Coming home to Hamline

A busy 2022 Hamline homecoming week included a 50-year reunion for the graduating class of 1972.

Lydia Meier, News Editor

27 alumni gathered to celebrate the 50-year anniversary of their 1972 graduation in the Kay Fredericks Room on Sept. 23, sharing memories and reuniting with classmates.

The 50-year reunion was Jeff Sowada’s (‘72) first time back at Hamline since graduation, and the first time he and his former roommate Tom Rasmussen (‘72) had seen each other in years.

“We kind of realized we had a good time and we can still have a good time together,” Rasmussen said.

Alumni also reflected on homecoming experiences from their years at Hamline. Sowada was a four-year starter on the Hamline football team, and Rasmussen enjoyed watching the games. 

“They had some good games, bad games, but homecoming was for us — for me — watching the games,” Rasmussen, a reunion committee member, said.

Hamline Alumni Relations Director Molly Glewwe thought the reunion was a success and said alumni enjoyed reminiscing.

“Many commented about Hamline feeling as welcoming and as a community as it did when they were students,” Glewwe said.

Alan Bernstein, Hamline class of ‘72, said that campus feels as friendly as it did when he was a student. Bernstein joined the reunion committee in hopes of seeing his former classmates.

“I live in New Jersey so the last time I was here I was out on business, it was 1997. So this is like every 25 years, I’ll drop by,” Bernstein said.

The 2022 Alumni Week event scheduling included lectures, trivia, campus tours and awards, as well as gatherings for alumni of color and alumni who graduated from Hamline more than 50 years ago. There was also a 25-year reunion for the classes of 1995-97.

Hamline usually hosts 10, 25, 40 and 50-year reunion events each year, but has not for the past few years. Due to COVID-19, the university did not hold reunions in 2020, and held two 50-year reunions in 2021, Glewwe said, noting that she hopes to return to celebrating four classes in 2023.

“Homecoming and Alumni Week is an opportunity for both students and alumni to celebrate Hamline’s history (and the time that alumni spent as a student) but also Hamline’s present and future,” Glewwe told the Oracle over email. “Alumni have a great time reconnecting not only with each other, but also with the university and the campus itself.”