Photo collage students from 1973.

Class of 1973 Reunion Recap

There was a sense of great excitement and joy for the alumni who returned to campus to celebrate their 50th reunion on May 23 and 24 of 2023.

For Joan Marchese ‘73, reunion was both wonderful and rewarding. She shared, “There were smiles all among us throughout the day as we reconnected with old friends and some classmates that we had never met. Exchanging stories and memories of experiences brought back fond memories of our years at Montclair. I am so happy to have participated in this memorable event. I strongly urge every alum to attend.”

In celebration of the milestone anniversary, members of the class of 1973 were invited to the University’s 2023 Commencement Ceremony held at Prudential Center on Tuesday, May 23,  and came back to campus the following day for activities to reconnect with former classmates, fellow alumni and their alma mater.

Montclair State University’s commencement for the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, School of Nursing, University College, on May 20, 2023.

Reunion celebrants had the honor of leading the procession during the Commencement Ceremony. Members of the class of 1973 donned graduation attire and special reunion regalia signifying the 50th anniversary or their graduation.

“Being honored in our caps and gowns was a truly amazing experience and one that doesn’t happen often. Leading the procession and being applauded by an entire stadium of Montclair State University families and supporters was just thrilling,” said Alicia Silvestri ‘73.

Members from the class of 1973 gathered ahead of the ceremony in the Press Room at Prudential Center for a special lunch and visit from President Jonathan Koppell and, of course, Rocky, the Red Hawk!

Montclair State University held Commencement exercises for 5,386 graduates – many of whom are first-generation graduates. The group was seated in the front section at the Prudential Center to cheer on the newest alumni from the Class of 2023. “Attending the Commencement ceremony was such a joy – and, I led the procession into the stadium!,” reflected Brenda Giman ‘73.

Reconnecting with Campus

The reunion festivities were sponsored by the Office of Alumni Engagement and participants enjoyed a number of activities, including time for coffee and conversation, reunion luncheon, class photo and shuttle tour of campus led by students.

“We were thrilled to welcome the class of 1973 back to campus to share this very special celebration and to provide the opportunity to reconnect in person with each other and the university,” says Jeanne Marano, assistant vice president for Annual Giving and Alumni Engagement. “Alumni got to see the amazing changes at their alma mater, and it was wonderful to hear their stories of their time at Montclair.”

The Wednesday itinerary also included an alumni gathering on the Montclair campus for coffee and conversation, hosted by the Office of Gift Planning, where they reflected on Montclair’s past and its transformation and heard about the University’s future from President Jonathan Koppell.

“I was very impressed with President Koppell when he came to speak with us at the start of the day’s festivities. I was just amazed with him, and it was a highlight for me to hear his vision for the future of the University and for its students,” said Alicia Silvestri ‘73

A highlight for many from the class of 1973 was the tour of campus. Rosemary Webb from the class of ‘73 was on the Montclair campus about 10-15 years ago for a graduate information session. Even in that smaller window of time, she couldn’t believe the amazing changes to campus. As she sat on the tour bus with several classmates, all from different majors, they shared memories from their time as students in the early 70’s, comparing notes on what they recognized, and what was now new in 2023.

As part of the luncheon program, guests shared a memory from their time as students. Many talked about how Montclair shaped their lives and made an impact that lasted a lifetime. For Brenda Giman ‘73 connection was key. She shared, “It was special seeing a few old friends and making some new friends.”

It was a memorable time for many, especially those who were able to attend events across both days. Alicia Silvestri ‘73 added, “Every detail of the two-day event made me feel like I was a VIP. Kudos to the team for making this such a memorable experience. Sharing memories and looking ahead, reconnecting with old classmates and connecting with new ones – our 50th reunion was a wonderful experience in every way. It really reinforced my connection to Montclair State University.”

Class of 1958

In addition, the Class of 1958, joined in the luncheon to celebrate their 65th Reunion. Members of the class included remarks from Maryann Doherty ’58, who helped plan her class’s 50th reunion, 15 years prior. Members from the class included Ana M. Di Chiara ‘58, Dennis Mamchar ‘58, and Araksy Polo ‘58. They were happy to partake in the day’s activities and to be back on campus for their next reunion celebration.

Reunion Reflections

When asked about her overall experience, Rosemary Webb ‘73 said, “I would definitely recommend attending reunion! Between seeing the crowds at Commencement, listening to the well-spoken and personable new President, and enjoying the tour – It was an all-around positive experience.”

According to Susan Wildorf ‘73, a 50 year reunion at Montclair State University is not to be missed. “Speaking as an alumna of the Class of 1973, I can proudly say we were all treated with the utmost care and respect. It is an experience I will treasure always.”

Thank you to all members from the class of 1973 who came back to their alma mater to celebrate their 50th reunion! A special thank you as well to those from the Class of 1958 who joined in to celebrate their 65th reunion.

View photos from the reunion celebrations.

Class of 1973 Reunion Committee

Brenda Miller Giman

Beverly Scott-Bradley Goss

Joan Marchese

Alicia Silvestri

Jim Wassel

Class of 1958 Reunion Committee

Maryann Doherty ’58