Steve Barger's Dinner Remarks

Presented Saturday evening, June 10, 2017

Welcome to our 45th Reunion Class dinner.  What an awesome turnout!  It’s been a treat to see how much fun and how many great conversations we’re having.  If there was an award for the most smiles and hugs for a 45th reunion, we’d win it hands down.

As Class Vice President for the past five years, I’ve had absolutely no responsibilities, assignments, or hassles.  I’m giving our esteemed President David Webster a break.  He’s spoken at our graduation, 30th and 35th reunions.  He’s been Class Secretary, Class President, and member of reunion committees.  The least I could do was be your presiding officer for this evening.

We’ve all shared stories this weekend about our time together at Williams.  Forty-nine years ago we started with only males in our class.  As a kid from Salem, Oregon with a full head of hair, I knew no one when I arrived.  Reading “Cosmos and History” the summer before freshman year was intimidating and scary.  I was sure that I was part of that special “10% admission group.”  The 10% of the class that wouldn’t be admitted under the normal academic criteria but that had a trait or characteristic that would somehow augment and help diversify our class.  I have no clue what my special 10% ticket was, but I’m certainly glad I got it!

We shared great professors, small classes, smart and curious classmates, and a beautiful Berkshire Mountain environment.  We shared Viet Nam war protests, the Black Student Union takeover of Hopkins Hall, Winter Study, Winter Carnival and long, snowy winters.  Most fortunately, we shared the end of gender segregation at Williams.  Thanks ladies for strengthening and invigorating our Williams experience.  It was a lot more fun and interesting with you as classmates.  Thanks to everyone in the Class of ’72 for sharing your intelligence, passions, special talents and friendships.  What great experiences we shared!  We came together by chance long ago and this weekend we gather together by choice.  There’s no doubt we’ll be forever grateful for each other. 

Note:  After dinner, Barger also commented on the passion, creativity, and negotiating skills evident in Paul Tucker’s presentation about organizing, and staging exhibitions of great art; thanked members of the Reunion Committee for a truly outstanding job; presented gifts to outgoing class officers; and presided over the election of new class officers.  David Webster presented the Purple Cow Award to David Farren.