I walked into the UMass library over the weekend and stumbled upon the final ceremony of the UMass Class of 1957 50th Anniversary Reunion which was being held indoors because of rain. The aging graduates were being addressed by UMass Chancellor John Lombardi.
Lombardi is currently at the center of a controversy about how he is being edged aside in favor of a more Boston-centralized campus leadership model. Fears are running high in Western Mass that this will mean more attention paid to the Boston UMass campuses at the expense of Amherst, whose economy is desperately dependant on the university.
Anyway, Lombardi was telling the 1957 graduates that theirs was one of the most special classes in UMass history. I said to myself, "I'll bet you say that to all the classes." But then I scolded myself for being so cynical. While I'm sure all the reunions are told that, it doesn't mean it isn't true. Every class consists of unique individuals, and therefore is by definition unique from every other class, and thereby special in its own way.
Of course some of the reason for this flattery is because the Class of 1957, now in their early seventies, are putting the last touches on their last will and testaments, and the university wouldn't mind them slipping in a line expressing gratitude to the school where their class was so special. For example, the Class of 1957 at Amherst College recently donated the money for this magnificent statue of poet Robert Frost.
Here is the plaque they placed in front of the statue.
To the extent that a video can convey it, here is the awesome view surrounding the Frost statue.
Finally, I'll leave you with this joke.
A couple was celebrating their golden wedding anniversary in the Massachusetts Berkshires.
Their domestic tranquility had long been the talk of the town. People
would say, "What a peaceful & loving couple."
The local newspaper reporter was inquiring as to the secret of their
long and happy marriage.
"Well, it dates back to our honeymoon," explained the husband. "We visited the Grand Canyon in Arizona, and took a trip down to the bottom of the canyon by horse. We hadn't gone too far when my wife's horse stumbled and she almost fell off. My wife looked down at the horse and quietly said, "That's once."
"We proceeded a little further and horse stumbled again. Once more my
wife quietly said, "That's twice."
We hadn't gone a half-mile when the horse stumbled for the third time.
My wife quietly removed a revolver from her purse and shot the horse
I screamed at her, "What's wrong with you, foolish woman! Why did you shoot the
poor animal like that? Are you crazy?"
She looked at ME, and quietly said, "That's once."