Old friends, familiar places:
Spring Reunion Weekend
Spring Reunion Weekend is a big event, with
hundreds of alumni celebrating their graduations
from Carolina 40 or more years ago. But it is
also scores of little events, as former classmates
catch up with one another at a luncheon or seminar or visiting a special spot on campus. These
are a few of those personal stories.
Standing on the top level of the Bell Tower
the Friday before Commencement, Bill
Ballew ’ 58 might just as well have been on
the top of the world, thinking about what
was to come Sunday. Ballew had finished
his degree in summer school in 1958, and
though he was invited to walk with the ’ 59
grads the following June, he was stationed
at Fort Jackson in South Carolina. Instead
of Pomp and Circumstance, he got mail, a
dog-eared envelope containing his diploma
and a Gideon Bible.
But come Sunday, he’d see his face on
the Jumbotron as one of the first to lead
the procession of graduates, “right behind
the A’s,” he would wave to the cheering
crowd in Kenan Stadium.
“It will be a hoot,” Ballew said. “I’ll be
dreaming about this. That’s what I came
Bill Rand ’ 52, commended the now
eight-year tradition — initiated by the GAA
in 2000 — that includes each year’s 50th
reunion class in the procession. Like Ballew,
Rand went to summer school and by the
following June was unable to return due to
his military obligation. “It had always eaten
at me,” Rand said. He, too, remembered the
mailed diploma and Bible. “That was it. No
applause. No congratulations,” he said.
Then, 50 years later, he got his chance to
celebrate, with his walk scheduled as part of
his class reunion activities.
Rand and Ballew gazed out across what,
in their time as students, had been woods
around Kenan Stadium. They reminisced
about going to games in a coat and tie, their
dates struggling up the sand paths in dresses and high heels. “Didn’t matter if it was
November,” Ballew said, “we always dressed
up like Sunday.”
Rand remembered moving with his wife
SARAH MCCART Y ARNESON ’ 96
Alumni lingered after the Old Students Club luncheon on
Friday, enjoying the afternoon.
and their baby from a Quonset hut to the
brand-new Glen Lennox apartment that “felt
like heaven.” Back then, he said, “you had
married students, baby carriages on campus.”
The returning veterans also put an end
to hazing. “I have a mental picture of a 19-
year-old sophomore coming up to a grizzled World War II infantryman and shouting, ‘Where’s your beanie, frosh?’And after
he picked himself out of the trashcan, that
would end the hazing,” Rand said.
Talk turned back to Commencement.
“You’re going to feel like king for a day,”
he told Ballew.
‘It’s Going to Be Super’
The French doors to the verandah were
thrown open, and a welcome breeze cooled
the 600 or so Old Students and guests in
the grand dining hall in The Carolina Club.
Alumni who have reached or passed the 50th
anniversary of their graduation year gather
for the Old Students Luncheon on Friday at
the start of the reunion festivities. Tar Heels
are a hardy bunch. Even the tables reserved
for the classes of the 1930s were full.
Former UNC System President Bill
Friday ’48 (LLB) and former UNC
Chancellor Bill Aycock ’ 37 (MA) were
front and center. Ray Jefferies Jr. ’ 47, who
was assistant to the dean of student affairs
when many people in the room were students, made his way from table to table,
looking for old friends. Dennis Oliver Jr.
’ 58 from Gulfport, Miss., had already connected with a group of his former classmates and was looking forward to a fraternity party that night. The guest list for the
Alpha Tau Omega party included the
names of eight people Oliver was close to
as a student. “It’s going to be super,” he said.
PHOTOS BY NANCY OATES
Bill Ballew ’ 58 and Bill Rand ’ 52 took in the view from the Bell
Tower on Friday.
Anne Shaw Montgomery ’ 58 and her husband, John, caught up
with some of her former dormmates at the Old Students Club
luncheon on Friday.
Ka Gunter ’ 60, Phyllis Krafft-Sherlock ’ 68 and Carla Chamblee
’ 58 dropped in to see the remodeled Campus Y on Saturday.
Class of ’ 58 members John Raper Jr., Charlie Tompkins, Carl
Britt, John Zollicoffer and Jim Kimzey attended the “Suicide 25”
luncheon for Carolina’s first honors students at Graham
Memorial on Saturday.
Anne Shaw Montgomery ’ 58 settled at a
table of friends with whom she had shared
quarters in McIver dorm and the Alpha
Delta Pi sorority house. She had already
toured the campus and looked forward to
the weekend unfolding. “There’s so much to
choose from,” she said. “I’m quite impressed
with the options people have to enjoy
while we’re here.”
Frank Livingston ’ 57, having put together
the reunion Yackety Yack for his 50th last year,
was back. His wife, Harriet Schafer
Livingston ’ 58, had undertaken the task this
year. She worked on the class of ’ 58