1958 Class Reunion
The 50th anniversary celebration of the class of 1958 met at the LMS (Lancaster) Campus on Saturday, June 28. The planning committee consisted of: Andrew Leatherman, chair; Susanna Stoltzfus, Janet Shank Eberly and Noah Martin. Members of the Anniversary Book Committee were: Andy Leatherman, Edna King Hershberger, Karl Stoltzfus and Leona Zook Oberholtzer.
Class president Noah Martin submitted the following reunion report:
“The Class of ’58 has its Dreams,” sang a mixed quartet at the 50th Anniversary Celebration of the class of ’58—a take on a Statler Brothers’ song. A great time of sharing, rejoicing, remembering, and reciting goals captured the hearts of the 137 guests, representing nearly 90% of the living original graduating classmates, spouses, and classmates who didn’t graduate.
As class members gathered on the campus of LMS, one could hear shrieks of delight as old friends ran to embrace one another. There were smiles, some tears, much laughter, and a sense of the presence of God rejoicing with us.
In quiet moments, the class remembered five of our classmates who have already gone to their heavenly home. As each name was read, a candle was lit, and a moment of silence brought each one to our hearts.
A huge and colorful banner depicting our class motto was mounted on the wall behind the podium—“FORWARD EVER FAITHFUL” (created by Edna King Hershberger)—which became the staging point of the evening’s program. The rays of the sun on the motto during the memorial service brought a presence of God’s healing light.
“Surely the presence of the Lord was in this place” was the witness of Andy Leatherman, chairperson of the event and the Master of Ceremonies. Noah Martin, class president, gave the welcome speech in which he called attention to the achievements of the class members, noting in particular the many who served Christ at home and around the world. “It is truly an amazing story of love and devotion to God,” he said, “But it is also a story of ‘Amazing Grace’ as we witness the imprint of God upon our lives.”
The high attendance was due in part to the creation of a special book titled, The Fiftieth Anniversary Laurel Wreath. Each class member had a page to share meaningful highlights of their lives—joys as well as sorrows, accomplishments as well as failures, losses as well as gains. The book emotionally connected the class members ahead of time and increased the awareness of the meaning of its gathering. A member of the class financed the printing and mailing of the Laurel Wreath-size book.
“A superb experience,” said Susanna Stoltzfus, class secretary. “And it ran the gamut of feeling and emotional experience for us all with reverence/honoring/respect and fun/humor, love and ultimately celebration and joy!” “It was first class in every way,” added Cora Kurtz of Gainesville, Florida.
As the evening ended, the class stood and sang the class song, “Forward Ever Faithful.” A closing recommitted our lives to God and to one another as the class of ’58 continues on its journey.