Friends, Classmates Reunited At Alumni Banquet
Some 135 OHS Alumni, top, pose on the Oneonta Country Club’s putting green before this morning’s start of the annual Alumni Golf Tournament, which begins the annual weekend of reunion celebrations. Players have a chance to win loads of prizes including a 2019 Chevy Cruze if they get a hole-in-one! At right, as the sun comes out, Jim Sandoli, ’63, lines up a shot as son Jim Jr., ’02, and Phil Meagley, ’63, look on. Awards will be given out around 2:30 p.m. The Alumni Banquet is this evening at the Asa C. Allison Building. Annual Wall of Fame inductions are Saturday morning at the high school, followed by the homecoming game in the afternoon. (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)
Planning Reunions Revived School Spirit
By LIBBY CUDMORE • HOMETOWN ONEONTA
Edition of Friday, Oct. 3, 2014
Getting active in the OHS Alumni Association was a chance for Kathy Hewlett to experience high school all over again.
“I feel like I missed a lot, graduating early,” she said. “This is a way of redeeming myself.”
Hewlett – Kathy Moore when she graduated in 1974 – is this year’s Alumni of the Year, to be fully recognized during the upcoming Alumni Weekend, Friday-Sunday, Oct. 3-5.
She graduated in January 1974 after doubling up in her junior year on history and home economics, with the latter discipline being particularly practical in the years that followed.
“When I was working for the alumni association at SUNY, we were setting up one of their diners and I noticed the silverware wasn’t set properly,” she said. “My home economics teacher, Enid Carter, that was her reunion, so I reset every single place!” she said. “I knew she’d be proud!”
After graduation, Hewlett devoted her time to being a mother and wife. She and her husband Dick have been married 37 years and have three children and a bevy of grandchildren. They live in Otego, where they operate a farm and a greenhouse, and she has worked for SUNY Oneonta for the past 16 years, first in the alumni office, then admissions, and now at the information desk at the Hunt Union.
In 2008, Hewlett returned to school to pursue a degree in history with a minor in Women & Gender Studies. “I’m taking a break right now,” she said. “Being a grandmother comes first.”
At the urging of Madolyn O. Palmer, an alumni association founder (and Common Council member), Hewlett joined the alumni association 10 years ago and set about reviving their newsletter. “It was mostly reminiscing,” she said. “We started changing it to include ‘Class Notes,’ about where alumni were living, what they were doing, announcements about their children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren!” Sometimes it was difficult to find a person who had lost touch with the school and everyone they had attended it with, but we always managed to find a way and everyone we spoke to was thrilled to be involved.
The newsletter, modeled on the ones Hewlett put together while working at SUNY Oneonta, also included photos of alumni and nomination forms for the Wall of Distinction and the Athletic Hall of Fame. “The older alumni especially love the newsletter,” she said. “So many of them live so far away, and they love reminiscing.”
She also served as the secretary for six years, but stepped down when she started school.
And though she serves on the Wall of Distinction selection committee, she was “floored” when they read her name as the Alumni of the Year. “I had never, in my wildest dreams, considered myself worthy.”
Palmer has a different take: “She’s long overdue.”