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From Jill Neubauer ’78
It took one strong, eager voice reaching out to our class to get people to say, “Yes, I’ll come back.” Tom King, our Class of ’78 Valedictorian, was that voice and it worked.
It was a bit nerve inducing to think of the weekend as it approached, but once it started it was easy, grounding, and meaningful to connect with classmates. People I knew (a bit) forty years ago were familiar. What struck me was the warmth and respect we had for each other. After a weekend of opportunities to talk with classmates, I came away with the belief that we were-are-a remarkable class. Not because we were closely-knit or a cohesive group in ’78 — I don’t think we were — but because we have each found our path in life. We have each found our way to a life of meaning, relationships, and productivity in areas of interest and talent. That is the best a school can strive for and we talked about how Prairie, helped us on our journey. I feel more connected to my class now than ever before, and look forward to our next get together. Whenever Tom decides to send out the call to gather, I will say “Yes.”
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From Richard Gorton ’78
There was no single fondest memory for me. There were a lot of great experiences and activities that afforded me a breadth of knowledge, along with various challenges that helped me to grow. Today, professionally, I’m in computing. I got my exposure to this via a programming segment in an Upper School Science class, and it was thoroughly addictive. I further pursued computing in college, and have been doing software close to the hardware ever since: Digital Equipment Corp (DEC)’s Semiconductor Division, Cisco, and AMD. As well as multiple smaller companies. But that is not all of it. “Remember who you are and what you represent” was a mantra while I attended — and that resonated. Our family business in Racine was based upon creating high quality machine tools — engraving machines and mills. The “quality” aspect and “being responsible” parts have stuck. And as part of the remembrance, I’m grateful for the Prairie experience. I try hard to “pay it forward” via funding of Science education at Prairie. The biggest surprise, for me, about our 40th reunion was how many of us participated, arriving from all over the nation. Catching up with classmates regarding what they have done and are doing was quite interesting. In addition, the graciousness of our many hosts was incredible: Connie and Liz for Friday night dinner; Jill for the Saturday night picnic.