CLASSMATE COMMENTS ON REUNION 2006
From Mirella C. Riley and Janet Miller (ND Alumni Assoc)
Dear Gordon: On behalf of the Alumni Association, we extend our thanks for your efforts in making Reunion another successful event. ... Again, thank you for your contribution, and enjoy your summer!
From Bill Bailey
From Barbara and John Broderick
The Reunion was too good--should have lasted for a week. We need to have another one in five years. Oh yes, I know that we can return every year now, But so few turn up for the annual ones. This is a uniquely wonderful class.
We just picked up our grandson from N.D. Hockey Camp. His father (our son) went when he was his age. Although he is an U of IIlinois graduate & lives in Colorado, he wanted Brendan to enjoy & learn the skills he did-wondeful memories. Brendan loved it & wants to return next year.
From Dick Brown
It was a great Reunion. One I'll always remember. Was super to be with our Classmates.
From Ro and John Brown
Just a note to add my thanks ,and praises, to you and all of our class officers. The 50th was truly outstanding. I had some great visits with old friends and classmates. Also, having Father Ted’s presentations – twice— made the whole reunion come together perfectly. While we ended up in O’ Neil Hall , that was not a great problem--- some time with older folks can also be nice.. Many thanks to you for the awesome job you do ( all year ) and thanks to Gordon , Mark, Mike, Larry, Deacon Jim, Fr. Tom and all the others who helped make this such a sensational reunion. My (new) hat is off to you all!!!!!!!!
From Mark Burns
Thanks for your participation and help both before and during the
reunion. I thought we had a good run starting with quality hats and
shirts, a fabulous outdoor dinner on Thursday, a great program on
Friday with THE MAN doing his Hesburgh thing, a total screw up on the
grand entrance march on Saturday ( I will communicate with MR. Lennon
and ask him to write an apology to the class for how his staff screwed
up- originally they held up the other classes and wanted us to go in
first- I had to argue with the guy and demand he contact his manager,
then they sent us in when the 50 year club was in the limelight with
the band, the headlights, and the crowd attention- Gordon and I led you
in the dark). Finally we closed with a very moving memorial service
in the grotto.
Come Holy Spirit
From Angelo Capozzi
I thought it was a great weekend-very memorable. I applaud you all for
a great job well done. I saw some classmates for the first time in 50
years. Sunday at the grotto was special. Now that we are in the 50 year
club we have no formal reuions as I unjderstand the process. How are we
going to keep the class together?
From Ben Cardella
"We really enjoyed the reunion and you guys did a great job. I've heard nothing but positive responses."
From Dr. Frank Cicciarelli
Very much enjoyed the reunion. The only other one I attended was the 25th. To experience what age has imposed on all of us was a sobering experience.
The number of classmates I knew well, while at school, was somewhat limited. (I was a pre-med nerd.) That, on top of attending so few reunions, left me with not knowing (or not recognizing) most of the 50 year attendees. Also, many of the guys I did know well, while in school, were not there. Examples: Al Vitt & John Dwyer (may they rest in peace), Jim Mitchell (whom I could not talk into attending), John "Perk" Phelan, Jim McCarthy, Andy McPartlin, Darryl Blanchard, Jim Tedford, Al Alfonsus, Terry Milostan, Jim Eustermann, Dave Austgen, etc. Perhaps some were there and I did not know it.
I was however, able to have nice visits with others who did attend: Dick Hendricks, Ang Capozzi, Jim Moran, Al Parillo, Jerry Lapeyre, Vince Eilers, Jerry Spaeth, Bill Stotzer, Jerry Higgins, Bob Carrane, etc. Denny Powers and I have been in close friends, and in frequent contact, since first grade.
Saturday night, in the hospitality room, I was looking for you and saw you across the room. On my way there Vince Eilers collard me. By the time we were finished talking you had disappeared. I had to leave early Sunday morning before the Grotto events and breakfast. Sorry we did not connect. You and Mary Ann are still looking good and, in contrast to some of us, still very recognizable.
From Dave Collins:
Gentlemen..I wanted to express to each of you a big 'thank you' for the fantastic reunion we just enjoyed. I can imagine how much work, worry, frustration, and impatience you each had to suffer to make it come off as wonderfully as it did. It took real dedication and commitment to achieve the end result. You all should be proud. I know I am of what you achieved..thanks again..
From Frank Conte
The weekend was outstanding - probably the best we've ever had. Being with everyone was great fun and memorable. You officers did an outstanding job on planning and providing great hospitality.
