2011 - SHP Class of "61" 50th Reunion

After much anticipation and preparation, reunion weekend was finally upon us.
Below is a listing of the various events in chronological order,
and URL links for the corresponding pictures.

Friday Nite, June 3, 2011: Reception/Mixer at Cryans of South Orange

The reunion committee kicked off the weekend festivities with a casual reception at 6:30 PM. Together with Rich Koles of the Prep alumni office, picture nametags were prepared and the reception room was configured to accommodate in excess of 50 grads and guests. All grads and guests were met with an open bar and buffet dinner.

At 7:30 PM, the reunion weekend commenced with a formal introduction by Joe Knapp who put the preceding 50 years in historical perspective. He reminded the gathering that the class of 61 has spent the last 54 years together commencing with freshman year in 1957. Class President Vince Lupo, who together with his son-in-law put together a memorabilia laden PowerPoint presentation, welcomed the grads to the 50th reunion weekend. Highlighting the value of a Seton Hall Prep education, Reunion Chairman Jeff Gausepohl outlined the importance of the class Jubilee fund raising gift. Recognizing the exponential escalation of tuition costs at the prep over the last 50 years, Chairman Gausepohl encouraged his fellow grads to consider assisting those less fortunate to enjoy the same prep experience as the class of 61.

Concluding the formal introduction, Joe Walsh who would subsequently be honored at commencement as the "Alumnus of the Year", outlined the following days activities including a return trip/tour of the Seton Hall University campus in South Orange. Joe reminded everybody to be on time for the bus which would depart at 10:30 AM, Saturday morning from the Hilton Hotel in Short Hills.

It was wonderful to see so many classmate friends after so many years. Plenty of spirits, plenty of food, lots of memories discussed. It went all too quickly! Before we knew it, 9:30 PM had arrived, and it was time to wrap up for a full day on Saturday.

Click here to see pics at Cryans Friday Nite

Saturday Morning, June 4, 2011: Tour of Seton Hall University/Prep Campus

At 10:45 AM, the bus departed from the Hilton Hotel, arriving at the Student Union Building on the Seton Hall University campus. Assembling at the Student Union Building and after being met by the tour guide assigned to us from the Seton Hall University alumni office, we ultimately wound up in front of Mooney Hall. Thankfully the SHP logo is still in the lobby however much about Mooney Hall has changed since it has been taken over by the university. We were given the opportunity to tour carte blanche through the building for about 10 to 15 minutes. Many of the old offices are still there however under different names, and interestingly enough the ROTC has an office on the 4th floor. Duffy Hall looked very much the same however the senior lockers were missing from the 2nd floor. We basically went in one door and out the other, peering into the classrooms as we went. Perhaps the biggest change was Walsh Auditorium where notably the swimming pool has been moved from the lower level to the same level as the gymnasium. Lots of trophy cases, certainly lots of memories. The tour terminated at the new Walsh Library, ascending to the Rotunda Room room where we had a tastefully prepared lunch, lots of opportunities to chat among us, and a briefing from the University Alumni Office.

After lunch, it was back on the bus for our return trip to the Short Hills Hilton. All in all it was quite a day and the day was far from over.

Click to see pics of SHU/Prep campus tour

Saturday Reception/Dinner/Dance at Short Hills Hilton:

Time to put the formal attire on and meet once again for a pre-dinner reception. With the cooperation of the hotel, we were able to get Vince Lupo's nostalgia PowerPoint up and running on one of their portable LCD units. After a brief introduction from Joe Knapp, Class Pres. Vince Lupo and Reunion Chairman Jeff Gausepohl formally welcomed the class of 61 and guests to that evening's festivities. Vince Lupo presented the reunion committee with commemorative plaques signifying their tremendous contribution to the overall success of the reunion weekend. Chairman Gausepohl briefly outlined the importance and value of our class solidarity and Jubilee gift to the prep. After the reception, it was onto dinner with the invocation being offered by our own Fr.Bill Morris. After a terrific sitdown dinner, it was onto spirits and dancing, and a great time was had by all.

Click to see pics of Saturday nite Reception/Dinner/Dance

Sunday morning, June 5, 2011 at the Prep:

On Sunday morning the "61" grads convened once again in the chapel at the new Seton Hall Prep in West Orange. Prior to the commemorative mass, graduates had an opportunity to tour the unfamiliar facilities of the new Prep. The commemorative mass was celebrated by our own Fr. Chris Beirne, with Fathers Pagnotta, Morris, Carlson, Hanrahan and Msgr. Kelly as co-celebrants. What a thrill and joy it was to see our guys, whom many of us hadn't seen in 50 years, celebrating mass. After mass, we had an opportunity to ask Msgr. Kelly questions about the direction of the prep, and during that discussion and answer period one of our guys reminded the group about the tremendous stewardship and guidance that Msgr. Kelly has provided over the last 28 years. Those comments and the ensuing rounds of applause certainly ratified the feelings from the 61 grads and guests. After the class assembled in front of the Prep for group pictures, it was onto the bookstore to load up on memorabilia.

