(Posted June 20, 2023)

HUNTINGDON, Pa. — Members of Juniata College’s Class of 1973 presented their 50th Class Reunion legacy gift during the All Class Dinner at Alumni Weekend. The Class of 1973 raised $3,576,319.73, which will support many areas across the College both now and in the future. A portion of their overall gift will be directed to support extensive renovations to Rosenberger Auditorium within the Halbritter Center for the Performing Arts, specifically for the replacement of the auditorium seats.

Class of 1973’s Legacy Gift committee co-chairs Tom Wynn ’73 and Mary White ’73, and committee members Rick Fornadel ’73, Fred Mason ’73, and Linda (Wachsmuth) McKonly ’73 rallied their classmates to support the cause. Fundraising continued until just a few hours before the big reveal.

“We tried to find something that would have broad appeal and resonate with everyone. You couldn’t be a student at Juniata without sitting in those very uncomfortable seats,” Wynn said. “As we were working toward our goal, someone made the great comment that we needed to work for the thrill of victory over the agony of ‘da seats,’ which we were able to do.”

The centrality of Rosenberger Auditorium to the campus experience is a commonality the members of the Class of 1973 have with current students and all who have attended Juniata in the years between. Convocation, awards assemblies, performances, and special events all bring community members together in a single space. Many of those marking their 50th year since graduating fondly remember completing the film history section of Great Epochs of World Cultures and celebrating All Class Night while sitting in the same seats still used today.

“The final number was beyond our goal. We were very pleased with the energy and commitment from all of our classmates,” said White. “The bigger excitement for us was the participation. We met our goal of 50 percent a couple of weeks before the reunion and went beyond it.”

When the final tallies were made, 52 percent of the Class of 1973 took part in the legacy gift effort.

White and Wynn credited the support of their committee, class engagement officers, classmates, and Juniata College’s advancement team with the success of their effort. A total of 75 members of the Class of 1973 were on hand to celebrate the presentation of their class gift.

Planning for a class’s 50th Reunion begins five years before the 50th reunion, and part of that planning is leaving a lasting legacy in the form of a significant gift to Juniata College.

Outside of the class projects, alumni celebrating their 50th reunion often support areas at Juniata that were most meaningful to them, including the Juniata Scholarship Fund, summer student research initiatives, specific academic programs, facility enhancements across campus, Juniata Athletics, and much more.

Contact April Feagley at feaglea@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3131 for more information.