Colgate '73 50th Class Reunion


“Our Reunion Never Ends!”

~ from Pete Stassa’s 50th Reunion Video

Pete Stassa has done it again! Pete added favorite photos from our 50th Reunion celebration to the movie he created and premiered at our Saturday night dinner.  Take a front-row seat and watch the enhanced movie here:

October 3, 2023 Update

We write on behalf of the 18 other members of our 50th Reunion Executive Committee as a post-Golden Anniversary message to all classmates.

Come Together was both our 50th Yearbook and Reunion theme, and that ambition was embraced joyously and vigorously by the nearly 225 classmates, spouses, partners, and friends who journeyed to Colgate and enjoyed our celebration together in June.

To our delight, more than 140 classmates returned, the largest 50th Reunion turnout in Colgate’s history. Class spirits abounded, in several dimensions! Great credit goes to Jim Geiger, Goose Barnes, Hoppy White, and the class captains for so effectively promoting reunion attendance.

We praised and celebrated a 50th Anniversary Yearbook that is second to none, thanks to the extraordinary efforts of classmates Roger, Eleanor, and Steve; and the fabulous design and production by Margie Palladino ’82, who also designed and supported this website with Bill. We will keep our class website alive until the end of this year—be sure to check back periodically for class and post-reunion news.

Friday’s events included class-sponsored panel discussions about the state of media today;  music of our era; a retrospective with legendary faculty who taught and inspired us. Each one had an overflowing audience. Thank you to planners Jim Sowers, Andi, and Susan.

We dined as guests of President Casey in a tent at the top of the old golf course with incredible views of the campus, the village, and the surrounding bucolic hills and valleys.

At that dinner, our Class Gift tri-chairs, Tom, Faust, and Paul presented President Casey with our class gift. The final confirmed and audited tally was $6.779 million. They also announced that class gift participation reached nearly 78%, an incredible outcome and testimony to the generosity and support of our 275 class donors. Our class had the third largest 50th Reunion class participation rate, only exceeded decades earlier by the classes of 1944 and 1958, respectively.  Howard, Mike, and several class captains pitched in and made a huge difference in securing a record level number of class donors .

We also reported that the two challenges offered by 10 classmates were fully met and fully funded, all to the benefit of today’s Colgate student body. The first challenge matched, dollar-for-dollar, up to $1.3 million, every gift made in the past three months; and the second offering was a bonus of $173,00 as an extra gift to Colgate IF we achieved at least 73% class gift participation, which we did.

We are overwhelmed and gratified by these remarkable outcomes. Thank you to each of you who responded and made Colgate a giving priority in our 50th Reunion year.

And in a very nice surprise, Hamilton’s Mayor, Ruth Ann Loveless, declared Saturday, June 3, 2023, as the Class of ’73 Day in the Village of Hamilton. That is 50 years to the day of our graduation in 1973!

After our class led the Torchlight Parade of all reunion classes down the hill to our respective tents, the Frank Meyer Trio and a host of talented class musicians entertained us well into the night. This live performance was another reverberating touch of music that Keith Sinusas wove into the year leading up to Reunion and during our class gathering all weekend, augmented by a class playlist to sing along with as we traveled to campus for our Reunion.

Saturday morning featured a poignant and inspiring Service of Remembrance and Celebration of Life in memory of 60 deceased members of our class. Beautifully arranged by Roger, with program participation by classmates Rev. Michael Hilbert, Eleanor McNees, Roger, Rev. Lex Targtaglia, and the daughter of fallen classmate, Rick Caprio, it was a moving and emotional tribute to those classmates no longer with us.

Roger’s remarks can be found here, and Michael’s remarks can be found here.

Our afternoon included a reprise of the launch of the Honcho rocket which soared high above the Chenango Valley and then parachuted to earth just 75 yards from its launch. Unlike the 1972 inaugural launch, no mouse-tronaut was on board this time. Kudos to Steve, Pete, Keith, Don, and crew for this distinctive part of our Reunion celebration. It was a metaphor for the soaring spirits of our class all weekend.

We also joined at an event honoring this year’s Alumni Council Volunteers, including classmate Fausto Miraglia who received a Maroon Citation for his decades of fundraising and service to our class.

Saturday concluded with a class dinner in the Class of 1965 Arena. Beyond acknowledging all the volunteers who made this weekend a huge success, and saluting several faculty members who taught and mentored our class and were our special guests for dinner, we had two uncommon highlights after dinner: Roger provided his perspective on developing our 50th Yearbook in collaboration with Eleanor and Steve, and his reflections about the national and Colgate environments during our undergraduate years and now. Roger’s class dinner remarks can be found here. I commend its reading. 

The formal part of the weekend concluded Saturday night with Pete Stassa’s 50th Reunion video. It held our rapt attention for 25 minutes and received a rousing ovation for its stunning capture of our classmates and Colgate over five decades – a half century. We know Pete’s talents; but this video is the best of all. Bravo, Pete. And thank you, Kevin, for your special help.

Pete’s video can be found above on this Home Page and on the Video Page. As a bonus, Pete added to the video on October 3, 2023, a mix of photos from our 50th Reunion. Thank you for sending in your favorite photos of Reunion Weekend. Enjoy the updated video (link is above).

