Shock and Awe Redux: 35th Reunion Thoughts

As I walked away from the festivities under the tent on Saturday night after saying my goodbyes, wandering off into the night in search of my car, and again as I drove down Route 2 towards Boston on Sunday afternoon, I was struck by a bewildering sense of melancholy not dissimilar to the feeling after graduation in 1977. That time, however was overcome by a sense of urgency and angst looking towards the future, to college, to a career, and on into the ether. And it was certainly better than the strange sense of anxiety I felt in the weeks leading up to the reunion weekend!

Passing the farms and houses along Route 2 on the way up to Logan Airport, I thought about what the past few days meant to me. Was it possible that the friends and happenings of 35 years ago still had such a strong emotional tug on me and my life now? Although I had often thought fondly about my time at Deerfield, and had grown up in the Pioneer-Pocumtuck Valley, I was struck by how much that time had shaped me, and how many friendships I had made, and how the experience still coursed through my being, even now. Although the friendships had not endured in terms of day to day contact, they had clearly remained imbedded in my unconscious. I had been ensconced on the West Coast, far removed from the coming and goings of most of my classmates, keeping up to date only through the class notes, and on the occasional and serendipitous crossing of paths. And then all those memories came bubbling up in a dizzying stream of conversation, laughter, drinking, and fun. Some of it shared with classmates I had known only peripherally while at school. As a day student I didn’t partake in the entirety of the Deerfield experience, but I still felt a tremendous kinship.

I was in awe of our collective personal and professional experience. The potential that we had all exhibited in those formative years had burst forth in front of me like a supernova; I was struck by the diversity of our experiences and accomplishments both personal and professional, in the intervening years. I’m sure we only scratched the surface in the presentation by Ed and Dave. Remembering you we were, and seeing who we had become was stunning. But mostly I found it amazing how quickly we were able to pick up where we had left off; even with those I had known as classmates for a year or two, or had shared a single class.

Thanks for sharing such a wildly enjoyable weekend. Particular thanks to Tucker for his enthusiastic perseverance as reunion Grand Poo Bah, to Jack for the Red Sox and golf outings and Wayne for hosting the pregame libations. I’m sorry I missed brunch on Sunday morning… I went to an antique car show in Bernardston with my nephew, who at age 6 is obsessed with cars. I had such a great time and look forward to reunions in the future. Although it would be naïve to say “let’s keep in better touch” than I have over the last 35 years, I hope the last few days may rekindle friendships in some way. Please know that if any of you find yourselves planning to come to San Diego, that Cameron and I would love to hear from you.

Jim Gilmore Class of 1977

Frequently Asked Questions

Upon graduating from Deerfield, alumni enter a diverse network of former Deerfield students. Deerfield alumni have ventured into almost every area of employment, and many are at the top of their respective fields. The advantages of this vast network are numerous and significant, as every member of the Deerfield family receives the following:

Alumni are also eligible for alumni awards, such as the Ashley Award, Heritage Award, and the Mimi Morsman Award.

There are no membership fees or dues for members of the Deerfield family, but Deerfield does ask for assistance in a few areas. First of all, in order for Deerfield to have the most up-to-date records possible, we encourage members to keep us apprised of their current contact info. Alumni are also urged to direct all concerns and suggestions regarding Deerfield’s operations through the Executive Committee, the governing body of the Alumni Association. The committee acts as the voice of the alumni body, and works closely with the school administration. In order to keep tuition affordable and the quality of a Deerfield education at its highest, the Academy depends upon the continuing support of alumni and their families. This support can take the form of annual or capital gifts, or time spent volunteering on behalf of Deerfield.

There are regional events in many major American cities. Please visit here for more information on regional engagement. 

Of course! Be sure to read the latest issue of From Albany Road in your email’s in-box for current news of what is happening on campus. As we also send out periodic invitations, it’s always best to make sure we have your current physical address. And if you do plan on visiting campus, why not tell us ahead of time?

Contact the Office of Advancement

7 Boyden Lane, PO Box 306
Deerfield, MA 01342