State College at Boston 50th Reunion Dinner
Welcome by Len DeAngelis, June 1, 2013 ©
As our reunion committee representative, Welcome, welcome to the celebration of our 1963 graduation.
Seeing you is a cue for “Tonight, We are young.”
Friendship, the defining characteristic of our class, got us through academic challenges, and gets us through life challenges. When the Beatles sing, “I get by with a little help from my friends,” we inspired them.
Katharine Graham, who took over the WASHINGTON POST after her husband’s suicide, said in her eulogy of friend Meg Greenfield:
”Death should come sooner rather than later, with as little pain as possible, while we still have all our marbles.” Join me in a moment of silence while we remember friends who have gone sooner, yet, maybe serving Someone else, somewhere else.
William Saroyan, wrote, “In the Time of Your Life, live…” Living means giving, giving money and giving time. Students attending our university today leave with more than we did. Most have the burden of tuition loans that as friends, we can help ease. While we managed to find the $100 a semester, and most graduated without tuition debt, “The Times Are [have] a Changing.”
My granddaughter thinks money is a boring gift, and when asked what she wanted for her 6th birthday replied, “Will you come to my party and slide down the slide at Scooter’s Jungle?” At her young age, she values time more than money. If a monetary donation is a challenge, donate time; as we “Live” Give” for our friends who, when we “call out my name…come running” into our memory, and in so doing feed our motto, Education for Service, that is part of our DNA.
Embodying that motto, we inspired Carole King to put our actions into lyrics. Regardless of personal challenges, we “got up every morning with a smile on y[our] face and show the world all the love in y[our] he“art”[s].” The love in our heart, was “art,” the “art” of teaching and learning, the “art” of exemplifying, “You Got a Friend,” for our students, and the current students of this university. Whatever we have accomplished, our graduation from what is now UMass, was our “start.”
When asked “Who will serve?” and a hand rises, often alone, it isn’t a muscle spasm we need to excuse, but an example, like our class mate and friend, Hank Mahoney, who came from military service to serve us four years as class president, making history then, and serving as an example now.
Albert Schweitzer said, “I don’t know what your destiny will be, but one thing I do know: the only ones who will be really happy are those who have sought and found how to serve.”
Fast forward fifty years, we went from studying history to being history, and our opportunities for “service” continues: Inspire, and exemplify our motto. Does any act make you feel more “beautiful” than when you do for others? Get up every morning with a smile on your face because you are, and you’ve got, a friend.
Welcome to UMass.
Welcome to Boston!