Full Lineup of Events Celebrates 1971's 50th Reunion Year!
By Geoff Smith '71, Class Vice President
As well done and connective as our Virtual Reunion was, thanks to a long list of talented classmates who produced the multiple original shows, we all missed the personal warmth of a classic Princeton 50th Reunion. So the WILD LIFE Class of 71 leadership has decided to extend our 50th reunion celebration for an entire year, to include a variety of in-person events at Princeton and across the country that will give us the opportunity to enjoy the interesting and fun classmates we missed seeing this past May. So button up your cool, stylish, custom-designed 50th Reunion Flower shirt and take advantage of this opportunity to experience these 1971 50th Reunion celebration events. If you and yours don’t have your Class shirt yet, you can purchase them at the 1971 store when you visit the Class website.
Here's the current lineup of what's in the plan for 1971's 50th Reunion Year...Continued. Click on any event to learn more or scroll down to browse all of the events.
NOTE: The Locals Tour of New Orleans, previously scheduled for November 2021, has been postponed to April 2022. The increasing concern over the COVID Delta variant and its impact in New Orleans prompted the change.
“Going Back – At Last”: 1971’s Princeton Fall Class Weekend Retreat
Friday & Saturday, October 15-16, 2021
It is happening! The recent survey emailed to Classmates showed significant interest in conducting this event and the University has recently loosened restrictions for on and near-campus events. Your Reunions leaders are in planning mode to put this event together. An announcement with program outline, costs, hotel information and a sign-up form will be emailed to the Class and posted on the website in August, 2021. Watch for it! Advanced reservations are required.
Homecoming Yale Football Weekend Reception – Tiger Inn “Class of 1971” Library
Saturday, November 13, 2021
Join us for the Annual Class of 71 reception in the Tiger Inn’s Class of 1971 library after the football game. No reservation is required and as for the past quarter century, the cost of this event is paid by the Class.
71 Goes to San Diego - Once Again
January 15-16, 2022
Over nearly a quarter century, the San Diego Class of 71 mini reunion has become a well-attended gathering of local Classmates and an escape from winter weather for non-local Classmates along with their classy spouses and guests to come together on a Sunday evening in the noisy warmth of conversation, Mariachi’s, margaritas and a delicious Mexican dinner at Tony’s Jacal, a Solana Beach, California landmark since 1946. This year’s event will be expanded to include a personal tour of the San Diego Safari Park (click on Safari Park at the top of the page that opens), a natural-environment extension of the world-famous San Diego Zoo. Also included are a guided beach walk and a second dinner gathering on Saturday evening. Please email Geoff Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org to get on the mailing list for this historically fun event. Advance notice is requested so we have space to accommodate everyone. A “1971 Honor Code” event.
The Second Voyage of the Whalers and Baja California Adventure
February 23 through March 4, 2022
Several lagoons on the Pacific Ocean side of the Baja California peninsula are where the Gray Whales return to mate and give birth. Thousands of the 35-ton mammals make the 10,000-mile pilgrimage from the Bering Sea every year. The Mexican government allows a small number of boats to cruise out into the lagoons and interact with the whales, which are amazingly receptive to humans. They cruise within feet of the boats and occasionally allow their massive faces to be touched.
Just before Covid hit in 2020, an intrepid group of Classmates bonded on the Whalers 1.0 tour. Back by popular demand, Laird Hayes and Geoff Smith have decided to do it again, but with an easier yet broader itinerary. The Whalers 2.0 voyage will include two excursions to see the whales on the Pacific side of Baja, but will also include multiple stops along the picturesque and protected Sea of Cortez side of the peninsula with small-boat trips into two National Marine Parks.
This tour is not flashy, resort Mexico, but more a naturalist visit to one of the most unique and sparsely inhabited places on the planet, punctuated with picturesque small Mexican towns and a margarita or two. If you would like to see the itinerary with remarkably low pricing and consider joining us, please email Geoff Smith at email@example.com and reference the Whalers 2.0 trip. This trip is limited to 30 people, so don’t delay in responding.
Alumni Day in Princeton
As the University has not announced whether it will hold this annual event for 2022 or its date, stay tuned to the Class website for details. If held, please join us at the Class of ‘71 table for lunch during this event and participate in the other events of the day.
WILD LIFE in the Big Easy. New Orleans Locals Tour
NEW DATE: April 2022
Hey 71! Where y’at?
