Eastern welcomes back class of ‘68 for 50th reunion

Corryn Brock, Associate News Editor

Members of Eastern’s class of 1968 came back to celebrate the 50th anniversary of their graduation Friday night.

During a dinner the alums also recieved their Lord Society pins during the Livingston C. Lord Society Pinning Ceremony.

Alums were called up individually to receive the pins from Eastern President David Glassman, and in some cases with their spouse if they were married to someone they graduated with.

Booklets were available with biographies for some of the alums with a summary of the past five years of their lives, their greatest accomplishments and their fondest memories from their time at Eastern.

Some memories included meeting their spouse, the long walk from Old Main to Thomas Hall and making lifelong friends.

Marcetti Buenting, an alumna from Gifford, Illinois, said she was overjoyed being back on campus.

“The campus is still so beautiful,” Buenting said.

A notable alumnus from Eastern’s class of 1968 was in attendance for the pinning ceremony, former Governor Jim Edgar.

Edgar is the only governor in Illinois who attended a state-funded Illinois school, as mentioned by Glassman in his opening speech.

Buenting said she was excited to see Edgar speak at the dinner following the ceremony.

“It reminds me of when he spoke for student government back when we were in school,” Buenting said.

Willie Stepney, an alumnus from Waukegan, said that he has come back to Eastern often since graduating to visit Alpha Phi Alpha, a fraternity he was a part of in the 60s. 

Stepney said the campus has changed a lot since his graduation.

“All positive changes,” Stepney said. “As a school administrator, I come across several students from Eastern and they always speak positively about this university.”

Stepney said he enjoys coming downstate to visit.

“It’s a way of getting way,” said Stepney. “I always stop by the University of Illinois (Urbana-Champaign) and head over (to Eastern).”

Robert Adkins, an alumnus from the class of 1968, said the best part of being on campus was seeing all of the changes. His favorite memory from Eastern was getting an IBM 360 computer in 1966.

“I got to work with it for about four years. Vice President Zeigel was the one who made the purchase from IBM. We were the only state-supported school that had a big main frame aside from the University of Illinois, of course,” Adkins said. “That is my greatest memory from Eastern, being able to program the IBM computer.”

Corryn Brock can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].