Golden Falcons soar

53 alumni inducted as Golden Falcons

By Terri Carroll ‘88

The deep bonds shared by Bowling Green State University alumni were honored at the second annual Golden Falcons induction ceremony June 28, 2016. Golden Falcons are alumni who have been graduates for 50 or more years. BGSU welcomed 53 Golden Falcons to campus and inducted them as Golden Falcons with a medallion crafted exclusively for this group of esteemed alumni. Six alumni who were inducted as Golden Falcons last year also attended the event which included an entire day of reunion events including a luncheon, Walk Down Memory Lane event where alumni shared their BGSU reminisces with one another, a Then and Now campus tour, a presentation about Optimal Aging at the College of Health and Human Services, and a dinner hosted by Mary Ellen Mazey, Ph.D., president of Bowling Green State University.

“I am honored that these devoted alumni have kept BGSU in their hearts across the years and the miles,” President Mazey said. “They are, and always will be, a very special part of the BGSU family. Their spirit and loyalty clearly demonstrate, ‘Once a Falcon, Always A Falcon.’”

Alumni traveled from as far away as Maryland, New Jersey, Florida and Wisconsin for the event. Guests included BGSU Prominent 100 Alumnus J. Robert Sebo ’58, ’13 (Hon.) 

“Bowling Green State University and President Mazey are always looking for innovative ways to engage alumni. This was a wonderful event and provided a powerful testimonial for the value of a BGSU education as you heard people tell their stories. The University has touched so many lives and this was a great celebration of Falcon spirit. 

The oldest alumni in attendance were Jean Bisher Hersland and Don Speck from the Class of 1949. Speck congratulated himself on being the oldest graduate in the room at the age of 94 and shared his experiences as a student veteran following World War II during the “Walk Down Memory Lane” event that followed the lunch. Hersland compared life as a female student in the 1940s to the opportunities and freedom afforded to students today. There were many humorous stories shared about how students managed to skirt the rules about curfews and other restrictions.

In addition to the lunch and evening induction ceremony, the Golden Falcons also enjoyed a campus tour and a presentation about Optimal Aging from Dr. Nancy Orel, associate dean of the College of Health and Human Services. The “Then and Now” campus tour allowed alumni to compare today’s classrooms, residence halls and other facilities to the campus of the 1940s, ’50s and early ’60s.

“It is heartening to see how BGSU has continued to grow and evolve to provide students with a quality educational experience,” said Karen Simon DeMatteo ’64 from Damascus, Md. 

DeMatteo was one of several inductees who remained on campus after the Golden Falcons reunion to attend BGSU’s inaugural Alumni Summer College. The three-day event provided a series of educational (and fun) classes, lively discussions, and excursions for alumni and friends. The courses were taught by BGSU’s nationally recognized faculty and included topics such as The History of Rock and Roll, Mindset and Grit, and What is the Value of a College Education?