SEMsational Reunion 2017

By Betsy Bloom '08, Advancement & Communications Associate

A year of planning culminated June 2-3, when alumnae who graduated from SEM in years ending in 2's and 7's gathered at the venerable Garret Club on Cleveland Avenue in Buffalo for cocktails, class pictures in the garden, and dinner. This year, we had over 120 alums in attendance, traveling everywhere from New York City to Palo Alto, CA and many places in between!

Longtime (now retired), history department faculty Harry Schooley creates an annual slide show for the reunion dinner - a lovely tribute to silly and serious moments throughout the years of 2's and 7's. "It has always been very special for me to make the reunion slide show and attend reunion events," Harry said. "I guess it's because I feel as much a part of the reunion classes as do the returning alumnae themselves. After all, for those whom I taught, we all went through those same four years together! Making the reunion slide show also keeps me in touch with the student role in SEM's fascinating history. Besides, it's great fun!" Mr. Schooley also attended the pre-dinner cocktail hour, where he had the opportunity to catch up with many of his former students.

During the dinner, new Head of School Helen L. Marlette presented the Semper Fidelis award, which recognizes an individual who demonstrates a profound and extraordinary commitment to Buffalo Seminary, and who serves as an inspiration and model for everyone, to Melanie Franco Nussdorf '67. The Outstanding Service award, which honors alumnae who have demonstrated outstanding service to Buffalo Seminary, giving of their time and energies in myriad ways to enrich the school community, went to Molly Love Quackenbush '67 and Connie M. Schweitzer '67.

BSAA President Lucy Coburn '73 presented the Oshei Cup to the members of the Class of 1967, in recognition of their extraordinary and generous contributions to the 2016-2017 Annual Fund. This year's Hornet-Jacket Cup, awarded to the team attaining the highest points in giving participating, was awarded to the Hornets. In reflecting on the evening, Lucy said, "Regardless of our graduation year, we joined together -- all of us having different experiences and from all different walks of life -- but sharing the strong foundation of our alma mater, SEM. Trends and fads may come and go but certain things remain constant for all of us: the lifelong friendships we've made, the teachers we've admired, the traditions we honor and the precious memories we treasure."

The night concluded, as is customary, with the entire assemblage of SEM sisters singing of Jerusalem and To Alma Mater, this year accompanied on piano by SEM's music director, Roland E. Martin.

Saturday reunion activities began with school tours in the morning, conducted by members of SEM's Red Key Society. It was a wonderful chance for current students and alums to connect over a place that is special to them both. Saturday daytime activities also included: a Buffalo Renaissance Trolley Tour (with visits to such Buffalo resurgence landmarks as the Richardson Complex, the Medical Corridor, Canalside, Larkin Square, and Solar City), a Canalside Pedal Tour, and reunion lunches at SEM for the classes of 1967 and above.

A gorgeous reunion weekend closed with celebratory cocktails in the new Magavern-Sutton Courtyard to celebrate the extraordinary leadership and service of Margaret Brown '72 (right) who was reuning herself, and who has served as Board Chair (2014-2017), Chair of Remarkable Opportunities Campaign (2014- 2016) and SEM Trustee (2007-2017). It was a wonderful way to close out a fabulous weekend of laughter, reminiscing, and making new memories. Thanks so much to all those who traveled near and far to be with us for this special event. Reunion 2017 was a smashing success!

3's and 8s' – see you next June!

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