Roosevelt High School Class of 1963
Minneapolis, Minnesota

Record turnout at banquet tops off 50-year reunion

An eventful two days culminated Saturday night, Aug. 10, when more than 200 diners crowded into a ballroom at the Minneapolis Airport Marriott for a three-course meal served by the hotel staff.

It was by far the largest crowed ever to attend a Class of '63 reunion event. Although detailed records haven't been kept over the years, we have never been even close to 200 for such a gathering.

The exact count for dinner was 217–153 grads, 59 guests and five others who helped with photography and other duties during the evening.

It was the most ambitious reunion ever undertaken by the Roosevelt '63 class, which opened Friday simultaneously with a school tour at Roosevelt and an 18-hole golf outing at Gross National in northeast Minneapolis. An informal gathering with cash bar was held Friday evening at American Legion Post 435 in Richfield. Saturday morning featured vintage bus tours of the Powderhorn, Longfellow and Nokomis neighborhoods we grew up in.

"As I told many at the reunion dinner, I feel that this was the best ever," said classmate Jon Nordstrom, who attended three of the five events. "It might have something to do with the fact that 'we ain't getting' any younger fast!'

"The golf tourney that Dale [Hendrickson] set up was great–a scramble format really takes the pressure off. It was all good company and the 70s weather did help.

"The neighborhood bus trip that 'Mushy' [Jon Mathisrud] organized on Saturday was very nostalgic," Jon continued. "He even started out by offering an ice-cold Coca-Cola, original recipe, real sugar, to us all. The '54 original GM bus topped it off for me, being the mechanical nut that I am.

"Finally, the dinner–people just seemed happy to see each other, genuinely so," Jon exclaimed. "The outdoor venue [the Marriott courtyard] to start the evening was fantastic. Again, the good weather was a real treat. It was a great two-day adventure. Thanks to all who made it happen."

Ambitious planning for 50-year reunion proves to be a winner, according to a survey of classmates.

A Class of ’63 reunion involving more than just the traditional Saturday night banquet was well worth the extra effort the committee put into it, as indicated by a survey of grads who attended as many as four of the five events Aug. 9-10, 2013.

Seventy-three percent of respondents said that it would not have been enough to simply have the evening dinner for our milestone 50-year get-together. That represented 32 of the 44 classmates who took the time to return the survey anonymously. Only nine (20 percent) said the banquet was enough. Two others gave negative answers about the banquet itself (referring to the ’63 class, one wrote, “This is not a banquet group.”) and one offered no opinion.

“Enjoyed the Roosevelt tour and the Friday night gathering,” commented one respondent when answering the question about whether a banquet would have sufficed. “In view of the number of classmates I got to talk to on Friday night, Saturday night would not have been enough.”

The five 2013 events. The reunion opened Friday with an 18-hole golf outing at Gross National in northeast Minneapolis and a 90-minute tour of Roosevelt High School. Friday evening an informal gathering was held at American Legion Post 435 in Richfield.

Saturday two 70-minute vintage bus tours were offered through the Powderhorn, Longfellow and Nokomis neighborhoods. The evening banquet was a three-course dinner at the Marriott in Bloomington. In our seven previous reunions, only a Saturday night dinner had been held.

As to the other prominent question in the survey, 77 percent also gave positive responses about attending a 55-year reunion in 2018. Twenty-nine grads—two-thirds of them—gave an outright yes to their coming, another three said yes with stipulations (for example, “If there are additional things to do.”) and two others said likely and probably. That’s 34 of 44. Four others answered possibly or maybe. Only two said no and two others answered probably not and not likely. One responded with a question mark.

What might be next. Classmates were also asked if they would come to a novel event, a 70th birthday party in 2015. The responses were at least positive there too. Although only 19 of 44 said yes or sure to coming, four others answered probably and eight more possibly or maybe plus two others said that it sounded fun and interesting. Only seven said an outright no, while four others responded probably not and one said less likely.

That means that the reunion committee should be diligent in having to meet sometime next year to discuss whether or not to stage a 70th birthday party in 2015. A decision would need to be made by late fall of 2014. As always, committee meetings are open to any Class of ’63 member, and an announcement of the next meeting will be made on this website.

What did the respondents like best about the 50-year reunion? READ MORE


2013 Survey Information

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