1954 - 50th reunion

The Class of 1954 celebrated the 50th anniversary of our graduation. An outstanding reunion celebration was planned and supervised by our local arrangements committee: Frank Gruskay (chair), Tony Piccirillo and Lowell Olson. A reunion record was set, as 33 classmates were present. Adding to the success was the 50th Reunion Album, edited by Bob Hatch and Harry Miller; Kitty Halloran, Dick Pullen and Don Davis contributed. Eva Henriksen’s diary of her four years at YSM formed the framework for the chronology of the event.

The exhibition cases in the Ogilvie Lobby are filled with books written by Freeman, Hustead, Kornfeld, Lamb, Miller and Nora, members of the Class of ’54, donated as a permanent collection. Also shown was a montage of memorabilia from the dedication ceremony naming the laboratory at the University of California, San Diego, the Nicholas A. Halasz, M.D., Student Laboratory.

On Thursday, early arrivals attended a “Pizza and Beer” party, where the rebonding began. Friday we attended general reunion events, followed by the clambake. Sam Hunter played the grand piano in Harkness Hall for us and all the alumni—over the sound system. Sam was terrific. On Saturday we took advantage of the CME program, the AYAM annual meeting and the traditional sherry luncheon at Harkness Hall.

On Saturday evening we were honored at the “Friends of the 50th” dinner at the Graduate Club. After dinner we observed a moment of silence for those no longer with us. Special mention was made of those who died since our last reunion—Nick Halasz, Paul Neufeld and Lowell Olson.

Bob Hatch and Harry Miller were thanked for the superb reunion album. They rated a standing ovation.

Of 61 graduates, 33 attended the reunion. This (73 percent of surviving classmates) sets a record for attendance at a 50th reunion. Most members of the class and their spouses have retired from practice and are traveling for pleasure, visiting children/grandchildren and occupying themselves with volunteer work and hobbies. These include George and Mary Bostwick, Richard and Cleone Bouchard, John and Cynthia Cole, Don and Jeanne Davis, Jack and Elaine Gariepy, Kitty Halloran, Bob and Mary Hatch, Walker and Sylvia Heap, Sam and Lynn Hunter, Eva Henriksen, Bob and Joy Hustead, Lowell and Shirley Kristensen, Richard and Doris Lamb, Harry and Kari Miller, Jim and Audrey Nora, Dick and Barbara Pullen, Jacques Quen, and Jack and Jo Ann Vosskuhler.

George and Myra Bowers enjoyed the reunion so much they promised to return. Alan Covey, who came with wife Sylvia, remains in part-time practice with their son on Long Island. Art and Janet Crovatto have happily returned to York, Pa., and continue to summer on Martha’s Vineyard. Mike and Jeanne DeNicola attended the Saturday luncheon but missed the banquet. Fred Fiederlein attended with his son. Fred has retired from his neurology practice, where he specialized in the diagnosis and treatment of headaches. Dick Foster returned to our fold—he graduated in 1955 but is affiliated with our class. He retired from an ob/gyn practice in upstate New York. Walter Freeman and Do were energetically involved in a discussion of medical politics. Orlando and Denise Gabriele returned for a pleasant weekend. The department of radiology at the University of West Virginia has been named for him. He is said to be fabulous. Denise was a former resident. Frank and Bette Gruskay commute between New Haven and Watch Hill, R.I. Kudos to them for arranging our reunion. Don Kornfeld continues to report to the College of Physicians and Surgeons at Columbia, where he was once acting dean and rumored to be outstanding. Herb Lubs and Dr. Betty Lou Lubs have tied the knot—congratulations and good luck. Tony and Jeanne Piccirillo are living at the Masonic Home in Wallingford. They attended the luncheon but did not return for dinner. Len and Gail Silverman have found Ponce de Leon’s fountain. Len looks younger than he did in 1954. Barbara Olson and daughters Kristi and Kari represented Lowell, who had worked hard as a member of the reunion arrangements committee, and died just before the reunion. Erika Hurwitz attended in her husband’s place. She is doing well.

Two classmates cancelled because of emergency medical problems. Bob Keith had an operation and Bob Joy spent the weekend in the intensive care unit of his hospital. Both are recovering well. Marty Vita had family obligations that precluded attendance. Lee Hilburg cancelled. Ralph Campbell’s granddaughter was being married during the weekend. Eli Schimmel sent his regards to all—but he could not attend. Mano Shirodkar intended to come, but was advised by his physician not to travel. He sent a letter, a tape and a review of his work in virology for our class records.

We’ll meet again in 2009—maybe sooner if there is demand.

Finally, we must thank Harry Miller for his leadership in establishing the medical school’s newest endowed class scholarship fund. The effort began five years ago and the participation of 75 percent of the class has made it a success.

Arthur C. Crovatto


Other Class Notes


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1964 - 40th reunion

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1969 - 35th reunion

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1979 - 25th reunion

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1984 - 20th reunion

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1999 - 5th reunion

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