Seventeen excited faces crowded the computer screen as each one took their turn talking, using a platform that was unfamiliar to them. Despite the foreign technology, brothers from Delta Chapter (Purdue), Class of 1958, and their families made their annual visit work. Nothing was standing in their way of maintaining their 62-year-long streak of quality time among their brothers.
“We have met as a class group every year since 1958,” Brother Don Hazelett said.
Don is also a member of Delta Chapter, who participates in these annual visits along with his other brothers and their spouses. Over the years, Brother Hazelett had kept a detailed record of the Class of 1958’s annual visits, starting with the year they graduated.
During the summer of 1958, many of the brothers reunited for various family events, specifically, weddings. In 1959, after the Homecoming events at Purdue University, the brothers and their families gathered for an after party at Brother Bob Johnson and his wife, Ann’s, home.
Being big Boilermaker fans, many of the group had season football tickets for over 40 years. They would tailgate at the Delta Chapter house before games. At one time their season ticket block consisting of 28 tickets. They also traveled as a group to games on every Ben Ten campus (before expansion), and made trips to West Virginia, Wake Forrest, Cincinnati, Notre Dame, Arizona and many Bowl games, including two Rose Bowls. In 2007 they took a non-football trip together to visit Virginia Tech, University of Virginia and the US Naval Academy.
Through the years the group and their young families met at different brothers’ homes each summer.
In the summer of 1977 they started going to Brother Dick Middlesworth and Linda Middlesworth cottage on lake Tippecanoe in northern Indiana. They continued to meet there every summer through 1990. They then started meeting at different motels and lodges around the state.
During the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s, the group attended various in-state and out-of-state football games, taking the time to have some fun while catching up with each other every year.
Throughout the following years, the group would jump from one brother’s home to the next, some hosting for several years before the group would meet up at someone else’s home. This continued through 2010.
In 2011, Delta Chapter held its 100th year celebration, which many of the Class of 1958 attended. The three-day celebration became five days as the group took two extra days to spend quality time together before parting ways for another year.
The Class of 1958 group celebrated 60 years in 2018, bringing together their families to celebrate the milestone in their lives.
Many Delta Chapter brothers who are part of the Class of 1958 group have been very active supporters of Alpha Gamma Rho. Brother Bernie Harris served for 30 years on the Scholarship Foundation and was its Chairman for much of that time. He was named an AGR “Brother of the Century” as well. Brother Dudley Williams, Brother Bob Richason, and Brother Don Wright all served on the Corporation board, and Brother Don Hazelett served as the Corporation Board President and was Chairman of the 100th anniversary planning committee.
The Class of 1958 group extended their streak this year, meeting June 28. Seven brothers and spouses were in attendance, including Don. All attendees hailed from Indiana. Don explained that this was most likely the first summer that there were no attendees from out of state.
“An enjoyable time was had by the seven of us that attended,” Don said.