Three final thoughts before ending:

Marc Gettis has been an unequaled class news editor and the glue who has connected our class for as long as we can remember. Keep in touch with him and continue to provide him with updates on your lives.

None of what we all experienced this past weekend would have been possible without the professionalism, support, and attention to detail by Colgate’s invaluable staff, especially Jen Stone, Jillian Cole, Bob Tyburski, Andrew Coddington, Michelle Jacobson, and Shelby Doyle. All stars, each one of them. We are indebted beyond words to them; to President Casey and Vice President Karl Clauss; and to so many others who enhance and protect the Colgate spirit and our common bonds.

Setting, architecture, climate, mentors, friendships, memories, habits of mind. Some of these elements can be found at other colleges and universities. Together, they are the unique DNA of our Alma Mater.

Congratulations, classmates. An exceptional reunion with exceptional people—our classmates.

With best wishes,
Ron Joyce and Bill Barnaskas

Our Class website will be live until December 31, 2023.

In Our Own Words

Our Colgate Memories and Reflections
(included in entries for our 50th Reunion Yearbook)

I had the obscure honor of hosting an early-morning radio show on WRCU under the moniker of "Dicky Deke" – and it was in that vinyl-crowded broadcast room that I became familiar with British rockers like Humble Pie, Bloodwyn Pig, early Free, Mott the Hoople, and Soft Machine. I usually opened with Peaches en Regalia from Frank Zappa's Hot Rats album – which was brilliant by the way – may he rest in perpetual peace! It was always a gas getting pre-dawn requests for Jumpin' Jack Flash!

Bill Grotevant

Colgate was still in the throes of the hippie era in 1973 when two former Phi Gamma Delta guys and I rented a little farmhouse in Solsville for $75 from which we commuted along the winding country road to campus. Having gone to an all-girls’ boarding school and then for the first two years to Skidmore, I found myself suddenly in a distinct minority with almost all men in my English and Philosophy classes. Somehow it seemed natural; I didn’t experience any visible discrimination from my teachers or fellow students. Colgate taught me the benefits of coeducation and prepared me to enter an academic profession where I insisted on being treated equally.

Eleanor McNees

When Tari and I got engaged at Christmas time in 1972, I returned for the Jan Plan and received a special engagement gift from some of my brazen Dodge Halls freshmen. I won't name names, but several broke into the Hall of Presidents and removed the portrait of Ebeneezer Dodge, presenting it as a gift at about 2 a.m., one January morning. I hid President Dodge in my room for several months (despite inquiries about the purloined art from Jack Clifford, Director of Security!). Mysteriously, President Dodge reappeared in the Hall of Presidents just before the end of the semester, none the worse for wear.

Ron Joyce

Thank you and RIP, Classics major Aaron Pritchard '71 for introducing me to Colgate, and my first drink, which helped prepare my Colgate experience.

Steve Worthy

Time has shown the benefits of a liberal arts education. The world continues to change at ever-increasing speed. I sincerely believe Colgate's education prepares students to be able to adjust and succeed in such an environment. My appreciation of a Colgate education only increases over time.

Bill Barnaskas

Olin had given us a building, and a new electron microscope. I was one of the first five students allowed to touch it. One spring weekend, nano preparations and imaging demanded 72 hours straight processing, maybe 8 to 10 hours sitting to slice off a 1200 angstrom thin sample. I was the only guy to get an image. When the electron microscope marathon was over, I felt great. I thought “Geez, I’m so sorry it took 3.5 years to discover something that I love so much and can be really good at.”

Sean Hallahan

Picture this

Photo Gallery

Visit the Photos page to view the full photo gallery and the Videos Page to view classic Pete Stassa videos. 

Got photos to share?

Upload them on the photo submission page.

Thank You

Our Reunion Volunteers

Executive Committee:

Ron Joyce (Committee Chair)
Bill Barnaskas (Webmaster)
Mike Barnes (Reunion Attendance)
Andrea Brown (Program)
Roger A. Ferlo (Yearbook Editor)
Jim Geiger (Reunion Attendance)
Marc Gettis (Class News Editor)
Susan V. Mahoney (Program)
Eleanor McNees (Yearbook)
Fausto V. Miraglia (Gift Committee Co-Chair)
Paul Raeder (Planned Giving)
Howard Schiffman (Gift Committee)
Tom Seligson (Gift Committee Co-Chair)
Keith Sinusas (Music)
Kevin Sio (Social Media)
Jim Sowers (Program Chair)
Pete Stassa (Video)
Michael Walsh (At large)
Patrick White (Reunion Attendance)
Steve Worthy (Yearbook)

Class Captains:

Bill Barnaskas
Mike Barnes
Dave Brask
Debbie Ciampi
Bill Cornachio
Bruce Feron
Rob Gould
Leslie Hathaway
John Hecker
Jerry Jasko
Tony Johns
Bill Johnston
Ron Joyce
Bob Litts
Steve Maloy
Michael Marinaccio
George O’Shea
Daniel Ornt
Rich Sarajian

Golf Tournament Organizer:

Rob Ackerman