CU-Boulder Alums Who 'Survived' The '60s To Reunite At Homecoming

first_imgForty years after the Summer of Love, a group of University of Colorado at Boulder journalism graduates will reunite at this year’s homecoming celebration to reminisce about the 1960s, reconnect with old friends and examine the rapid-fire changes occurring in American journalism.”There will be soft food, soft music and bright lights,” joked Dwight Stephens, a retired advertising executive and real-estate developer who lives in Carefree, Ariz., and is one of several reunion organizers.Reunion participants will meet with journalism faculty, staff and students and examine how the Fourth Estate, or the press, has evolved since the advent of the Internet age. Alumni from all years and sequences – advertising, news-editorial, broadcast and media studies – are invited to the reunion.The homecoming gathering will take place an hour and a half before the Colorado-Oklahoma football game on Saturday, Sept. 29, in the Continuing Education building at 1505 University Ave. in Boulder. Food and beverages will be served.Paul Voakes, dean of the CU-Boulder School of Journalism and Mass Communication, said 1960s journalism graduates – for unknown reasons – have not been as active in alumni activities as other generations. As such, the “J school” decided to celebrate early baby-boomer legacies during an on-campus event with the hope of drawing alumni from the remarkable era to share their experiences.”We know they turned on and tuned in – but we hope they did not drop out,” Voakes said. “It’s a lot of fun to talk about how journalism has changed – the look of newspapers and broadcast journalism and the whole attitude of reporting before Watergate.”Stephens, who graduated in 1968, and his classmates came of age during an era of unprecedented social change and unrest ignited by the Vietnam War, deep political divisions and the assassinations of John F. Kennedy, Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr., beloved leaders in the eyes of many Americans.The generation-defining ’60s sparked a social awakening and cultural renaissance that, for the first time, attempted to tear down class, gender, race, ethnic and other divisions in the United States and gave birth to the space race, Cold War politics and modern rock ‘n’ roll. A time of campus sit-ins, violent street demonstrations, civil rights challenges and landmark U.S. Supreme Court decisions, the decade also gave rise to youthful idealism and a period of intense national self-examination.For Stephens and his friends, a college degree was more of a means to landing a good job after graduation. Some arrived on campus married with children and had already been in the workforce or had served in the military. They put themselves through college with G.I. Bill benefits, scholarships and part-time jobs.”We were after that degree. There wasn’t anything romantic about it,” Stephens said. “It just seems like yesterday to me, but – gosh – it was a lifetime ago.”Contact Beth Gaeddert at (303) 492-0460 or [email protected] to R.S.V.P. for the reunion. Obtain game times and ticket information for CU football games at Learn about the CU-Boulder School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Share Share via TwitterShare via FacebookShare via LinkedInShare via E-mail Published: Sept. 5, 2007 last_img read more