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First class of Penn State Capitol Campus reunites, celebrates 50 years

By Phyllis Zimmerman, Special to the Press & Journal
Posted 7/10/19

The Penn State Capitol Campus alumni gathered at the Sheraton Hershey Harrisburg for their 50th-year  reunion on June 22 appeared happy, yet somber.

They shared an unspoken commonality that …

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First class of Penn State Capitol Campus reunites, celebrates 50 years

Posted

The Penn State Capitol Campus alumni gathered at the Sheraton Hershey Harrisburg for their 50th-year  reunion on June 22 appeared happy, yet somber.

They shared an unspoken commonality that their graduation year of 1969 left a unique mark on our nation’s history, as well as their lives. It was the year of the original Woodstock music and national unrest. It was the year man first stepped on the moon and the Vietnam War showed no signs of ending soon.

It was also the first year that a class of any notable size graduated from what is now known as Penn State Harrisburg, in Lower Swatara Township. The campus opened in 1966 on the site of the former Olmsted Air Force Base. At that time, the campus only had one main building.

In 1969, Capitol Campus graduated 300, but only 86 attended the 50th class reunion on June 22.

Since graduation, eight classmate couples married and stayed that way. Some left the area for jobs but returned “home” in later years. Most were just glad to be there to join together again on Saturday.

“It’s been 50 years, but we still have smiling faces while we renew our memories and all that we shared together,” 1969 alumnus Tom Stovicek said.