(The Class of 1969, 50th Reunion Class Photo by Timothy Russell)
From the very beginning, the Class of 1969 always made its mark in a big way on Trinity. The largest class ever to enroll when they arrived on campus in September 1965, more than 360 strong, they took the campus by storm and quickly established their legendary spirit of great social activism, keen intellectual range, deep faith and inseparable friendships. A class at the tipping point of great social change at the end of the 1960’s, they seized the moment to express solidarity with the progressive movements in civil rights, women’s rights, social justice and peace. With ardent belief in the urgency of their witness in the world, they blazed a bold path forward for Trinity Women of the late 20th Century. They marched forth from Trinity with an indomitable belief in their power to influence a world in great need of women’s leadership, and they were immensely successful across a broad range of endeavors professionally and personally.
As their 50th Reunion year loomed, in a manner that is so typical for the Class of 1969, they asked how they could use the occasion of their Golden Jubilee to make a statement about women’s leadership and education, about their love and loyalty for Trinity. They settled upon a truly magnificent vision: to create a fund that will ensure that students in future generations are able to finish their degrees on time. “69 to the Finish Line” is the name of the program created by the visionary class leaders, and to inform and inspire their classmates, they also produced a video to present today’s students and their needs in the most compelling way imaginable. Members of the class donated their professional expertise to create the video, to organize the fund raising, to solicit gifts, to make the case for micro-grants for juniors and seniors facing financial hardship as they try to finish their degrees. For a student late in her academic career who might be struggling to come up with the funds for tuition in the last semester, or books or other expenses that seem daunting — $500 or $1000 can be a daunting amount for a young woman who sees the finish line but can’t quite get there financially — the Class of 69 fund will help to carry her over the finish line.
By Reunion Weekend, ’69 to the Finish Line raised more than $400,000! What greater gift can alumnae give to Trinity than to ensure the continuation of the long line of Trinity alumnae through many future generations?
THANK YOU to the great Blue Class of 1969! Your magnificent vision truly proclaims Trinity ideals! So many lives will change for the better because of your great generosity! Trinity salutes you with pride and gratitude!
THANK YOU to the Class of 1969 leaders who organized such a grand reunion, fund raising effort, communications, video, the works, including:
- Reunion Chair – Ann Gosier and Assistant Reunion Chair – Sharon Brady Raimo
- Events Coordinators – Alvina Murphy McHale and Ellen Adams Kelley
- Class Gift Chair – Pat Quigley Sheehy (thanks and thanks again!)
- ’69 to the Finish Line Video: Blanca Zayas, Ara Johnson-Bland, Julie Hunter Galdo, Peggy O’Brien
- Communications Coordinator – Susan Hughes Hunter
- Mini-Bio Interviewers and Writers – Kathy DeVoto Shuman and Susan Hughes Hunter
- Songbook and Memorabilia – Trisha Ryan Sherry
- “Odyssey of the Class of 1969” Reunion Book – Jeannette Festa and Maryanne Boundy
Below is the citation I read for the Class of 1969 when they received their Golden Jubilee medals at the Reunion luncheon on June 1:
50th Reunion Citation for the Class of 1969
Born in the years of peace and hope after World War II, the Class of 1969 grew through the vortex of mid-century events that radically shaped the modern world. Arriving at Trinity in the middle of the 1960’s, the Blues of ‘69 were old enough to know every Latin response at Mass but young enough to know every word to “I Can’t Get No Satisfaction” by the Rolling Stones.
They were eager students of the great faculty of that Trinity era, revering legendary Philosopher Dr. Max Guzikowski to whom they dedicated their yearbook. President Sr. Margaret Claydon, SND ’45 showed them how to be a great leader, and Dean of Students Sr. Ann Gormley, SND ’45 exercised judicious care with so many smart young women increasingly restless with the constraints and customs of the past. Loyal to tradition with courtyard sings and elaborate Class Day decorations in the Well, they also knew their Trinity education had to prepare them for the tumultuous world beyond Michigan Avenue roiled by civil rights demonstrations and anti-war protests, riots in cities and uproars on campuses. Assassination robbed the nation of promising young leaders; the students of ’69 stood on the roof of Kerby to behold Washington burning after the murder of Dr. Martin Luther King in April 1968.
As they “walked off to look for America,” (thank you, Simon & Garfunkel) the Class of 1969 stepped into a world where revolution was fast rising, from Stonewall to Woodstock to the Moratorium against the Vietnam War. Neal Armstrong walked on the moon, Nixon became president and the Beatles gave their last public performance. Midnight Cowboy broke all the rules and still won the Oscar. Deep in laboratories in California, a few words traveled from one computer to another across 300 miles and the Internet was born, changing how we receive, know and process information forever.
Undaunted by the tumult, well-equipped with their Trinity degrees to ride high on the speed of change, the women of 1969 quickly made their marks as teachers, doctors, foreign service officers, writers, journalists, PR and Communication specialists, docents of galleries and chairs of non-profit boards, Shakespeare whisperers, school leaders and theologians, artists in watercolor and jewelry, and even a life master in bridge. They created beautiful families, the joys of their lives, the children and grandchildren and spouses and partners and parents and friends and webs of relationships that nourish and strengthen each stage of life, and the communities who know them. They made their marks as innovators and advocates, provocateurs and champions of social justice, ardent leaders of faith and conviction. They have been the “voice of the faithful” both literally and in the largest sense of fidelity to the values that Trinity cherishes, making the world a far better place for having been touched and changed by the indomitable spirit of 1969.
In this, their 50th Reunion year, they are far from done with leading change in our world. They have chosen to make a truly extraordinary gift on this occasion, a fund that will help future generations of Trinity students to become alumnae without delay due to financial hardship. As of Reunion Saturday, “69 to the Finish Line” has raised more than $400,000 to provide micro-grants to help juniors and seniors complete their degrees on time. THANK YOU, 1969!
Our great Blue Class of 1969 is golden today, and for all of the countless ways in which they have proclaimed Trinity’s ideals with never a swerve, I am pleased to present to them the Trinity Golden Jubilee medal.
– President Pat McGuire ’74
Note: At the May 2019 Commencement we were pleased to recognize the achievements of the Women of 1969 by honoring Sharon Brady Raimo ’69, CEO of St. Coletta of Greater Washington (photo on right) and Peggy O’Brien ’69 (photo on the left) introduced Sharon to our graduates. Center photo includes (l to r) Trinity Board Chair Sr. Patricia O’Brien, SND; Sharon Brady Raimo; Peggy O’Brien; and yours truly.