This month, we thought it would be the perfect time to “give thanks” for this Pirate from the Class of 1964, who is always there to lend a hand and is so valued by his classmates and those of us at Stevenson who have had the privilege of knowing him through the years. Spend a few minutes in Curt Hayden’s company, and you will know why being a Pirate means so much to him. As Curt approaches his 60th reunion, we asked him some Pirate-related questions and are grateful for his time and what he shared.
As a member of the great Class of 1964, this year marks your 60th reunion. What are you the most excited to celebrate during this special alumni milestone?
Our 60th is right around the corner. The mere fact that our high school is inviting us back is amazing. Most schools have forgotten graduates of our vintage. Files have been lost and contact info is out of date. There is simply no interest to haul back old folks. In contrast, Stevenson rolls out the Pebble Beach red carpet with all the trimmings associated with full blown hospitality. We are welcomed as esteemed elders to be treated accordingly. The invitation sends the message that ancient Pirates still count, that we add value to the Stevenson community.
Accepting the divine invitation should be as easy as watching a home run by class Hall of Fame inductee David Wilson, especially considering the class celebs expected to make the supreme effort to attend. Note the line-up: Tom Atwood, Bob Blumenfeld, Curtiss Brennan, Nick Brereton, George Brown, Gardner Combs, Chandler Durbrow, Mike Federighi, Mike Fisher, Storm Gill, Ed Haas, Guy Henshaw, Malcolm Hook, Tom Jurgenson, Chris Key, Alex Kirkish, Chad Lamberson, Mark Levoe, Rick Meyerhoff, Paul Morken, Charlie Osborne, Keoki Raymond, Gordon Moores, Nate Owings, Nick Scales, Richard Shaffer, John Smith, Bill Stahl, Wayne Stonecipher, Gordon von Richter, Steve Watson, David Wilson, Patrick Wood, Efrem Zimbalist, and Brawly Zumwalt. Tributes will also be directed towards our classmates who have gone on to their great reward.
In spirit, our mothers and fathers will also be part of our 60th reunion celebration. After all they took a measure of delight spawning us into existence after WWII. We became the original “Baby Boomers.” Our parents sent us to RLS for one reason. They thought it would do us some good and, perhaps, some good for themselves, too.
RLS was in its infancy. It was an all-boys school. The dorms were spartan and the facilities were sparse. But, we did enjoy warm fires in Douglas Hall, spending time with Reverend Coach Wilson and founder, Robert U. Ricklefs (The R), who envisioned something big in independent education. Mr. Ricklefs hired teachers with buckets of common sense and the ability to inspire.
As you can tell, there is a lot to look forward to in June for the Class of ’64!
Recently when we spoke, you shared the importance of reconnecting with Stevenson and your classmates after some years of not being quite as engaged with School. Would you please tell us why being more engaged as an alumnus has been so meaningful to you?
After some years of not being in touch with the school, I responded to a Stevenson mailing. From there, I began conversations with Stevenson representatives, including Mia Peterson ’89, Corine Mink ’87, and Amy Elmore. I learned more about the school’s reputation for excellence these days. I was comforted going back to my roots. I enjoyed reconnecting with classmates. I realized that many cherish their Stevenson experience and are strongly committed to Stevenson’s future. One of the projects close to my heart that I have gotten more involved with is the Robert Aughtry Scholarship. Mr. Aughtry was a beloved teacher for those of us in the Class of 1964 and it has meant a lot to bring attention to and help support the scholarship named in his memory. And, at our last reunion, we gathered around the flagpole, a tradition during my years at Stevenson, and dedicated it to those Pirates who served in the armed forces, a project led by my fellow classmate, Gordon Von Richter ’64. This June, I look forward to learning more about what is going on at school and will gladly trade perspectives with those there.
Over the years at alumni gatherings, you always make an effort to visit and connect with alumni from all different classes, from those closer to your year to those who have recently graduated. Why is it important to you to make these generational connections?
I attend Stevenson functions as “the dumbest guy in the room.” Most grads are younger, sometimes by five decades younger. They all are smart, multi-talented, and often possess off the chart social skills. They resonate confidence and seem to know that their Stevenson education is paying off big-time. In their company I am uplifted and joyful.
If you could share some “words of wisdom” with fellow Pirates about the rewards of being connected with your classmates and School, what would those words be?
That’s a good question. As I have discussed already, in June, the Great Class of 1964 will reconnect face-to-face, laugh about ourselves and each other. That is the nature of friendship. Joyful! There is nothing better than spending time with one another, our fellow Pirates. I would remind us all how lucky we are to have one another and cherish that always.
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