Some alumni maintain the lifelong friendships they formed at SLUH by getting together periodically for lunch or drinks and sharing memories, years after graduation. But for others, class bonds extend beyond the occasional happy hour.
The Class of ’68 exemplifies the enduring friendships formed among SLUH graduates. When Mark Cendroski ‘68 was stricken with a debilitating brain disease, which put the Cendroski family in a challenging financial position, his classmates rallied around him and his family.
After Mark’s condition deteriorated and he was forced to enter a nursing home, his friend Joe Walsh ‘68 put the word out to their class. A trust fund to assist the family was established with help from another SLUH graduate, Marc Kramer ’67. Classmates contributed money to Mark’s care and helped his wife, Jean, through the process of selling her house and buying a condo with her son. They continue to help with Mark’s care and visit him in the nursing home. Recently, a group from the class gathered to spend two days painting Jean’s condo.
“We’ve been blessed,” says Geoff Waldron ’68, who helped with the painting. “It is wonderful that we can get together and do something good for our friends. We have fun together, but there is a deeper purpose as well.”
Recently, a group from the class gathered to celebrate Mark’s birthday at the nursing home where he currently lives (see top banner photo). “We brought him a cake and sang him ‘happy birthday.’ Hopefully we brightened his day,” says Waldron.
The men also schedule regular visits and parties for other classmates in need. When Terry Perl ’68 was wracked with a brain aneurysm in 2001 and went into a nursing home, classmates visited him nearly every month until his death last May. Although Terry was left without the ability to speak or walk, he communicated with his classmates by writing notes on paper.
“We chip in wherever we can,” says Marty Ribaudo ’68, who also helped paint the Cendroski condo. “It’s nice to get together for a drink or a lunch, but doing these kinds of things is even more satisfying.”