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1970s Reunion Conference "Continuity and Change in the Asia Pacific U.S. Region: 1970 - 2007"

August 23-27, 2007, Honolulu, HI

For four short days in late August, 150 of  the East-West Center’s 70s alumni came back home to the EWC. The theme of “continuity and change” echoed throughout the reunion.  Continuity was provided by the buildings: Burns Hall and Jefferson Hall (now called the Imin Center) looked much the same as they did in the 1970s.  Faint memories of the tantalizing smells of cooking from around the world were rekindled as alums wandered the halls of Hale Manoa and Hale Kuahine and ate their meals where the former EWC cafeteria was located in Jefferson Hall.

The alumni also represented both continuity and change. Older (for sure) and wiser (we hope), the 70s alums  actively participated in all the substantive sessions and, befitting their present status, served as panelists themselves for many of the sessions.  But while perhaps physically different from 30 years ago (especially in hair styles!), the spirit of the EWC burned strong in our souls.  By our very presence at the reunion, we all demonstrated our on-going commitment to building an East-West community.

It was also a time to renew ties with old friends, University of Hawaii faculty, and host families.  A number of EWC staff from the 70s were also there including: Benji Bennington, Verner Bickley, Greg Trifonovitch, Sumi Makey, Rose Nakamura, and Lee Jay Cho, to name a few.

We also had an opportunity to meet with and celebrate the next generation of EWC students.  In a first-ever program, we celebrated the generosity of individual EWC alumni in providing named scholarships for EWC students as well as the generosity of alums as a whole in building the alumni endowment for EWC students.  From that program alone, we raised an additional  $30,000, bringing our fundraising drive to within $25,000 of our goal of $200,000.

As always, the highlight of the event was the Talent Show at the end of the Aloha Banquet.  The unannounced award for best hidden talent went to Verner Bickley for his energetic rendition of British music hall song and dance.  As the alumni ended their reunion to the strains of Aloha Oe, it was clear from the smiles on their faces that a good time was had by all!

Larry Foster

President, EWCA



Conference Information

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