From Bob Dunegan
I received my DVD last week. Very well done ... enjoyed re-living those wonderful days. It also reminded me that I never thanked you and the others for all your hard work arranging the details. Our 50th was a resounding success. Officially ... THANKS!
From George Edgington
thanks to John Manion and Mark Burns, et al, for your work and sweat organizing he reunion. Linda and I thoroughly enjoy ourselves with the good will, laughs and festivities in general.
From Gerri (widow of Phil) Cenedella
It was a fantastic ND '56 reunion weekend. Even though I never made it to the Friday 4 p.m. Mass, I made up for it on Sat. night and again at 10:00 a.m. Sunday at the Basilica......The reading of the names at the memorial was very nicely done and much appreciated......Thanks for all that you did to make it so meaningful and so much to look forward to with your prior emails.....I hope that different widows will come in five years time...I think if a couple knows a widow they should insist on having the widow come with them or meet them there, and this would be a good support to the woman. Both Tecla and Andrea just couldn't bring themselves to come and this would help the woman coming alone.....I did just fine, meeting so many people but I think other women might find it difficult.
I will be sending you a couple of pictures tomorrow....
Thanks again for everything John; It was great to see you again and it was also very nice to meet Mary Ann.....
Blessings, Gerri C. (Cgreatwall@aol.com)
From Gordon DiRenzo
We did shake down the thunder! I should like to express my personal thanks to the many of you (and you all know who you are) that assisted in a host of ways in making our fiftieth reunion a success. Most especially, my thanks go to my co-chair, Mark Burns, who was the man on location at Notre Dame during the past several months and who handled all the nitty-gritty arrangements. We are gratified by the gracious comments that many of you offered both during and after the glorious event. We too had a blast! The only problem is that the weekend did not last long enough. Our expectation is that, with your continued interest and assistance, we can plan similar, though more modest, events in the future, perhaps on an annual basis. Remember that your membership in the Fifty-Year Club entitles you to return to campus each June for the annual reunion rites. And, stay in touch with us, particularly with our Class Secretary. Go Irish!
From Chris "Kit" Eckl
It was the best one ever. My wife, Liz, who has been to several reunions over the years, was impressed with the beauty of the campus and the warmth of my classmates and their spouses. Father Ted's talk at the class dinner was classic Hesburgh and I will never forget it.
From Jim Finnegan
Mark, Gordon, John, and Jim, I want to thank you all for such a great weekend. From the Friday dinner to the very poignant prayer vigil for our departed classmates, it was simply outstanding from beginning to end. I realize how much effort goes into this, and that you sacrifice much of what most did at the reunion, to assure all have a weekend to remember. I also realize that others who helped in the successful effort of our 50th are greatly responsible also. Thanks again for caring to make this one special indeed. As one of you said, we now look forward with the Good Lord's blessing to be together at the 55th. thanks from both Phyllis and I.
From Don Gothard
Thanks for showing my pictures. I also want to give thanks to all who worked on the reunion and made it a big success. I'm sorry I wasn't able to spend more time talking with some of my classmates who came up and spoke to me. There was so much going on and so many people to talk with that it was kind of overwhelming, but it was very enjoyable. By the way, that tenderloin we had at the last meal was truly outstanding. Once again, thanks to all, and hopefully we'll get together again in the future.
From John Gschwind
Felt like I was back in school, with somewhat older classmates. My congratulations to all classmates who made it a memorable weekend. God bless Notre Dame and her sons.
From Bob "Tips" Guthrie
Thanks for the thoughts. Have a good reunion and remember me to all. First Communions, Confirmations, 50th Wedding Anniversary planning crimped my schedule so I had to let some things go.
From Bob Hilger
Many, many thanks to John, Mark, Gordon, and our other class officers who conducted our best Reunion ever! The whole weekend was a tremendous success, with the only flaw being that on Saturday evening, the bagpipers stopped shortly after entering the banquet hall at the ACC, instead on parading and leading our class all the way around the room and up the center aisle. It kept those younger reunion classes from seeing what a fine looking and dynamic group they would become in twenty or thirty years in the future!
It was also great to see some fellows who had not come back since leaving school. Our '56 class has been blessed with many accomplishments, including some splendid and magnificent gifts of buildings and leadership to the University. However, two of our classmates impressed me with their courage. Mike Kiley doesn't let the need for a kidney transplant stop him, and is still his ebullient self, even though he performs kidney dialysis on himself each evening. My freshman year room-mate, Bob Muldoon, is keeping himself as sharp as ever, through his going to graduate school, and is now more than half way toward obtaining his Ph.d within a year or two. These two classmates have such a great attitude.
