|Class of 1987 stays connected with on-campus gathering every five years
|In a way, members of the Class of 1987 are renegades, Sure, a few of these San FranciscoTheological Seminary graduates occasionally make their way back to San Anselmo for Alumni Reunion Weekend in the spring. But it’s more likely that they mark their calendars for their own private reunion held every five years since they graduated 25 years ago.
For the fifth time, the Class of 1987 gathered at SFTS in August, setting up camp in Suzanna Baird Hall for a little reminiscing, prayer, support and catching up. This year’s group of 36 included graduates, spouses and partners, some of whom joined the reunion for a first time and many whom have participated all five times.
“We take over Baird and make it our home away from home as we share meals and participate in programs that we have scheduled, often with former and current SFTS professors joining us with their expertise,” shared Deana Reed. “We stay up late reminiscing about our times on campus and sharing the joys and heartaches of life and ministry. The chance for catching up as well as having directed time in study and reflection is important to us all.”
Reed notes that seminary is a life-changing time. Students are stretched, pulled and encouraged to open up to a bigger framework for understanding God, life and community than when they first came to SFTS. Those shared experiences provide opportunities for relationships with classmates, faculty and staff to develop touchstones during seminary days and beyond.
“Our lives have intertwined over the years as we have welcomed spouses, partners and the birth and growth of children into our worlds,” Reed said. “Our lives have intertwined and supported each other in the loss of spouses and challenges in ministry and changes in ministry over the years. We just enjoy being together and celebrating life as we worship and play and study together.”
So what makes the Class of 1987 special? The answers are as varied as the class members.
“The seminary was in transition as we began our years of study, so maybe that created an opportunity for us to bond more quickly and create a community that supported itself internally -- as well as expecting the seminary to support us,” Reed explained. “I personally think it had a lot to do with the moving of the Holy Spirit as we were drawn to this place -- called to study and prepare for ministries that would be varied and diverse. The bonds we created over the years at SFTS have supported each of us during the years of ministry and living we have experienced.”
Before they even left San Anselmo, the Class of 1987 began to plan its 30th reunion for August 2017.
SFTS invites all graduates and former community members to return for Alumni Reunion Weekend April 11-13, 2013. Or you could follow the example of the Class of 1987 and coordinate your own special gathering.
Contact Sarah Campbell for further information about Alumni Reunion Weekend or private class gatherings at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 415-451-2830.