Syracuse University School of Nursing Class of ‘64 gathered in Seneca Falls to celebrate its 50th reunion in May, 2014. From the Carolinas, Florida, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Oregon, California, Texas and West Virginia, 17 members of the class of 24 gathered to reminisce, catch up on news, view pictures and memorabilia and just enjoy one another.
This class of only 24 have earned 3 PhDs, more than 10 master’s degrees, and 1 nurse practitioner. We have been directors of nursing in health care agencies, taught nursing, worked as clinical nurse specialists in numerous fields, and served in the military, working in almost every aspect of nursing.
Since graduation, only one of the class is deceased, three could not be located and several were unable to attend. One of the highlights of the event was having dinner with our physician instructor for obstetrics and gynecology, Phillip L. Ferro, MD, who is still practicing and teaching at SUNY Upstate in Syracuse. He traveled to Seneca Falls to surprise the group (only the reunion chairs knew he was coming.)
Since no SU reunion would be complete without Marshall Street memories, menus were obtained from the Varsity and Cosmo’s. Manny’s contributed some mugs and t shirts. Syracuse University and Falk College also contributed items to remind the ladies of their days at SU.
Endless memories were recalled such as females curfews, no slacks on campus, no alcohol on campus, freshman beanies, the Goon Squad, the strict rules and regulations of the Nursing School, snacking on M Street, going to The Orange with a date, and placard cheering in Archbold.
Many of our class lived in cottages that have long ago been demolished to make room for new buildings and parking lots. Our school was located at 107 Waverly Ave. in a metal Quonset hut. We had codes…dress codes, behavior codes and an honor code, all which were strictly enforced. While many of these things seemed a bit harsh at the time, each of the class agreed that our school equipped us well to be the caring professional women we became. It made us good citizens, volunteers, family members and most of all, friends.
Each of us remembered where we were and what we were doing the day President Kennedy was assassinated. Each of us remembered having to graduate in Manley Field House due to inclement weather. Each of us remembered our years at SU and all of the years that have passed at SU, our school, and one another… with a smile!
Prepared by Joan Martin Way, RN, MSN