At noontime, we convened at Rock Spring Country Club. The luncheon was sponsored by Msgr. Kelly and the Prep, and needless to say the accommodations and food were superb. the opportunity to sit with fellow grads and be brought up-to-date was more than appreciated.

Sunday Afternoon Commencement:

Late in the afternoon, we convened at the Cody Auditorium in South Mountain, West Orange for the commencement ceremonies. Meeting in a pre-commencement room, Rich Koles and staff from the Prep alumni office presented each graduate with a 50th anniversary diploma. What a nice surprise! At 5 o'clock the "61" grads proceeded down a hallway as the contemporary 2011 graduates were lining each side. By the time we got to the end of the hallway, the 2011 graduates figured out who we were and gave us a hearty round of applause. It was indeed heartwarming! After being seated in the arens, we were asked to stand as our names were called to be recognized by those in attendance. Our own Joe Walsh was recognized as the "Alumnus of the year" for his outstanding contribution to the prep since our graduation, and our fellow grad Fr. Bill Hanrahan delivered the commencement address.

Commencement was indeed a stirring and uplifting experience. After the ceremony had concluded and we exited the auditorium into a sea of contemporary grads and their guests, it was over. It all went too fast.

Click to see pics of Sunday at Prep, luncheon, commencement

Joe Walsh "61" honored By SHP as "Alumnus of the Year":

And for good reason! Since graduation 50 years ago, Joe has been intricately involved in a number of support projects most notably the Thomas J. Griffin Bridges Program. Founded as a formal program in 1993, the Thomas J. Griffin Bridges Program provides educational, financial, and social support to enable academically talented, financially limited young men. Specifically designed to meet the needs of inner-city young men, regardless of race or creed, this program provides them with an environment where they can learn, develop, and become productive citizens. Seton Hall Prep alumni volunteer, provide guidance, and are readily available to scholars.

Joe has provided outstanding leadership for many other projects designed to benefit Seton Hall Prep and the Seton Hall Prep experience. Joe personifies the Prep spirit and tradition of "giving back" and is truly worthy of the award of "Alumnus of the Year". The class of "61" is truly proud to have Joe as an honored member during our golden anniversary year.

Class Pres. Vince Lupo honored with Lifetime Achievement Award:

The reunion committee voted unanimously to award Pres. Vince Lupo this award, personifying his 50 year dedication and commitment to the class of 1961. Since graduation, Vince has been intricately and passionately involved in all ensuing class reunion activities. When Vince campaigned for class president in 1960, he did not, thankfully, campaign on a platform of term limits, and to this day he continues to faithfully fulfill his obligations and responsibilities as our president. The class of 1961 is proud to have Vince as our class president.

To see the commemorative letter in honor of this award, click here:


Reunion Committee: the Class of "61" would like to thank the reunion committee members for their dedication and enthusiasm in planning and coordinating our 50th reunion weekend. Most notably, the class appreciates reunion chairman Jeff Gausepohl for his outstanding leadership and Tom Gould for his steadfast dedication in locating and contacting as many classmates as possible. This was an arduous task and Tom was certainly up for the challenge. The class also recognizes the superb contribution made by Joe Walsh in coordinating the Seton Hall University Saturday tour.

Seton Hall Prep Alumni Office: Kudos to Rich Koles for his outstanding contribution to the overall success of our reunion weekend. Thanks Rich, we couldn't have done it without you!

Seton Hall University Alumni Office: Our heartfelt thanks to Nick Sena and the entire staff who assisted Joe Walsh in coordinating and conducting the Saturday tour and Walsh Library luncheon.

SHP Headmaster, Monsignor Mike Kelly: in the 28 years since Father Mike has assumed stewardship of Seton Hall Prep, it has enjoyed unprecedented and unparalleled success as an educational and spiritual institution. Unquestionably, under Father Mike's guidance, the Seton Hall Prep brand has never been more valuable or revered. Thanks Father Mike for your outstanding leadership and friendship. The class of 1961 truly salutes you!

Attn: 61 Grads:

We will be adding pictures and other memorabilia from the 50th reunion to the web site as it becomes available. Please forward all pictures you would like posted on the web site to the URL link listed below. Any info regarding the picture(s) including names, locations, and events would be helpful.

Click to send pics here

Click to see pics at Cryans Friday Nite: June 3rd, 2011
Click to see pics of SHU/Prep campus tour: June 4th, 2011
Click to see pics of Saturday nite Reception/Dinner/Dance: June 4th, 2011
Click to see pics of Sunday at Prep, luncheon, commencement: June 5th, 2011

Click to see class pic at West Orange Campus: June 5th, 2011

The superb slide presentation compiled by Vinny Lupo and his son-in-law and shown at the dinner dance on Saturday evening June 4th, can be downloaded here: SHP61Reunion.ppt (requires MS Power point)

Note: Twice a year the "Golden Knights" ( SHP grads 50 years and beyond), meet over lunch at Rock Spring CC(May) and Spring Lake CC (Oct 26, 2011). We will be receiving an invitation directly from the Prep. This is another venue to foster and perpetuate the good will and "esprit de corps" with not only our classmates but previous year's grads as well.

Seton Hall Prep Class of "61"