Alumni Association hosts class of 1960 Golden Reunion
Graduates from Arizona State University’s class of 1960 will come back to their alma mater for Golden Reunion May 12 and 13. The Alumni Association hosts this special two-day reunion event each year, which allows classmates from the university’s 50-year reunion class and their guests time to reconnect with each other and ASU, as well as the opportunity to lead the procession during the university’s Spring Commencement.
Arizona State University’s class of 1960 occupies a pivotal place in the institution’s history. Ushered into Arizona State College in 1956 as freshmen, this cohort was actively involved in efforts to change the school’s name to Arizona State University. Many class members campaigned for the successful 1958 name-change ballot initiative, Prop. 200. The class also saw the close of the 26-year tenure of ASU President Grady Gammage, who died less than six months before they graduated.
A number of former student leaders from the class of 1960 are returning to the university for the reunion.
W. David (Dave) Barnes
Dave Barnes compiled a diverse portfolio of activities as an undergraduate, serving in Arizona State’s Student Senate, as chief justice of the ASASU Supreme Court, president of his senior class and sports editor of the student-run State Press campus newspaper. But he points to his involvement in the Student Name Change Committee during his sophomore and junior years as especially exciting.
“(One day during the campaign) four of us decided to invade Tucson seeking signatures on the initiative petitions. Expecting to be run out of town, we were treated fairly well and actually gathered some signatures,” he remembers.
After graduating with a B.A.E. degree in physical education and journalism, Barnes worked in the banking industry for a number of years before launching his career as a nonprofit fundraising consultant by serving as the director of the Alumni Fund for ASU. In 1971, he founded Barnes Associates, a professional fundraising and political consulting firm. His son, Adam Frost Barnes, graduated from ASU in 1990.
Corrine (Weyrens) Windett
Corrine (Weyrens) Windett graduated from Arizona State with a B.S. degree in business and hopes of making her mark in the field of human resources. She had already left her mark on ASU, serving as treasurer of the Chi Omega sorority, a Student Senator for the Business Administration program, and dormitory wing president for the Associated Women Students organization.
She carved out a path for herself in the business world as an administrative assistant in a variety of settings, including working for the chief of the political section for the U.S. Embassy in Bonn, Germany for two-and-a-half years. She also worked in administrative positions in the fields of law, insurance and education.
Windett’s husband Charles B. Windett received his master’s and doctoral degrees from ASU. The couple co-founded an ASU alumni chapter in the Atlanta, Ga., area. Both of them remain enthusiastic Sun Devils.
“I am very grateful for the education I received at ASU, the friendships I made, and the way ASU has grown in the past 50 years,” she said. “ My husband and I will continue to support ASU in all its endeavors.”
Urban Giff, a member of the Gila River Indian Community, was president of the Dawa Chindi American Indian Students Club during the final two years of his undergraduate career. (Dawa Chindi means “Sun Devils” in the Native American languages of Hopi and Navajo.) Commissioned as an officer in the U.S. Marine Corps at his graduation in 1960, Giff, who graduated with a B.S. degree in agriculture, served in command and staff positions at assignments within the United States and a number of foreign countries, including Vietnam. He retired from active duty in 1980 with the rank of major.
After leaving military service, Giff worked for the Gila River Indian Community as an operations manager and a community manager, retiring in 2006. Currently, he serves as a representative to the Native American Employment and Training Council for the U.S. Department of Labor.
Urban met his wife, Amelia “Cindy” Callaway, at ASU. Cindy is a Pima/Maricopa/Cahuilla Indian of the Cabazon Band of Mission Indians. They have three children and one grandson. Daughter Jennifer received her J.D. degree from the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law in 1995 and daughter Priscilla received her M.S.W. degree from ASU in 1996.
Georgia (Kasnetsis Rohrer) Acevedo
Although Georgia Acevedo was quite active in a number of organizations at Arizona State, including serving as president of Associated Women Students, she said it was her involvement on the Arizona State name-change ballot initiative that provided an education in how to engage in political activism.
“What a struggle it was to get the name changed,” Acevedo said. “This was my first experience in political activism … that has inspired me to continue to have faith in grassroots activism.”
Acevedo graduated with a B.A.E. degree in Kindergarten-Primary Education, then received a M.A.E. degree in elementary education from ASU in 1962. She worked as a teacher and administrator in a variety of settings, including non-profit and public institutions ranging from preschool to the university level. She retired from the University of Hawaii, Manoa, in 2002.
Acevedo asserted that the experiences she had during her undergraduate years were key to her successes later in life.
“In my field, early childhood education, we have a saying, ‘Good beginnings never end,’” she said. “I feel that the good foundation academically, socially, and in leadership that I was privileged to receive at Arizona State University has served me well, and I am eternally grateful.”
Sun Devils who come back for Golden Reunion take part in various events over the course of two days, but the highlight is a candlelight ceremony in which class of 1960 graduates will be inducted into the Golden Circle, an honorary group comprised of all classes who have celebrated their 50th reunion. Graduates form a circle around Kachina Fountain in front of Old Main, and each class member lights a candle representing the light of knowledge.
For more information about the class of 1960’s Golden Reunion, visit: http://alumni.asu.edu/events/golden-reunion.