If I haven’t done so, I want to thank you for inviting me to attend the reunion. I am not overstating – I had the time of my life! I could have never imagined what I would feel seeing these people in person after over 30 years, hearing the unfolding of spectacular careers, admiring in men what I knew only as budding character in young men, walking on the Academy grounds again, spending an afternoon on the beautiful golf course where I used to ‘escape from it all on the hill’, being in the chapel, the stadium, the field house … it was overwhelming. I appreciated seeing the updated dorms. I spent some time in the main library as well as the AOG library in Doolittle. I wouldn’t do justice to attempt here to tell you the value or meaning for me in those few days. I am most grateful for the opportunity and enjoyment of a very well organized event that will live with me as a paramount experience.
As you know, having not graduated with the class, I didn’t expect more than to coordinate my visit to Denver that would coincide with the reunion, in the hope of making contact with a few old pals sometime during that week. I was most impressed by an invitation to attend the reunion events and welcomed the opportunity. I never suspected to find such a reciprocal welcome, in fact, far more. In more than one encounter, in more than one way, and from Superintendent to roommate to mere acquaintance friendships – I found a recurring theme that shook me into a most compelling awareness … brotherhood, friendship and camaraderie are deep and real among the members of our class.
Moreover, the ‘class' is defined, by the graduates of 1975, as the 1400+ who entered that summer of 1971, including the record-breaking number of us who fell out of rank over the course of your four years there. I was astounded and humbled to find this sentiment and its universal support. I was moved profoundly by the real presence of this fact in the minds of graduates. My expectation of exclusion met in stark contrast with your high standard of inclusion – and served to quicken my understanding of the source of my respect for each of you and unify my own self-esteem with numerous examples of character and integrity that are the common thread between us, it appears.
I went with an attitude of congratulations and honor for a great group of impressive men who are deservedly accomplished. I returned with healing, perspective, resolution, understanding, self-respect, and a slew of friendships. Priceless. Thank you again, (Keith)