Pirates come back after 50 years for ‘Golden’ Reunion
he class of 1962 returned to campus to be inducted as Golden Pirates during a reunion hosted by the Alumni Association on Sunday, Sept. 16.
Golden Pirates are alumni who graduated from Seton Hall 50 years ago, retired faculty, staff, and members of the priest community.
The class of 1962 gathered in the Chancellor’s Suite for a welcome breakfast before heading to the chapel for mass, followed by lunch and the induction ceremony held in the McNulty Atrium.
Since Seton Hall was not a coeducational at the time of their graduation, the majority of alumni in attendance were men. A handful of women were also in attendance since the nursing school held classes on campus once a week in the 1960s.
Notable attendees at the reunion included Associate Vice President of Public Relations and Marketing, G. Gregory Tobin and Edward Lucas, who is renowned for his achievements in journalism and his advocacy for the blind. Lucas is the first student at Seton Hall to have a seeing eye dog on campus.
Lucas is also the only person ever to have been married at home plate in Yankee Stadium.
During breakfast the class of 1962 was quick to note how much the campus has changed and were eager to share their memories of their time at the Hall.
The first thing that all of the alumni noticed were all of the new buildings on campus.
“There is no open space! It seems like all the original 86 acres are gone,” James Direnzo said.
The University Center now fills the space where students once played touch footabll with priests.
One alumnus reminisced about the pick up games noting that the priests “would play with their cassocks on (and) never changed their clothes to play.”
Direnzo and John Farinhalts were quick to remark that the south part of Boland Hall still looks close to the days they spent living in rooms 308 and 310 as freshmen.
Direnzo said he and Farinhalts would try and avoid the daily mandatory evening prayer.
“Every night the RAs at 7:30 (p.m.)would come around and get you out of your room,” Direnzo said.
“Sometimes if you were quick enough you could sneak out the back door and run to the deli on Ward Place and get a snack.”
Farinhalts added, “During the forced study hour, the RAs would come and check on you to make sure you were studying. They would also make sure that you wore a jacket and tie everyday to class.”
Both men knew that today the RAs are focused on much different things, but wanted to know if the tradition of freshmen hazing still occurred.
“When you were a freshman here you had to wear a little blue hat called a dink and carry a brick painted blue with your class year on it. If you got caught without your dink or your brick you were in trouble,” Direnzo said.
Farinhalts remembers most how the ritual would come to an official end.
“They would march us down the hill in our underwear and pummel us with eggs and shaving cream,” he said.
According to both men, the hazing was never malicious and was all in good fun.
One tradition that has endured the last 50 years is the congregating of Seton Hall students at Cryan’s.
All of the alumni interviewed mentioned going to Cryan’s after class – but not for a beer or a drink.
During the years that the class of 1962 were at Seton Hall, Cryan’s was an ice cream parlor that made their own ice cream.
Caroline Schwartz can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org