40-year mark for vsj class of ’69

Our offices recently received this note from Jim Kelly, villa class of 1969, in response to a reminder that it’s been 40 years this week since that group was graduated from Fribourg.

One of our editorial staff remembers the spring of 1969 was marked by earnest discussion about the relevance of our education, against the backdrop of the tulmult of political upheaval in the United States and elsewhere..

Mr. Kelly’s reminisces are here:

A special pause and quiet moment for those of us who didn’t make it this far…
Tom Hanlon
Geoff Matre
Mike Leighton

See you later dear friends.  Amen.
Sounds like a Beatles song …   ” It was forty years ago today, Sgt. Pepper told his band to play… “yea yea I know that just sounds.. 
Thanks to all of my classmates for helping get me through those two years at VSJ. 
Thank you Steve Schoeppler for meeting me at the train station when I came to visit the Villa that first time.
Thanks to the men who were our educators.  Where are these men now? :  Mr. Donleavy, Brother Dobner, Father O’Shaughnessy, Mr. Storm, Brother Boschert.  I think I am forgetting at least one. Hmmm Physics,  Brother Droste, yes, for the example that I still use on “how to make water wetter”.
A special thanks to Mr. Prozzi for all the leg lifts and sit ups that have help me walk and run the rest of my life.  And thanks to Brother Fred Fuchs (and the rest of the team) for letting me play basketball even though I couldn’t make a basket if my life had depended on it.
Thanks for the third floor door rooms that helped give great distance to the bottle caps sailed from that high.
Stealth and midnight trips to the wine cellar. Whose idea was that? 
Music to wake by.  Whose idea was that? 
John Akers and Willie Boom across the hall every morning for a whole school year.
John with a small squirrel cage fan, just enough to keep the air moving.  Very important!
Vernon Miller — great roommate — he put up with me. Thanks for being a heavy sleeper.   
Endless foosball … How good was that!
Bob Armstrong for endless weekend movies.   I still have an unusual appreciation for film.
Cardinal Beer, café cappuccino, pizza at that little place just down the street. 
Herbie Schmidtlapp ..  our four-legged friend.
Not all of us have extremely fond memories of the Villa, but we all have at least one good, favorite memory.
Best wishes to each of you,


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About villastjean

Villa St. Jean was a Marianist school in Fribourg, Switzerland, from 1903-1970. This blog site is intended as a forum for Villa alumni to share memories, pictures and connections.
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3 Responses to 40-year mark for vsj class of ’69

  1. "the spring of 1969 was marked by earnest discussion about the relevance of our education, against the backdrop of the tulmult of political upheaval in the United States and elsewhere"
    I do have a vague recollection of a sit in in the library where we refused to go to class until our demands were met. When the brothers asked us what our demands were we said we'd get back to them since we hadn't thought of any. We then put together a list that included extra ski trips and independent study and getting the same grades as the previous semester.
    Of course my recollection is a bit cloudy as I had just been learning how to drink and expand my consciousness by other means. Anyone else recall this incident or should I delete it from my memory bank?
    I do remember Kelly cooking breakfast on the weekend and performing our version of Orwell's Animal Farm just before graduation.
    David Smothers
    Class of 69

  2. Dave:I too remember Mr. Kelly as a cook. In my memory, our demands were a bit unformed — but my sense was that we were responding to the great gulf between the dynamic changes occurring in the United States and the serenity of our education. Fribourg and an all-boys religious education felt, well, dated by 1969. Surely, we were immature and wrong. On the other hand, the school only lasted another year, which — in a sense — is a validation of our conclusions.

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