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Class of 1958's $30 Million+ Gift Only One of the Highlights at Annual Alumni Reunion Celebration

Class of 1958's $30 Million+ Gift Only One of the Highlights at Annual Alumni Reunion Celebration

June 14, 2008

Also: "The World Needs DePauw," President-Elect Brian Casey Tells Alumni Celebration; Celebration Photo Gallery; Reunion Weekend Photo Search

ARW Total 1958 2.jpgJune 14, 2008, Greencastle, Ind. - Video Link [Download Video: "The Class of 1958's Gift Unveiled" - 2000kb] It took some doing, but it was worth the wait for DePauw University's Class of 1958 to unroll the scroll announcing its 50th reunion gift to their alma mater. The total -- $30,112,356.69 -- represents not only the largest class gift in DePauw's history, but is two-and-one-half times greater than the previous record amount.

With about 300 members back for Alumni Reunion Weekend, the Class of 1958 paraded into this morning's Alumni Reunion Celebration to the strains of "Seventy-Six Trombones" from The Music Man, however, the golden anniversary celebrants wrote new lyrics -- both ARW 2008 Balloons.jpghumorous and sentimental -- to mark their milestone return to the Greencastle campus. Video Link [Download Video: "Class of '58 Arrives" - 9811kb]

Ferid Murad, winner of the 1998 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, addressed fellow members of the Class of '58. He discussed the many advances in science and technology that have occurred over the past half-century in the wake of Sputnik and the nation's resulting focus on, and support for, science and mathematics education.

Video Link [Download Video: "Concerns for the Future" - 1501kb] "However, I'm becoming very, very concerned that we may be starting to lose the race," said Dr. Murad, who delivered a 1999 Ubben Lecture at DePauw. "I'm very concerned that the U.S. is going to start slipping behind." Life expectancy curves are flattening, Murad told the alumni gathering, and America is losing ground to other nations in math and science education and investment in research and development, while China's spending on r&d is growing exponentially. Making American higher Ferid Murad ARW 2008.jpgeducation more affordable is key, asserted Murad, who is a Regental Professor at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston.

Hear Dr. Murad's remarks in their entirety here: Audio Link [Download Audio: "Dr. Ferid Murad '58" - 12,904kb].

Using a golf analogy, E. Mitchell Roob Jr., secretary of the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration (FSSA), told his silver anniversary Class of 1983 they have arrived at the "clubhouse turn." Since Roob and his classmates left DePauw 25 years ago, Video Link [Download Video: "The Course Ahead" - 2721kb] "we have played on a course designed and changed largely by others. We have worked hard to learn our trade, build our careers and strengthen our communities in an environment largely given to us. Now it is our generation that is poised to become the experienced leaders in our communities and companies. In the next Mitch Roob ARW 2008.jpg25 years we will have a chance to modify some of the holes on which we play. How we design and respond to these changes will determine the course difficulty not only for us, but for those playing behind us. I urge you, do not take this responsibility lightly."

The complete address by Mitch Roob can he heard via this link: Audio Link [Download Audio: "Mitch Roob '83" - 6723kb].

The program included a tribute to J. MacRae "Mac" Thorlton '61, DePauw's former director of alumni relations, who passed away in August 2007. The crowd of approximately 1,000 also heard from Brian W. Casey, whose term as DePauw's nineteenth president begins July 1. A summary of his address, as well as video and audio of the speech, can be found in this story.

Alumni Reunion Weekend continues through tomorrow. Get more information and a schedule of events by clicking here.

(photos by Marilyn E. Culler)