Call it a challenge to all fellow UD alumni.
After a visit to campus for the first time since graduating in 1969, the women of 1614 Alberta St. crafted a plan to ensure other alumni reconnect, reunite and give back.
Scattered around the country after graduation, the former roommates once sent a round-robin letter, each adding a letter to the envelope before sending it on. “Sometimes it took a full year to get to everyone. But I was proud of us for keeping it up for several years,” said Karen Dreidame Weber.
After that, it was Christmas cards and occasional reunions with a few of the roommates. But in July 2014, everyone was able to make it to the Cincinnati area for the first-ever full reunion of 1614 Alberta. “We just picked up right where we left off. It was like no time had passed,” Weber said.
The group — including Carol Mattingly Hallett, Ellen Dickinson Byrnes, Kim Costin Carmichael, Kathy Fortman Hutter, Patty Cunerty Rees and Weber — arranged to take a tour of campus. The one place they weren’t able to see on the tour, however, was 1614 Alberta. In its place is ArtStreet, an arts-based learning-living facility that opened in fall 2004. “It was sad to see that our house was no longer there, but we were really impressed to see the rest of campus,” Rees said. “It’s amazing to see the changes, the growth that has occurred.” James Brothers from the Division of Advancement acted as their tour guide.
In honor of their experience at UD, the roommates created the 1614 Fund. They have pledged an annual gift, allocating the yearly amount to an area of their choosing. “We were really impressed with the new physician assistant practice program while on our tour, so our first gift will be toward that,” Weber said.
They have issued a challenge to other alumni who are former roommates, teammates or groups of friends to do the same.
“This has been a great thing to bring us together again and to feel like we continue to be a part of the University,” Rees said. “We’d love to see it be contagious for other alumni to celebrate their time here and continue to enrich the lives of future UD graduates. We are grateful for the time we had at UD, as we know so many others are.”