Mel Taylor had returned to campus numerous times since his graduation to meet with his old Dayton football teammates, but this weekend marked the first time he’d attended for Reunion Weekend.
“It’s been 50 years,” said Taylor, a 1968 graduate. “I’m going to be a Golden Flyer.”
Taylor chatted with other alumni the afternoon of Friday, June 8, as they waited in line to pick up their registration packets for Reunion Weekend. Close to 3,200 registered for the weekend, according to representatives from the Division of Advancement, and everyone from Golden Flyers to graduates who earned their diplomas just a year ago swapped tales from their years on campus.
The stories differed — four housemates from the Class of 1988 bemoaned the fact that their house had been demolished in recent years while another group of eight friends from the Class of 1983 smiled as they recalled how they all met their husbands while attending UD.
Some had to ask for directions to their weekend residences, as places like Virginia W. Kettering Hall didn’t exist before 1987. Others marveled at the campus’ expansion from their years here — even graduates from five years ago were greeted by new buildings or new construction.
While the details differed depending on graduation year, the alumni all had one story in common. They were back for Reunion Weekend because UD was a special place.
Right behind Taylor was John Lucas, another soon-to-be-inducted Golden Flyer from the Class of 1968. He’d never met Taylor, but after hearing he was a fellow 1968 graduate, Lucas said he’d make sure to talk to him at the class party that evening.
“I come to Reunion Weekend every five years because we live nearby,” Lucas said. “This is a big year — 50th year since graduating from UD and 50th wedding anniversary.”
Golden, indeed. Welcome home.