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When he decided to downsize his home recently, the opportunity to be close to Lafayette was one of the reasons that John Becica ’69 moved to Easton from his hometown of Ho-Ho-Kus, N.J. His time on College Hill had been a life-changing experience.

“It was the first time I had ever really been away from home. I made very good friends, a handful of whom I am close to today. I didn’t have that kind of experience in high school. Lafayette became like a second home to me.”

The mechanical engineering graduate admits that staying involved wasn’t always a major priority.

“For the first couple years I was out of school, I came back to visit friends I still had at Kirby House and we went to some football games, but that was the extent of it,” he says.

Years later, his old freshman roommate, Tom Neats ’69, who taught at a high school near Becica’s home, approached him about chaperoning high school students on a bus trip on Junior Visiting Day.

“I got hooked,” Becica says. “I enjoyed doing that so much I began volunteering every other year. I think it’s just the fun of showing these young people this gorgeous campus and what it has to offer that kept me interested in the bus trip. I also liked the mentoring aspect. I wasn’t just getting on the bus and taking them there. I talked to them about what they were going to see, what it was like when I was there, and the advantages and disadvantages of going to a small college.”

As Becica became reacquainted with Lafayette, he began taking on the role of an alumni admissions representative, interviewing prospective students. When the bus trip coordinator moved away, Becica took over organizing the event, and he gladly served as one of the initial executive committee members who restarted the North Jersey Alumni Chapter.

His eagerness to help alumni in northern New Jersey become involved with Lafayette has earned him several honors, including the Outstanding Chapters Support Award, Chapter Support Person of the Year, and William E. Greenip Jr. ’44 Award.

Despite moving, Becica will remain an executive committee member of the North Jersey Alumni Chapter, maintaining its web page and attending some events. And of course, he will participate in the Lehigh Valley Alumni Chapter.

“When you get involved in work like this, you meet a heck of a lot of nice people you never knew before and you have a common interest,” he says. “You see that going back to the reunions and when you go to Volunteer Day each year. You’re meeting a whole bunch of people of different age groups and making friends who are young and are still carrying around the college mindset. I always say it’s better to have friends who are younger than older because it keeps you young.”

Categorized in: Alumni Profiles