If you’ve been to any of your alma mater’s alumni events in recent years, you’ve heard coach-turned-cheerleader Mike Calhoun proclaim Georgetown’s graduates “the best in the world.” He believes it.
For the last six months though – as the alumni association director looked ahead to another 50th class reunion at commencement, there’s extra fervor in Calhoun’s voice for the Class of ’57. “It’s an extraordinary class – both in terms of what they’ve done with their lives and their loyalty to the school,” Calhoun said.
He couldn’t pick the usual two-to-four candidates to sound the call for May 11-12. So he named – it seems – at least a baker’s dozen.
That alone could bring “home” a record number of golden-agers. But, “there was a rare closeness in this – I think – the largest class up to that time,” said legendary GC historian Kitty Taylor, who will attend HER class’s 50th celebration after helping the College orchestrate so many others.
“We still care a lot for each other,” said Janet Nash, a cheerleader all four years and co-Belle of the Blue with Kitty Kelly Galloway in ’54. She says that famed Hollywood director Cecil B. DeMille selected the co-winners from photographs that year. Incidentally, that was the first of four straight years that ’57 classmates were crowned Belle – with Martha Yocum Lytle, Edwina Wehrmeyer Fields and Zane Cohen following in 1955-57.
“Georgetown gave each of us just enough guidance to develop into the type of individuals that could make our dreams become a reality,” Nash said.
Bill and Ann Marshall, co-directors of our Marshall Center the past decade, spoke in amazement of the number of Georgetown couples who are still their friends. “We chose well,” chuckled Alice, a former Sigma Kappa president.
“Also, there was a spiritual sensitivity present that may have contributed to the loyalty in this class,” Bill added. He pointed out there were a significant number of Christians on the sports teams, a strong campus minister, an “unusual team” of dorm mothers and popular Bible teacher George Redding. “All that combined to make Georgetown a special experience.”
Rachel King first cited the Georgetown couples she still sees at Lexington’s Calvary Baptist – Frank and Rita Penn, Ken and Barbara Pinchback, Mike and Judy Adams, and Bob and Zane Cohen. Rachel, who was on our board of trustees when Bill Crouch was named president, said “I am most pleased – he’s definitely a visionary.”
Regulars at significant Georgetown College events, the Cohens reflected that so many in their class had similar backgrounds. “Most of us came from middle income families with the same values and we just melded,” Zane said.
“But, that’s not all good in today’s world – the diversity wasn’t there,” said Zane, adding that she and her trustee husband appreciate President Crouch’s attempts to open the College to a wide variety of races and cultures.