From Joanne Horne
What a weekend!! Thank you so much for all you did for me from
encouraging me to go to making me feel so welcome at the reunion.
It was such fun renewing my friendship with Mike's friends and
roommates. I heard so many stories about my dear husband that I
really did not know. What a character he was!! I knew my life
with him was never boring but I didn't realize as Tom Blubaugh said
was never dull when Mike was around!
Thanks again for everything and you all did a wonderful job. I know
Gordon and Mark were the reunion chairmen
From Bill Jackman
The 50th was the time of my life. All thanks to our classmates who put it together,
From Jack Kegaly
I just finished reading through the REUNION ’06 comments yesterday and can only add a great big “DITTO” to all the compliments and plaudits expressed by all the others in thanking ALL who gave such personal dedication to making it such a PERFECT WEEKEND.
From JOHN KENNEDY (PA)
GENTLEMEN, I WANT TO FORMALLY THANK YOU ALL FOR PUTTING TOGETHER A MOST MEMORABLE
REUNION. I WISH YOU ALL THE VERY BEST, GOOD HEALTH --GOD BLESS.
From Larry Kennedy
Gordon and Mark-- June 1st - 4th -- our 50th "Golden" Reunion under the Dome. Days that will live forever in our memories. What a tremendous effort you two put into planning and executing a wonderful experience for our ND Class of '56 members, their wives and guests. I was so happy to be there -- and pleased to have worked with you both over the last several years.
From Jim Krebs
Bill Boraczek said he had extremely high expectations for the weekend
and they were greatly exceeded; and Adele, what a trooper, had a super
Thank all of you who had so much to do with this past weekend.
I don't know if that was the proper place to do it, but it
seemed to be the most universal forum I could think of to send my
As I said, the weekend just could not have been more enjoyable.
Seeing everyone, renewing friendships, laughing, crying in some
cases, hearing Fr. Ted not once, but twice, seeing Fr. Tom,
the service from all the workers, the weather, the golf, (thanks
again to Bill Stotzer and Bill Warren for the complimentary play), you
name it, it was just perfect.
Thanks again, John, and as you speak with the others I know you
will convey our thanks to them also.
From Bob McKenty
We stopped at the Inn of St. Mary's briefly on a Bonnie McFadden
tour. We had hoped to catch Syl Resciniti, but he and Jerlene had
already checked out. Mary didn't get to see him all weekend. We had
been his guests at a Mets' game the week before.--b
From Jim Moran
I had a wonderful time at our recent reunion. It was truly great to see my old classmates, most of whom I had not seen since June 3, 1956. My thanks to all who made the reunion so memorable. It was the only one I have been able to attend and I am so glad I made the effort.
From Don Moser
Just a note to let you know that I've never had soooo much fun with my clothes ON in seventy-two years. I am so proud of everybody who remotely had anything to do
with our GREAT reunion! GO IRISH!!! MO
From Madelaine and Tom Mullarkey
What a great week end, there is no place like ND.
from John Murray
Most heartfelt thanks to you guys for arranging the best reunion
any class could ever have.
Nell & I had a wonderful time and we just
let you know how much we appreciate your efforts on behalf of our
From Gene O'Connor
Just a note to express my deep appreciation for all the hard work you expended to make our Reunion so successful. It was the best of all ten I've attended. Gretchen loved it too!
Most of all, thank you for remembering me before our Classmates at the Friday night dinner. Receiving the AFCA award in 2005 was a very big suprise, but being recognized for it before my Classmates was a special moment for me.
From Leo O'Donnell
All your efforts and hard work for our class were not for naught. The reunion was a great success and you did a superb job-- -- many thanks
From Clem O'Neill
Mark and Gordon: Thank you for the best reunion of all time. It was great to see the two of you and so many of our Classmates. It was a marvelous weekend.
From Jack Patz
Hi Gordon --- a note to thank you for all the "sweat" that you & others put into our memorable 50th --- I truly hope that you were able to extract some enjoyment from the event as well-- enjoy your summer now that the festive weekend is over -- thank you again.
From Frank Reznick
Terry & I just got back from the Northeast after an extended vacation trip which started out in South Bend for the 50th ND reunion. We continued on to Pennsylvania, NY state, and Vermont visiting relatives, friends, and also former high school acquaintances. Everything turned out great !
