North Central College - Naperville, IL

Proud to be a member of the Class of 1963

Time flies when you’re having fun. That might be the motto of the Class of 1963, the latest North Central College graduating class to be inducted into the 50-Year Club at Homecoming.

Thirty-four class members joined five alumni dating back to the Class of 1948 for dinner, the official induction ceremony and the Homecoming concert. The 50-Year Club tradition dates back to June 1, 1962, when 30 alumni first gathered as a “club” to share fond memories, enjoy a banquet and attend Commencement. Genevieve Towsley ’28, who wrote a column about the event for The Naperville Sun, reported that there were three members of the Class of 1896 on hand for the event.

For Homecoming 2013, 40 members the Class of 1963 (plus 19 spouses) gathered again on Saturday night at the A.A. Smith House. After a reception and student musical performance inside the house, a catered dinner was held in a tent outside. This enabled the class to continue a tradition of finding a unique venue that had never before been used for a reunion.

“We have a long tradition of holding our reunions in unusual places,” says Karen Johnson ’63, class representative and cochair of the reunion. “When I heard about the opportunity to use the A.A. Smith House my eyes just lit up.” (Their 45th reunion was held at Clow International Airport in Bolingbrook, IL, and Chuck Classen ’63 and his wife Norma arrived in their plane.)

The class takes pride in the friendships that grew among friends from so many different backgrounds, says Fawn Dabrowski ’63 Hewitt. “In thinking about the reunion, I'm struck by how much genuine affection members of our class hold for each other,” she says. “Our bonds from North Central were so strong and enduring, and we really do still care about each other 50 years later—that was so obvious.”

Among the high points of the weekend for Johnson was helping Jim Bambule ’63, her cochair, announce the class gift so far: $1.4 million, which brought a gasp from the audience at the 50-Year Club. “We’re not done yet,” Bambule told the crowd.

Bambule adds that he found an unexpected high point he’ll always remember. “At the Sunday worship service in Koten Chapel, the sermon delivered by our classmate, Rev. Gary Dusek ’63, was very moving,” he says. “His message was relevant to both the students and to the members of the 50-Year Club.

“It was just one more time that I was proud to be a member of the Class of 1963.”