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1500 Return to Campus to Celebrate Alumni Reunion Weekend and DePauw "Spirit"

June 8, 1985

Bob Farber 50th Speech.jpgJune 8, 1985, Greencastle, Ind. - "Nothing could stop us and nothing did," Bob Farber, retired dean and vice president of DePauw, told his colleagues in the University's Class of 1935. Farber presented the golden anniversary address to his classmates at today's Alumni Reunion Weekend convocation in the Performing Arts Center's Kresge Auditorium.

"Each generation has its own social customs, parties, dresses, dances, music -- many changes, but there is so much that has not changed," said Farber, noting that his generation was born before "practically everything" -- including television, penicillin, nylon and ballpoint pens. "It reminds us of that old saying, 'The more things change, the more they stay the same.' As I have been close to DePauw for these 50 years I am constantly impressed that there is so much that has not changed. There is a stability, a spirit, a continuity that goes on through good times and bad, through wars, depression, triumphs, and disasters; it is a tradition here that will not change." 

1985 reunion070.jpgReminding his 1985 audience that the 1879 DePauw senior class gave a gift of a bell for the then-new East College, Dr. Farber, who has twice served as DePauw's chief administrative officer, noted, "This same bell rang for us 50 years ago ... and it still rings for the students, faculty and community today. It rings for a college that has been a tower of learning and living from pioneer America to the Space Age." (at right: Fred Sale '12 is recognized for the second consecutive year as the oldest returning alumnus at the convocation)

He concluded, "So for us today, the bell rings for the ideals of the old school, a school which has stood the test of time and to which our class and alumni before and after have remained so loyal. That spirit was described by Edward Rector when he talked about his investment in humanity when the men and women we know will be gone, and by Dr. Clyde Wildman [former DePauw president and 1913 graduate] when he wrote, 'What is DePauw? It is the Boulder, the Monon Bell, the Owl. It is the band playing, 'March, march on down the field,' and the orchestra playing a symphony. It is a spirit, a spirit of democracy, of veneration for religion and learning. It is a reality and an ideal.85 bike071.jpg It is all who have ever been on the campus and all who will ever come here. And when you leave this place, there will be a part of DePauw, and in your memory this college can go with you.' So where is DePauw? It is in the hearts and minds of those who love it."

Two members of the Class of 1935 -- Dick and Betty Athey of Prairie Village, Kansas -- made the 500-mile trip to their 50th reunion by bicycle, a feat that earned the couple media coverage.

The golden anniversary class has committed more than $1.5 million to the Sesquicentennial Campaign.

Speaking for the Class of 1960, celebrating its 25th reunion, was Faris Chesley. "During this period of our lives at DePauw we immersed ourselves in an almost idyllic environment," he recalled. "We had been born in the late 1930s and were products of parents who had experienced a devastating depression and a world war. Our parental guidance stressed career goals and the necessity for responsibly meeting a military obligation." 

But Chesley, an investment banker, says the Class of 1960 also learned some tough lessons. "We found that we can't win every way, that our cities can burn, that our children can reject what we have built, that terrorists may strike Faris Chelsey 25th Speech.jpganywhere, and that our leaders may be shot before our eyes -- or betray us behind their backs."

He told his classmates, "I am impressed with the level of your success, the general lack of manifestation of the 'Peter Principle' in your jobs, and the happiness you display in so many aspects of your lives."

Robert Darnall '60, president and chief executive officer of Inland Steel and a member of DePauw's Board of Trustees, was named the winner of the Rector Scholar Achievement Award.

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