They were considered the greatest generation ever. Members of the West Virginia University Class of 1952 witnessed history unfolding as World War II was ending and their lives were just beginning.
These men and women will be reunited on the WVU campus today (April 26) and Saturday (April 27) as the Alumni Association holds its annual Emeritus Club Induction Ceremonies. Emeritus Club members are those who graduated 50 years ago. This year more than 350 of them will return to campus for a reunion of a lifetime.
“Some of the inductees haven’t seen each other since they left campus 50 years ago,”said John Lough of Bridgeport (Class of 1949), the Clubs president and retired vice president for Consolidated Gas Transmission.”To see their expressions when old classmates reunite is wonderful.”
Not only will old classmates get reacquainted, but many will also be reintroduced to their alma mater.
“I am pretty close to campus and I get up here pretty often, but some of our inductees have not stepped onto campus since 1952 and they will not believe their eyes,”Lough said.
When the Class of52 left, campus life was quite different. Woodburn Hall was one of few buildings on campus, and the Mountainlair was not in existence.
“The WVU they will see this weekend is a far stretch from the one they left,”he added, but some things remain the same, untouchable by time.”The memories they shared will still be there, and they will spend a lot of time remembering good times.”
The Emeritus Club is now 2,500 members strong. Each year a different class is inducted, and each year participation grows. What started as a small collection of 20 charter members in 1951 has grown exponentially.
“This is a time of year that we really enjoy,”said Stephen Douglas, chief executive officer of the WVU Alumni Association.”It is absolutely heartwarming to see our Emeritus Club members return and have such a great time. Many of them bring old pictures of their WVU days and share with the rest of us. It is a wonderful history lesson.”
This year’s Emeritus Club Weekend activities begin Friday at the Puskar Center with registration at 11:30 a.m., followed by lunch at 12:30 p.m. and the initiation ceremony at 1:30 p.m. A reception and banquet that same evening at the Puskar Center begins at 5:30 p.m. On Saturday, members will enjoy breakfast at 8:30 a.m. at the Erickson Alumni Center. Campus tours will immediately follow, and lunch is scheduled for 12:30 p.m. prior to the adjournment that afternoon.
For more information, contact Janet Fagula at 304-293-4731.