There may have been some gentle arm twisting, but when all was said and done, Joan (Swinehart) Talmage and Ted Siller were more than happy to come on board to co-chair the Class of ’68 50th Reunion Gift Committee.
They are in sync with their motivation for giving back to Heidelberg in this way: They want to see Heidelberg succeed.
“Even though I find it hard to do the ‘ask,’ my shyness was overruled in that I really want Heidelberg to succeed,” said Joan. “I’m glad I said yes.”
Ted added, “For me, it’s continuing the Heidelberg tradition. It was a challenge, and that’s part of the reason I took it on, even though it’s not my strong suit.”
As co-chairs, Ted and Joan are spearheading a Reunion Gift Committee that includes Jim Berarducci, Dale Bishop, Tom Bowdler, Sharon (Cramer) Goeman, Joe Grubb, Jim Hempel, Jo (Carlisle) Keller, Bob McDowell, Jack Myers, Stu Shoaff and Edie (Anthony) Watson.
The committee has been meeting for more than a year and has been involved in training, development of a class booklet and reconnecting with their classmates. Their ultimate goal is two-fold: to encourage their classmates to return to campus for Alumni Weekend on June 22-24 and to ask them to participate in class giving in honor of their milestone reunion.
Joan and Ted had good role models as they prepared for their challenge. They crashed the Class of ‘67’s party during Alumni Weekend in June 2017 to observe and left highly energized.
“To see the enjoyment people had for being there … it changed my thoughts about the reunion,” Ted says. “It was so much fun,” Joan recalls. “Our minds were just floating with ideas about what to do and what not to do. It got us all charged up. I’m just anticipating all the fun we’re going to have with our class in June.”
The shining moment for the Class of ’68 will be during the Alumni luncheon when the fruits of their efforts and their generosity – their reunion giving total – will be revealed to President Rob Huntington and the several hundred alumni in attendance.
Overall, though, both Ted and Joan are just hoping everyone has a great time at their reunion. “I think our class will have a renewed sense of dedication to Heidelberg,” Joan says. “When they arrive, I’m sure they’ll say, ‘Wow, the campus has really changed in 50 years’ and they’ll want to help continue the change.”
In addition to reconnecting with friends from decades ago, they also anticipate making some new friends. “Now that many of us are retired, we have the time to return to the place and the people who meant so much to us. We can set aside time to return to Heidelberg,” Joan says.
They may have a few surprises up their sleeves … something about spiced apples. Stay tuned, Class of ’68, and plan to return for your 50th reunion in June.