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Ronald A. Garfunkel has spent 40 years as committee chair

By Lesley Kline ’09

As the Class of 1963 approaches its 45th reunion, Ronald A. Garfunkel ’63 can be considered a professional reunion organizer. That is because Garfunkel has been his class’ reunion committee chair for 40 years.

He did not originally volunteer for this position; rather he was elected class reunion chair at his five-year reunion. “Somehow the job became permanent,” he says.

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Attending the reunions is a way to stop the clock and go back in time, says Garfunkel. “College was an innocent and fun time,” he recalls. Yet he and his class had real life to face. Garfunkel and his classmates had Vietnam to deal with — avoid or go. “Many of us went and had mandatory ROTC and elected to finish and become officers upon graduation. I am one who went to Vietnam and survived,” he says.

According to Garfunkel, Reunion is the perfect time for alumni to revisit the great times they had at Lafayette and catch up with classmates. “I am sentimental,” he says.

The fondest memory he has had over the past 40 years as committee chair was at the 25-year class reunion. “We had a big turnout and had a blast,” he says. Garfunkel had recently gone through a divorce, but when he brought his future wife to the reunion, “It was magical.”

Garfunkel encourages all of his classmates to come to Reunion this summer, June 6-8. “We are not getting any younger,” he says. In addition, he believes that attending Reunion is a great way to see how Lafayette has grown and changed over the years.

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