Campus & Community / Magazine Feature

PALS helps local alumni connect some 50 years after graduation

A group catering to University of Denver alumni who graduated 50 or more years ago has been established and is looking for new members.

Class of ’56 members who were organizing their 50th reunion started the DU Pioneer Alumni Legends (PALS). The ’56ers wanted to see each other more often than every five or 10 years, and in June 2008, the group was formally announced.

Ann Richardson (BA ’56) heads up the group, calling herself a “quiet organizer.” Richardson, who was DU’s alumni director in the 1970s, has always maintained connections to the University. She says there are about 3,000 alumni in the Denver metro area who are eligible to join the group, including about 670 from the class of ’56, but just 300 or so on the current mailing list.

Events so far have included the emeritus tea at graduation, a pool party at Cherry Hills Country Club and a hockey game. The tailored events offer alumni a reason to come back to campus or to meet up locally.

“We enjoy each other’s company. The one thing that connects us is the University,” Richardson says.

But Richardson says they don’t spend a lot of time reminiscing about the good old days. The focus, she says, is on what’s happening now. Interests vary, but include travel, theater, books, politics and what’s happening in town, she says.

Hallie Lorimer, director of alumni programs, is the group’s on-campus connection. Lorimer coordinates the events, arranging for tickets, food and DU venues.

“We’re trying to plug into DU so we can expose this generation of alumni and they can see the exciting things happening at DU,” Lorimer says.

Events planned for this year include a gymnastics meet and a concert at the Lamont School of Music.

Jack Deeter (BSBA ’56, MBA ’63) enjoys DU PALS because the events enable him to see people he’s known for years.

“The events are a little more laid back. It’s more tailored to our physical abilities and to introduce us to a broad range of events,” Deeter says.

For those worried they might not recognize their former classmates, Richardson says, “We use a lot of nametags.”

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