One Classnote reunites dozens of friends
LESLIE SPIVACK BAER ’71 was reading the summer 2010 issue of Bradley Hilltopics, and she spotted her husband’s old friend, RICHARD STERN ’67 (shown at right). That small photo in Classnotes made an impression on KEN BAER ’67, and it also created a challenge. The retired Caterpillar executive began to brainstorm a reunion for his Alpha Kappa Psi fraternity brothers, a group of college friends who hadn’t seen each other in decades.
From the Baers’ Florida home, Ken spent months tracking down as many of the guys from the 1965 to 1969 era as possible. He found 55, and on December 11–13, 2011, they reunited in Las Vegas. The reunion reception at the Grand Lux Cafe at the Palazzo Hotel included the unveiling of a poster-size photo of Stern. “It was the inspiration for the reunion,” Ken insists. “We unveiled it as the face that launched the reunion.”
Twenty-nine fraternity brothers and 22 wives attended the party. One couple, ELIAS AZPURUA ’70 and his wife Carmen, traveled from Caracas, Venezuela. More than half the partygoers enjoyed some of the music of their youth at Jersey Boys the next evening.
“Most of us had not seen each other in 42 or 43 years,” Ken reports. “It was great to relive memories. Everybody seemed extremely pleased to be getting together. We were a small fraternity so we knew each other very well in college.”
Bradley’s chapter of Alpha Kappa Psi, a national business fraternity, was founded in 1951 and remained on campus until December 1990. Its former chapter house at 1515 West Fredonia has operated as private student housing.
— Gayle Erwin McDowell ’77
From the 1967 Anaga, members of Alpha Kappa Psi included: front row, Rick Mehl, Ken Baer, Tom Felvey, Dave Dobbins, Larry Donaldson, Robert Rainwater, Richard Stern, Terry Smith, and Ned Mueller. Middle row: Robert Renskers, Elias Azpurua, Bill Broman, Paul Warnecke, Keith Vanden Dooren, Lee Newman, Wayne Russell, Kenneth Kopack, William Harrell, and Jerry Ciaramitaro. Back row: Timothy Walker, Norman Kerry, Temple Nieter, James Helleny, James Hanson, Allan Spenks, Jerry Stuart, Edward Kelly, Robert Usnik, James Staley, and Charles Asber. Not pictured: Marty Stephis, Skip Bunn, Gerry Gerber, Larry Griminger, Steve Gasparovich, David Strattman, Bob Schaffer, Tom Phillips, and John Colgan. All nine members in the front row attended the 2011 reunion, along with 20 other fraternity brothers.
Most Alpha Kappa Psi fraternity brothers from the mid ’60s had not seen each other in more than 40 years when they met in Las Vegas for a reunion on December 10, 2011. A photo of Rick Stern that appeared in Bradley Hilltopics in 2010 (visible at far left) was introduced as the “face that launched the reunion.”
From left to right, kneeling: JOHN SCHULDT ’69, NED MUELLER ’69, ELIAS AZPURUA ’70 (wearing his fraternity jacket), BOB FUGLE ’67, and WAYNE RUSSELL ’70.
Middle row: FRANK BELLAVIA ’66, HOWARD CARVER ’66, DAVID MERRITT ’65, JON LANDER ’66, KEITH VANDEN DOOREN ’68, BILL BROMAN ’69, BOB RAINWATER ’67, DENNIS CLIFF ’65, JERRY CIARAMITARO ’68, reunion organizer KEN BAER ’67, JAKE “SKIP” BUNN ’68 MA ’71, and BILL GRADY ’66.
Back row: TOM FELVEY ’67, RAY ASHLEY ’67, JOE MARTESKI ’70, WALT BURGER ’71, DAVE DOBBINS ’67, JERRY STUART ’68, TERRY SMITH ’70, LLOYD BROWN ’66, RICK STERN ’67, RICK MEHL ’70, LARRY DONALDSON ’67, and CHUCK SCHLEWITT ’66.