August 1, 2012
Class Reunions Have Family Flavor This Year
Add another dimension to the purpose and value of a class reunion at Samford University's annual Homecoming, scheduled for Oct. 12-14. This year, in addition to the annual 25th and 50th school class reunions, the occasions provide a familial element as both parent and offspring are involved in planning the two reunions.
Barbara Crider, '62, is a member of the committee planning the 50th class reunion while her son, Todd, '87, is a part of the committee planning the 25th class reunion. While they herald the importance of the school class reunion, both admit that being able to fellowship with parents and son—both who live half a continent apart-- adds an excitement to the event.
"I have attended Homecoming a number of times and am excited about seeing many of those I have not seen in years," said Barbara. Acknowledging her disappointment that so few of her classmates have attended in the past, she expressed a "hope" that the number will be up, "especially as we celebrate our 50th," she said.
Both attended the 50th anniversary last year of husband and father Bob, '61. "Based on my experience attending last year's reunion, I am not sure why, being able to do otherwise, anyone would choose to miss Homecoming," said Todd. "It has really become a lovely event, showing off our beautiful campus, allow us an excuse to visit with old friends and also reminding us graduates that it is still home to a statically improbable collection of some of the nicest people on the planet."
Todd also serves as volunteer class agent for 1987 where he is "eager to use the excuse to try to build greater participation in class and more generous giving—and, of course to reconnect with old friends.
Both herald Samford for providing the right place and education that prepared them for their professions. Parents Bob and Barbara were Southern Baptist missionaries for 26 years in Spain. She later returned to Samford as a member of the faculty of World Languages and Cultures before retiring a second time to a log cabin in Wears Valley near Gatlinburg, Tenn.
Todd is with the New York law firm of Simpson, Thacher & Bartlett, specializing in international capital markets with residency in New York and Sao Paulo, Brazil, offices.
"The best part of sharing a big reunion year with your parents is the thrill of getting to share a day with them and have them see my friends and get to say hello to some of theirs," Todd said.
"I was blessed with wonderful parents who guided me to Samford, which was the right school for me," he said. "In addition to four of the happiest years of my life, Samford provided me with a wonderful education and platform for my aspiration in life," he said. "It is good to be able to return to Samford, my favorite school, with the two people to whom I owe the most and celebrate friends and memory."
The class of 1962 will have a fellowship gathering on Friday at 3:30 p.m. in the Beeson University Center, and their reunion luncheon will be Saturday at 11:30 a.m. in the Leslie S. Wright Fine Arts Center. The class of 1987 will have its reunion luncheon on the Saturday at 11:30 a.m. as part of the homecoming festival and tailgate on the University Quad.
The reunions being planned by the Criders are just two class gatherings scheduled during Homecoming weekend.
The class of 1967 is also planning a 45th reunion on Saturday morning with a goal of securing 45 new donors and winning the Highest Percentage Giving Award.
The class of 1952 will have a 60th anniversary reunion at 11:30 a.m. Saturday. Other classes planning reunions as part of tailgating on the Quad are 1992, 2002, 2007 and 2011.
In addition to reunion gatherings, all of the reunion classes are being encouraged to participate in the reunion giving program, according to Kim Cripps, assistant director of annual giving. The reunion giving program began in 2011 with a very successful effort by the class of 1961 and other classes celebrating reunions. Information about specific class events and reunion giving was mailed earlier this summer to class members, Cripps added.
In addition to the class reunions, the annual Golden Bulldog luncheon is scheduled for Friday at 11:30 a.m. The Golden Bulldog event is for all graduates of 50 years ago or longer.
Advance reservations are required for all reunion meals. Reservations can be made online at https://www2.samford.edu/homeComing/.