Skip To Main Content

The Great Class of 1971 Celebrates 50th Reunion

Kelly Slonaker

During the weekend of October 1–2, 35 members of the Class of 1971 returned to campus to celebrate their milestone 50th Reunion. This was the single largest reunion for the class, with most alumni returning for the first time since the start of the pandemic and some returning for the first time since their graduation.

The reunion kicked off with the Steers Center Ribbon Cutting on Friday evening, to which the class was invited, and introduced them to the Coleman Digital Media Lab, the Innovation & Design Lab, and the D’Amour Center for Faith, Service & Justice. Saturday offered a full itinerary of specially planned events. Class members began the day with a student panel on the Steers Center patio, where current Saints discussed what it is like to be a Canterbury student today and answered questions from alumni. Director of Curriculum Kelli Darrin and Chair of the History Department Tom Hamilton gave an overview of current course offerings in comparison to classes offered in the late 1960s and early 70s, and alumni were given copies of their old report cards, eliciting many laughs and fond memories. They then had the opportunity to participate in mini-classes, where they could take a mock SAT test, make 3D objects in the Innovation & Design Lab, and learn how to use the green screen and film equipment in the Coleman Digital Media Lab.

On Saturday afternoon, Head of School Rachel Stone provided a State of the School address to the Class of 1971, and afterward, alumni had time to explore campus and catch up with members of their class. The evening concluded with cocktails and dinner in the Steers Center, complete with decorations to evoke memories of the class’s time in high school, including album covers of bands popular during that time, headshots of the alumni as high schoolers, and a slideshow of yearbook photos. Members of the class enjoyed every thoughtful detail of nostalgia as they reminisced about their time on the hilltop. Peter Kiernan ’71 was instrumental in rallying members of his class to join in the festivities and shared his appreciation for the reunion: “For anyone that returned, 50 years were just erased. The spirit of the room was warm, engaging, and wonderful.”

Director of Academic Technology & Innovation and Chair of the Digital Communication, Design & Innovation Department Rob Roffe had his Digital Media and Videography class put together a video of current students posing questions to the Class of 1971 about what it was like to be a student at Canterbury in the early 70s. Students included questions about the dress code, School Meeting, and meals at the time, and asked for any advice the alumni could impart. The Class of 1971 then had the chance to answer these questions and share their memories via video in the Coleman Digital Media Lab, and their responses were played for the Digital Media and Videography class.

Trustee Michael Carretta ’71 was grateful to be able to reconnect with so many members of his class, many of whom he had not seen in years, and to share with them all the stunning updates to the hilltop. “​It was wonderful to be back at Canterbury, not only to see so many members of the great Class of 1971 but also to see their positive responses to the incredible Steers Center and all the other improvements on campus!”