Although 50 years have passed since graduation, the class of 1966 remains connected to Alverno and each other. During Homecoming, they celebrated that ongoing connection with their induction into the Golden Guild.
“I couldn't have been more excited about our reunion,” says Bonnie (Jenkins) Gould ’66, who helped organize the event. “Last fall, we started contacting people about it, and everybody was looking forward to it.”
Gould was one of 45 women from the class who returned to Alverno to connect with former classmates during a weekend of reunion activities. She was particularly excited to celebrate with Kathy (Walsh) Curran, Barb (Brick) Havel and Gerry (Abler) Spitznagle.
The foursome (shown above) bonded immediately their first year at Alverno and after graduation moved to New York City together. Though life took them in different geographic directions, they and their husbands still travel together regularly. They’ve also stayed connected to Alverno, which is important to Gould.
“I feel so positive about Alverno, and members of the Class of '66 share that image of our alma mater,” says Gould, who for the past two years has helped organize an annual East Coast event for alums in the area. “We can be a valuable resource to one another. It’s great to make connections and see what people are doing.”
Kathleen (Casey) Gigl ’66 can relate. Although she has lived in Texas for 32 years, Alverno remains close to her heart. She worked for the college for several years starting in 1973, when Sister Joel Read ’48 was launching the 8 Abilities. She remembers being inspired at an outreach institute that was planning for Alverno’s future.
“Seeing all these people from higher education, business and the community who were committed to Alverno because of what it did reaffirmed my faith in my alma mater and the need to always support it,” she says.
That support has carried through in the Lone Star State, where Gigl is active in the Alverno Texas Alumnae Group. Texas is a huge state, but several alums travel hundreds of miles to attend the annual event.
“We gather for camaraderie and to share our affection for an institution that mattered to us and changed our lives personally and professionally,” she says.
While Gigl made her way to Texas, Barbara Kluka ’66 stayed closer to home, in Kenosha, where she remains in contact with many Alverno alums. Regardless of graduating class, a shared Alverno experience connects them.
“You have a sense of something, an experience that really prepared us for life,” says Kluka, who taught for nine years before becoming a lawyer. She says Alverno gave her the skills and courage to run for office in 1989 after practicing law for several years. She has been a judge ever since.
All three women say their education served them well — and they were excited to catch up with their classmates.
“Even though you don’t see people for years and years, it’s funny how easy it is to reconnect, to remember things, to tell stories,” Kluka says.