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Alumni 55th Reunion Central

​​Allegheny Class of '66

“Why Attend Allegheny Reunions?”

or perhaps more appropriate -

“The Linaberger Love Story”

When asked to tell why 50th reunions at Allegheny are events not to be missed, Jim Linaberger, class of '59, had a story.  

In Jim's own words: 

A "testimonial" about 50th class reunions at Allegheny? Where do we begin? A little background about class reunions and Alumni weekends in general.

I was senior class president. As I recall, class officers had no real duties; it was more of a popularity contest. Then about 9 years after graduation, the college alumni secretary called me and said I was in charge of organizing our 10th year class reunion. Naively I agreed and then proceeded to chair or co-chair every subsequent class reunion. I never regretted it.

While at Allegheny, I met, fell in love with and married my first wife Elsa Held '60. We raise 3 daughters; two of whom also graduated from Allegheny: Anne '84 and Betsy '91. Elsa passed away in 2002.

Meanwhile Sandi Kenyon '62 was a freshman my senior year. I had no idea who she was then. She met, fell in love with and married Bill Smith '61. They raised 3 children. Their youngest daughter also graduated from Allegheny: Nicole '93. Bill passed away in 2002.

Unbeknownst to each other, Sandi and I both decided to go to Alumni Weekend in 2003. As it turned out, we were both there to "bury" some wonderful memories and move on with our lives. While there we both attended the donors' reception with the president. We met and chatted briefly. However my curiosity was piqued and later that summer, at age 66, I called Sandi and asked her for a date!

 The rest, as they say, is history. We wed on July 31, 2004 and have been happily married ever since.

The message? It pays to support your alma mater and frequently attend Alumni weekends and class reunions!

So you want to know more…..

-On July 31, 2004 we had a real "Brady Bunch" wedding photo with our three Allegheny daughters, etc.  The family wedding photo appeared in the ALLEGHENY magazine.  

Did I take my daughters to Allegheny when they were growing up? You bet. Two of my favorite photos are of Elsa, Anne and me with Bentley Hall as the background taken:

-at Homecoming when Anne was probably 5-6. She's wearing a blue and gold outfit with a big yellow chrysanthemum.
-at Homecoming when Anne was a freshman from the very same spot. The trees and rhododendron had changed but not Bentley.

Allegheny has always been a special place in our lives:

  • I sang in a quartet [the Four Fijis] all 4 of my years. Although I'm the only remaining member, we tried to sing at several of our reunions.
  • As a poor minister's kid, I had to work my way through Allegheny. I started as a lowly worker in Brooks Dining Hall and was the head waiter my senior year. Since Brooks was then the upper class women's dining hall, I thought I had the best job on campus.
  • Both Elsa and Sandi were members of the Allegheny Singers under the direction of Dr. Luvaas and members of Kappa Kappa Gamma.
  • My two daughters were also Kappa's and Betsy was president her senior year.
  • Daughter Anne was also her senior class president. At Alumni weekend in 2009 we both chaired our respective reunions; my 50th and her 25th. That may be a unique event in alumni history.
  • I was honored to serve as a trustee for 8 years and, in another special event, I assisted president Harned in presenting Anne with her diploma at graduation exercises in 1984.
  • Sandi and I have both endowed scholarships in the memory of Bill and Elsa and have included deferred gifts in our wills to do the same for ourselves.

As I once said "If Sandi or I were to cut ourselves, we'd probably bleed blue and gold."

So yes.... Allegheny Alumni Reunions have been very significant in the lives of our entire family.  

Sandi also described her thoughts about attending a 50th reunion... click here to see that Sandi and other Allegheny alums had to say!