The Golden Generation: 50-year reunion brings memories, friends together

The class of 1973 celebrated their 50th reunion Oct 27. The graduates of what was then Dixie College, spent the afternoon catching up on life events and reminiscing on their years here in St. George. Lexy Borgogno | Sun News Daily

Share This:

While few in numbers, those who attended the luncheon for the 50-year reunion showed they have just as much school spirit now as they did in 1973. 

On Oct. 27, a luncheon was held at noon for those in the class of 1973. It’s been 50 years since they graduated from, what was then, Dixie College

As guests arrived, the program went as follows: 

During the trivia portion, it was discussed that some traditions from 1973 are still happening 50 years later today. Those include Painting the D on the mountain and the Great Race.

John Bowler, director of alumni relations, told the class of 1973 that class sizes have remained relatively the same since then, despite the immense student enrollment growth.

Memories were shared throughout the afternoon including the mural on the Kenneth Graff building being the same. Another memory the alumni shared was of one specific dance where the entire building shook so much, they no longer had dances at that building. 

The class of 1973 members shared life updates, which included careers, marriages, children and grandchildren. They shared stories of when they were going to school and how one couple who attended the luncheon, Jene Lyday and Denise Nelson, met at Dixie College and are coming up on their 50-year wedding anniversary. 

St. George resident Alve Ann Bowers, whose last year of school at Dixie was in 1973, said her favorite class was program bureau, which was taught by Roene DiFiore. Students would sing while DiFiore would play the piano. Program bureau would travel all over Utah, Las Vegas and some of California to promote Dixie College. 

Bowers said she had fun riding the bus to these places and promoting Dixie. She also has fond memories of driving her Volkswagen around St. George and the people she met here. 

“I have a friend and we’re still friends, we met the first day we came here to register,” Bowers said. “We both had a Paisley three-ring binder, and that brought us together. We’ve been friends ever since.”

Bowers also met her husband while attending Dixie College. She met him in the old institute building that just got torn down. 

Class of 1973 alum, Rex Williams from Beaver, said his duration at Dixie College was his time to “discover the world.” Part of that discovery included his astronomy class, which had an impact on his learning experience.

“I remember looking through that telescope for the first time, looking at the ring around Saturn,” Williams said. “This is why I came to college, to discover the world.”

Being back on campus, with all the changes since 1973, Williams said it’s unrecognizable with all its growth. 

“Such a profound progress,” Williams said. “That’s what I have to say is profound progress.”

Brooke Sullivan, assistant director of alumni relations, said in order to do reunions, it starts with obtaining updated records on the individuals in the class. 

Sullivan said it’s difficult because the Alumni Association has names but no current addresses. The association searches for class information in as many ways as possible. First, they start calling phone numbers associated with individuals and try to track down the people they are looking for. 

That process starts months in advance for a reunion like this one, and once individuals from the class are located, invitations are sent out to them. 

“Basically, what we’ve done is we’ve continued to celebrate that 50-year class, and we call them, we induct them officially into the Golden Generation,” Sullivan said. 

According to Utah Tech University’s website, the Golden Generation scholarship is funded from the class of 1941 endowment. It provides a one-year scholarship and academic merit.

Not only is there the luncheon to celebrate the class, but this year, members of the class of 1973 got tickets to the homecoming football game, were invited to tailgate and were included on the alumni Homecoming float.