Class of 1971
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40th Reunion - May 26-29, 2011

There were 8 decades of Princetonians at our 40th Reunion Headquarters listening, singing and, yes, even dancing to those sweet sounds of the 1960s and 70s on the Friday night of Memorial Day weekend 2011!

If you were there, you know. Even if you did not make it, you’ve probably heard or read something about it.

Wild Life Productions

After The Beach Boys more than 2-hour non-stop set of most of their Top 40 hits, Princeton Reunions favorite "girl group," The Party Dolls sang for another 2+ hours in the Dod/Brown courtyard. The dance floor was jammed (even President Shirley Tilghman was seen on the floor during "Be True To Your School”), Princetonians were standing on the sides and behind the stage and hundreds of seats were occupied around the tent.

For the first time, the Class of 1971 also projected Friday’s shows on a large screen within our site so even those "taking a break” could take in the action on stage. There were still more Princetonians watching the simulcast of both shows to the stage at the 50th Reunion tent. It was a night that will be talked about for many years.

In all, thousands of Princetonians and their families and friends enjoyed themselves. Here are just the first few hundred of them, with lead singer and the writer of many of the group’s classic hits, Mike Love h71, on the right.

Photo by Chris Connell ’71, All Rights Reserved

As Entertainment Chair Stu Rickerson explained at our Class Dinner earlier that evening, the Class of 1971’s Save the Wild Life Fund could not have afforded what is often called "America's Band"alone.

Undaunted by this harsh financial reality, Stu explained he called The Beach Boys manager anyway to ask whether the band was available on the Friday night of Memorial Day weekend. The band’s manager seemed puzzled. He said, "Are you sure we’re talking about the 40th Reunion? We got an inquiry from the 50th Reunion just yesterday. Why don’t you two guys talk?

They did. As luck would have it all the stars lined up, and the rest is Reunions history. Once we formed our entertainment partnership with the "Golden Oldies Fiftieth” Class of 1961, the idea to bring back The Beach Boys to Princeton seemed so obvious and right for Reunions, we pushed forward with the plans despite the costs and the inevitable logistic and production difficulties that needed to be overcome. In the interim, The Beach Boys announced that they would be kicking off their 50th Anniversary tour during the summer of 2011, and began rehearsing so they would be in top form. To top things off, lead singer Mike Love accepted a Class Blazer as an honorary member of the Class of 1971 at a small gathering at Prospect House before the show. Here he is later on stage, looking resplendent.

President Tilghman -- who was seen dancing and singing to the band -- said the next evening when the Class of 1971 assembled at dinner, it was "genius" to bring this band back to Princeton for Reunions. She was effusive in her praise to the Class for creating the right mood at this year’s Reunions and for encouraging many Classes and several generations to come together and get to know each other better.

Even genius requires financial support. The Beach Boys production and performance costs were not "baked into” our 40th Reunion registration fees, but were paid entirely by SWLF. While delighting thousands of Princetonians in the 40th Reunions headquarters site, bringing "America’s Band” to Princeton for the first time in forty years (they said from the stage that they last played at Princeton in 1971) seriously reduced the SWLF cash reserves, which are used to support so many 1971 Class-wide activities.

Your gift can help refill the SWLF reserve fund depleted to make this show truly memorable (did someone say, "simulcast?"). Since Reunions, SWLF has received a number of unsolicited and greatly appreciated gifts.But that is only a start in satisfying its continuing funding needs. If you decide to help support future SWLF activities, please go to the '71 Giving portal.

Photo by Myrna Stanczak s71

All Rights Reserved

Upcoming Events

Click on date for more info


 Class of 1971's 50th Reunion Year

San Diego Mini Reunion

January 15-16, 2022

Alumni Day

February 19, 2022

Baja California Class Trip

February 24-March 5, 2022

71 to the Big Easy

March 20-24, 2022

51st Class Reunion

May 19-22, 2022

Mississippi River Cruise

October 9-15, 2022

Future Class Reunions

52nd Reunion, May 25-28, 2023

53rd Reunion, May 23-26, 2024

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