Thank you for the wonderful 50th reunion weekend at ND and all the work & planning that went into it. The committee did a great job. Everything went off perfectly and you even ordered up spectacular sunshine (from Arizona) with perfect days & evenings. We have fantastic memories of a truly spectacular reunion. In particular------meeting & recognizing so many of our classmates and having conversations with them (everyone was so friendly), the inspiring speech by Fr. Ted at our Friday night dinner at the Joyce Center, the great homily by Fr. Ted in his homily at the 5:15 PM Mass on Saturday at Sacred Heart Basilica, and the memorial services at the Grotto Sunday morning to honor our deceased class members. Hearing their names called out and remembering many of them brought tears to my eyes.
Thank you for an outstanding job. We hope we can now relax and enjoy the rest of the summer & rest on the laurels of a job well done.
From Jim Revord
It was a wonderful reunion. When we were reading the names of the
deceased I noticed a name that I can give you the exact date of his
death. "James J. Wallace" is
correctly listed as 1968. However please update his death to
show "5/11/68". He was one of my best N.D. friends and I went to
Detroit from Chicago for his wake and funeral.
the first year you started passing out names of our
deceased classmates to be read at a Mass was for a Mass in
Alumni Hall before one of the games. ( I think we then had lunch in
South Dining Hall). At the time I think we probably had about 50
names to be read and you passed out the names randomly as we
entered. The name you randomly gave me was "James J. Wallace" !!
I got "goosebumps" when I read it. Was it a coincidence ... or a
"Godincidence" ... You go figure but "I believe" !!
From Jerry Rigsby
I want to thank our Class officers and everyone that helped with the planning and execution of our 50th Reunion. It was fantastic! It was the best ever. I can only imagine the amount of work and effort it took to make it happen. Jane and I arrived home Sunday afternoon, very tired but happy for our wonderful experience. When we all marched into the ACC Saturday evening for the dinner, it was the most uplifting experience I think I have ever experienced With all the other classes standing and cheering. It was exhilarating !
From Jim Shumaker
When I got back to Paducah, lightening had struck our condo and we lost the computer and TV. I could do without the TV but as much as I have complained about the computer I don't want to live without it now. We have replaced the Dell with a Mac.
The reunion was great. I would like to do it again. I have often thought there were so many of my classmates that I never new. I now want to meet them all. I was amazed at how many I did remember and how many remembered me. It was wonderful to meet the others for the first time.
The planners did a great job and we were well recognized by the University administration. Son John kept thanking me for bringing him to the reunion. He was in his element; if I had had his personality I would have known more of the '56 classmates.
A special thanks to you for keeping us connected over the years. I bet there are very few classes that are aware of each other currently as we are. I have great affection for Notre Dame and the class of 1956 .
From John Smith
Back safely in the old digs ..... battery fully recharged ! How I
love Notre Dame & the lasting friendships ....... now renewed.
Thanks for everything.
From Matt and Pat Stahl
The reunion was great. Looking forward to seeing everyone again at the Purdue game.
From Steve Stofko
Many thanks to you and your co-chairman, Mark Burns, for making our 50th reunion a most memorable one. We know that you both put a lot of work into it. It could not have been any better.
From Don Thompson
The reunion was very close to perfect--profound (which, of course, is
Notre Dame at its best), very well organized (for which I blame both
you and the alumni office), and fun (for which I blame you again as
well as the rest of us old devils). You both did a great deal of
work and it turned out beautifully. Thank you.
From Mike Wade
Thanks so much to Mark Burns, Gordon DiRenzo, Mike Kiley, John Manion and all the others who worked so hard on the perfect reunion. I also have to thank Ben Cardella and Tom Rohrer who always got me to the right place at the appropriate time, just as they did 54 years ago when we arrived at Zahm Hall.
From Bill Warren
"Gordon--You and Mark Burns did a fantastic job for our reunion-----all of our classmates are grateful to you. The event was so much fun, and I really enjoyed many fond memories with our guys. Father Hesburgh's remarks were fantastic----What a wonderful person we were blessed with as President."
From Sid Wilkin
It is not that this was the first time this grand march has occurred!
Amazing, and I didn't realize this was happening.
In any event, congratulations to Mark and Gordon on a job well
done from the beginning of the original planning to the Grotto
was a great weekend, and the comments I received were all very