The Kean University community in October was proud to welcome back alumni and friends for its three-day “Super-Heroes & Comic Books” Homecoming. Among the events that weekend was a 50th reunion celebration on Sunday for the graduates of 1967. 

Kean Alumni Association President Ed Esposito ’69 ’72 reminisced on the “decade of change,” recalling everything from the then-president of the college, Eugene Wilkins, to the showing of “Guess Who’s Coming for Dinner” on the big screen.

“We just came back home after 50 years,” said Charlie Burke who was among the approximately 500 graduates in 1967 whose degrees were mostly in education and industrial arts. One of his fondest memories, he said, was building small bridges on campus with some of his classmates.

Following a film montage of the exciting things happening at Kean over the past year, which included some notable alumni, building upgrades and a CBS news clip showing coverage of Kean’s spring 2017 commencement speaker, Emily Cubilete, guests were treated to a poem written especially for the class of 1967 by Acting College of Education Dean Dr. Anthony Pittman. 

Kean Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Jeffrey Toney encouraged those in Kean Hall that day to share some of their memories and embrace their significance. The graduates in turn seemed to revel in retelling old stories and updating their fellow classmates on the directions their lives have taken since then. 

Alumnus Bob Dering, who later earned both a master’s degree and a doctorate, said he remembers paying $13 a credit, joining a lot of clubs and working a part-time job during his time at Kean. Dering taught in the Toms River School District for 33 years.

A dedication ceremony rounded out the afternoon when the graduates were presented with commemorative medallions to mark the momentous occasion. They were also encouraged to add their names to a quilt that has been circulated for several years.



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