(An old New Orleans expression by local musicians inquiring where other musicians were playing that night.)
What better way to experience the unique, national treasure that is New Orleans than a three-day Class of 71 mini-reunion orchestrated by lifetime resident classmates who know the city like the back of their hand. Local classmates Lex Kelso and Mike Cherry as well as frequent past visitors Art Lowenstein and Jeff Hammond have put together an amazing tour that delivers some of the best of New Orleans to share with interesting and fun members of the great Princeton Class of 1971.
A centrally located hotel will provide walking distance access to the French Quarter, art galleries, music venues, the famed WWII museum and the Audubon Aquarium, as well as restaurants and shopping. A swamp tour and visit to the Whitney Plantation will be included along with two Class dinners that will expose attendees to traditional New Orleans cuisine. The combination of free time and scheduled events are bound to make this visit to the Big Easy a memorable event for you and your spouse. (Singles are very welcome too.)
If you would like to see the itinerary for this local mini-reunion, please email Geoff Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org and reference New Orleans. We hope to see y’all in November.
Please note: hotels are filling fast in New Orleans as Americans release a pent-up travel demand, so please respond promptly.
The Class of 71’s Extended 51st Reunion
May 18 - 22, 2022
Princeton has not yet defined the extent and format of Reunions 2022, but you can bet that our incoming Reunions Chair, Jeff Hammond is planning to extend our 51st Reunion into something extra special as we enjoy the return to classic in-person Reunions.
The University has, however, informed us of a few things and pointed out that it faces unusual logistical challenges in managing the complex task of hosting all those who plan to attend Reunions 2022. We are considering Thursday, May 19 for a special '71 class-only dinner. The University plans to enlarge ‘72’s 50th headquarters site to allow ample space for ’71 to gather with classmates and other ’72 satellite classes. Priority registration will be given to 1971 and other classes which missed 25th and 50th Reunions. The University is likely to limit non-alumni guests at Reunions 2022. Also, the University plans to hold a campus commencement for the Class of 2020 on Wednesday, May 18. As soon as the University confirms plans for Reunions 2022, we will have updated information for you.
Please note that lodging will be very tight around Princeton in May 2022. You should consider reserving a hotel now with a good cancellation and change policy. There will be few or no beds available to 1971 on-Campus as a satellite reunion class. Many hotels will require a 3-day minimum stay and be sure to check their cancellation policies.
Mississippi River Cruise
Early November 2022
This trip is being developed now and having an indicator of your interest will help us reserve as much of a river cruise boat as possible for a spectacular 8-day cruise with Classmates and spouse or companion along the lower Mississippi River from New Orleans to Memphis. Email Geoff Smith at email@example.com and reference Mississippi Cruise to indicate your interest, receive an itinerary and get on the mailing list as this trip develops.
At any time before next May, just get together with a group of your local Classmates, or sign on to one of the many affinity group Zoom calls that started up before or during our Virtual Reunion and hoist a glass to our 50th. Send a picture of your group to Rob Slocum, our new Class Secretary, at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are interested in hosting a Zoom meeting with other members of '71, you can reserve a time on the Class Zoom account by contacting Technology Chair Alan Usas at email@example.com.
A note to my Classmates
Perhaps Princeton’s greatest gift to me has been the friends I knew as an undergraduate as well as those I have met since graduation. The humor, intensity and integrity of such interesting and accomplished people (on many levels) never fails to entertain me. And the spouses chosen by such friends are equally interesting. I continue to meet new and reconnect with existing friends by attending Class of 71 events and my goal is to expand the number and location of those class events to increase the number of opportunities for such interesting people to gather and revel in the experiences lived, lessons learned and philosophies developed on the unique paths we have each trod since graduating from Princeton in 1971.
With an attraction to unique venues, interests in history, nature and geography and a well-honed hedonistic style, I am working with various classmates to create events that will encourage 71 to step out of life’s ruts and enjoy the fellowship and fun that a group of our classmates inevitably generates. And let’s be honest here; in our early 70’s, there are a finite number of opportunities we have to get out and do this.
So push back against the comfortable draw of your couch and take advantage of the unique group of classmates of which you are a part. Don’t say to yourself, “Well, I won’t know anybody there.” I can guarantee that you will within an hour or two and you can reconnect with those classmates at future events. Not everyone will be attracted to all of these venues, but the goal is that you will find one or more that tweaks your interest and tips your personal inertia toward joining us.