chip Hauss, Christie Seltzer Fountain, David Eisner, Debbie Kent Stein, Debby Roosevelt, Deidre Carr, Diane Vannais, Ellen Hill, Gail Treesiwin, George Spencer-Green, John Bowman, John Kramer, Les Leopold, Lynn Higgins, Mike Jarvis, Mike Lubas, Mimi Lam, Sid Comings and Tom Thomas.  We're well-staffed by an outstanding college team:  Meena Ghaziasgar, Director of Alumni Relations, Alan Goldman, Associate Director of Gift Planning, Ann Deppman, Director of Gift Planning, and Danielle Young, Executive Director of Oberlin Alumni Association.

We were amazed, although not surprised, how quickly we all reconnected:  the glue is still intact — this was a mini-reunion.  We also welcomed our remarkable new President, Carmen Ambar.  These are exciting times at Oberlin.

Robert Krulwich and I watched Carmen dazzle a packed ballroom of enthusiastic Obies at the New York Hilton last October.

Our goal is to make our 50th Class Reunion more than a typical gathering, merely toasting an idealized past, but rather a living interpersonal experience in the present.  We'll assemble a dynamic mix of diverse and creative people who share deep roots not simply to be recalled, but reactivated as a catalyst for engagement.  In the process, we will rediscover our commonality and our differences — and celebrate both.

Back to Top

Continue to Spring 2018 Letter

Return to Reunion Website