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Class of 1916

First Reunion

C L A S S  O F  1 9 1 6  

The First Annual Reunion of the Class of 1916 was especially favored by Time, Place and Circumstance.  The Time was March 17, 1917—Sixteen’s Class Day—when, if ever, every member’s heart turns naturally, spontaneously Collegeward to the days of Green and White. And the Place was the wide-rolling campus of The College of New Rochelle. Think of it—a class to have its first reunion back in the old familiar haunts—with the dear familiar friends of college days!

And the circumstances? They included the Time and the Place, it is true, but more. Our own eager, enthusiastic desire for a class reunion—out of a class of forty-one, we were present thirty strong!—of course, was vitally important, but, contributing more, much more to the success of Sixteen’s Great Day was the gladness of her welcome home! Mother de Sales just gathered her girls in; we were not graduates, not alumnae, just Sixteen, and we were to relive our college life for two whole days. Ah! “Wherever Sixteen’s hearts are true,” the courtesy, the glad hospitality of each and every member of CNR will not soon be forgotten. Such things but grow sweeter with time. No, Sixteen will not soon forget.
    
But, of course, if you were not with us at the reunion, you will want to know just what did happen and, if you were one of the fortunate ones present, you will want to remember that happy time.
    
On the afternoon of March 17, taxis and carriages began to roll down Main Street and Center Avenue in ever-increasing numbers. Past “58”—past the Gym, then in state to the front door of the Residence Hall—but there all ceremonial ended! Laughing, happy, chattering, we stormed into the big hall, greeting Mother de Sales, Little Sisters of 1918, and long-lost ’16-ers! In the first hilarity of our meeting we even wanted to register! A moment of calm reflection, however, and Sixteen was aghast at such treasonable deflection from her old habits—for when had she ever longed to obey rules? Strange, but that was just her longing now, for that would make her feel, more than anything else, that she really had come back under the old conditions!
    
The first corridor had been entirely given over to us. Each girl who had roomed there might claim her former room. In an unbelievably short time, after depositing bags and baggage in our rooms, we saw “Frank” Petty said by as of old—with her soap and towel! She was even managing a faint whistle! We were back all right—the illusion was not complete!
    
While others dressed for dinner or lingered to chat, or strummed the guitars found in almost every room, the decoration committee put the finishing touches to the Dining Hall. Here we must again thank our Sister Class who had appointed several members to assist our committee. We repeat gratefully that without their willing hands, and more than willing feet, the Green and White would not have waved so gaily from the chandeliers nor the tables been so charmingly appointed.
    
Promptly at seven we entered the hall. Directly above us, from the balcony, smiled down the old green banner, unfurled for so many great events in days past. The tables, gay in green crepe paper and stately with white roses, were arranged in the form of “H” in honor of our President, Ann Hynes. Flowers from ’18 and a hug, delicious Birthday Cake from ’17 added to our pleasure. The favors and place cards were dear little green and white Souvenir Program booklets with the name of the owner engraved on each. The class officers, with the exception of our President, were seated at the center table. Deeply every one of us regretted that Ann was too seriously ill to lead our class reunion.
    
The dinner itself! From the French menu through all the et ceteras of our famous turkey dinners, with their toasts and running fire of talk, was pure joy! There was Virginia May, all the way from Toledo, Ohio; Janet Lynch, from Niagara; Mary Barrett, Anne Smith, and Rosa Hafey, from Springfield and Hartford-way. We all must hear their experiences and they, in turn, must listen to the deeds of glory of the girls from New York and the nearby cities.
    
After dinner, came “old friends and old songs” when we joined the others in the Living Room. Gay groups around the piano (whose vibrant tone time has not mellowed), some dancing, others claiming the long denied privilege of the sofas, but the time went all too swiftly to ten o’clock. Then Sixteen, keeper of the rules!—repaired to her very own corridor, where in her very own cozy corner she enjoyed a “party” of Mother de Sales’ giving—ice cream and cake, laughter and jests, and sh! Truth! Of course, it was hours and hours later when reminiscences really ended, but then, one doesn’t have a class reunion every day.
    
Sunday morning! Yes, no mistake, we were back at College. There was the Mass bell clanging lustily at 6:30. True to form, Frank bounced in and out, cheerily wishing us a very good morning, but (what we sleepier mortals appreciated more) closing transoms and windows at the same time! For once, ’16 showed she was not just “homefolks,” but a Visitor of State. That was when, crisp in fresh dicky and pressed gown, with cap at a proper angle, she appeared early, all present and accounted for in line for Mass.
  
After Sunday breakfast in the Dining Hall, where the sun still shines bright, we proved we had lost none of our agility in the ensuing scramble for the Sunday Times! A formal Class Meeting was held in the Gym, and from then until luncheon we followed our own will and the winds’ will—visited once again old Pelham Road and Hudson Park; chummed with old friends; roamed through old haunts.
    
At four o’clock we donned cap and gown and bachelor hood and descended to the Living Room to greet Father Halpin and to receive his blessing on his and our Feast Day. A blessing first given on March 17 in that long ago Freshman Year and treasured each year by Sixteen, but never more than now.
    
The next number on our official program was Adieux. But I am going to spare you the telling and me the memory of that! Parting is such sweet sorrow that 1916, parting once again from Alma Mater and her college life, felt her eyes grow dim and strangely blurry till long after the Gym and “58” had been passed, and Barney’s carriage had deposited a slightly red-eyed throng near Riker’s refreshing fountain. From there we went more bravely to the train!.

From 1918 Annales




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