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CFAES Wooster


Class of 1974 50th Reunion

We received the following note of thanks from alumnus Mike Snyder who, along with Mary Ann Frantz, helped organize the Class of 1974 50th Reunion: 


Thank you from the bottom of my heart for what you all did to make our 50th class reunion a huge success.  Everything worked out so well.  I think the worst part of it was there was too much food.  I can't eat like I used to.  If too much food is the worst part, that says how successful it was.

I thought Kristina's moment of silence for our classmates who passed was very good, especially how everyone called out the names of those they knew had passed.

I wish you all could have stayed a bit longer, although I understand your desire to get home after a long day.  What you missed was quite inspiring.  The testimonials of our classmates blew me away.  I wish we had it recorded.  It started with Bill Ferguson's emotional story about how he was basically a cut-up and a goof-off who had a 1.3 GPA and over a dozen demerits.  He was a real stinker.  He knew he was disappointing his parents, but didn't see how he could dig himself out of the hole he had dug.  He was planning to drop out.  Then Ed Kinsey called him and told him he wanted him back.  Ed was able to get across to Bill that he believed in him.  Bill decided to come back and because of Ed's encouragement.  You must realize Bill was a nightmare student, so for Ed to care enough to get Bill back is quite a testimony to Ed's level of caring and professionalism. Bill came back and started applying himself and really studying.  He ended up passing with a 2.4 or so GPA.  That gave Bill the confidence to become very successful in business and in life.

Several others told about how their experience at ATI changed them, contributing greatly to their success.  Some ended up pursuing careers outside of their ATI studies, but attributed much of their success to their experience at ATI.  One of the guys ended up traveling to 80 countries in his work.  He started out in landscaping and ended up in a high power job with Timkin. One guy almost didn't come because he didn't think it would be that big of a deal.  He was so glad he came.  It turned out to be far more than he imagined.

It was also so encouraging to see how many long marriages there were.  A couple were married during our last year at ATI and several were married shortly thereafter, so there are lots of 50th wedding anniversaries coming.  If my first wife had not passed away, we would be having our 50th this coming spring.

Ed Kinsey, Roger Borton, Gary Anderson and Roger Bauer were able to give their perspective as teachers with no experience on their first jobs.  Roger said it was his first job after college.  He was hired two weeks before classes and had no books.  Then he ended up staying there his whole career. As I remember, both he and Kinsey had Mary Ann copying the books for them, as well as much other material.  Funny thing is that even with their inexperience, they did a good job.  Some were outstanding teachers.  One of my best classes  that helped me a lot in my profession was technical writing.  Mr. Higgins taught it and admitted he didn't know much about it, but it helped me immensely in my career as I wrote a lot of technical articles over the years.  It helped me be able to get my points across clearly and concisely.  It even helped me express myself when I wrote my book about going through cancer with my first wife.

Mary Ann can probably remember more of the stories that were shared.

It was almost like starting back where we left off 50 years before as we talked to each other, shared about our families, and laughed about lots of ATI stories, memories and pranks we pulled.  There was a lot of hugging among guys who never hugged when we were at ATI. We were so happy to see each other.

Mary Ann and I have gotten numerous text messages afterward.   Our class members were so grateful to be able to get together again, and now want to stay in touch.  I suspect most were a bit surprised at how much fun it was to get reacquainted.  Personally, I was much closer to my ATI classmates than I was my high school classmates, so getting to reconnect with them was very enriching for me.

I wouldn't be surprised if they want to have a 55th anniversary. Almost all of us had lost contact with each other over the years since we didn't have cell phones, Internet, email, Facebook and all the other conveniences we have today for staying in touch.  Now I am getting texts about starting group chats to stay in contact.

Without having this reunion, most of us would not have seen each other again in this life.  We didn't know how to find each other.  I was not having much luck with my Internet searches.  That mailing list you had at ATI made a tremendous difference.

So, thank you all for your part in making our reunion a success!

Mike Snyder