Pegram's Progress: Mini-reunions


Just before our thirty-fifth reunion at Duke, Peggy Pauley Dowling '65 and I observed that our memories and nostalgia have so much to do with our living units--in our case, Pegram--that it would be worthwhile to try to "reune" on that basis. As it happens, Peggy was president of Pegram in our senior year. So, we organized a Pegram Mini-Reunion as a brief, separate event at the Class of 1965's reunion in 2000. About ten of us met in Pegram Parlor and had a very moving experience, providing five-minute overviews of our lives since Duke.

After that successful event, we set about gathering data on Pegram residents from 1962-68, starting with names we could remember and using Chanticleers, the Alumni Directory, and the enthusiastic assistance of the alumni office. We sent out letters, e-mail, and pictures of the Pegram Parlor event. We were delighted with the responses, which included more names and contact points. We decided not to wait for another Duke Reunion to continue the Pegram events.

Since Peggy and I both live in New Jersey, it was convenient for us to plan our second event in the New York metro area. So, in July 2001, we had "Pegram at the Met," when another eight of us toured the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and then did our five-minute life summaries in the museum restaurant. People came from as far away as Boston and were unanimous in positive comments.

Six days after the World Trade Center tragedy, we had plans for eleven of us to meet in New York City again. We debated canceling, but opted to act on our feelings of hope and to proceed with an abbreviated visit. Once again, it was a heartwarming and meaningful experience to reconnect and reflect over lunch at The Tavern on the Green.

All in all, twenty-two Pegram women from '64 to '68 have gathered at our three mini-reunions. We've noted some remarkable similarities, though our lives have gone in very different directions. Most of all, we have observed that all our lives have had both great joy and some sadness. We plan to continue these events in other areas of the country.

Other living units can contact the alumni office for information about setting up an initial affinity-reunion event during future spring reunions at, or (919) 684-5114.

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