Crown College:

The Early Years

50th Reunion of the
classes of ’68, ’69, ’70, ’71, and ’72

It was Fifty years ago today
Dr.Thimann called us all to play
Crown’s gone a bit out of style
But the memories always bring a smile
So may I introduce to you
The Reunion you’ve been waiting for
Crown College 50th Today! (applause and screams from the crowd)

Well, apologies to the Beatles (and Billy Shears), but “Satisfaction” just didn’t scan.

We were an odd, selected, and self-selected crew at a special time and place. Rather than go to Berkeley, UCLA, Cal Tech or an Ivy League, we each decided to join an experiment in undergraduate education. No grades. Small classes. Direct relationships with faculty members (who had also self-selected to be there). Vietnam sparked self-reflection and political action. All this among the redwoods, Alan Chadwick’s garden, and a view of Monterey Bay and the Pacific, stretching to the horizon.

There were no traditions. We were pioneers. And, like pioneers in other times, we were both independent of and dependent upon each other. We created a community of seekers after truth. The luckiest among us found life-long partners. All of us found friends. Several members of the two recent alumni focus groups told us “I found my tribe” at Crown.

Fifty years is nothing for a mountain, eons for a banana slug, and a pretty good chunk of our lives for most of us. The “In Memoriam” page on this website is much longer than we expected, and it reminds us that we aren’t getting younger. Neither are your friends. This will be a time to “gather the tribes,” reconnect with people who influenced you (and who you influenced in turn), and reflect on the various paths each of us has taken over the past half-century. There won’t be speeches and formal dinners. There will be time to mingle, interact, walk the forest, and remember.

UCSC and Crown College have not been around long enough to create traditions for 50th reunions. But 50 does seem to us like a memorable number, and we figured if there is going to be a 50th reunion, we’d better make it happen.

The pandemic reshaped our vision for what this reunion should look like. After being knocked off our schedule (twice), we decided to bring everyone together from those early years. Hence, the reunion in April 2022 will include the classes of ’68, ’69, ’70, ’71, and ’72. 

Future classes will have their 50th. This one is ours. Please join us.

Meet your reunion planning committee below and follow their progress.

Formed Reunion Committee

In April 2020, three members of the Crown Provost Advisory Committee volunteered to lead the planning for a 50th reunion of the classes of ’70 and ’71. We are from left to right: Su Nerton (Crown ’71), Jim Lapsley (Crown ’71), and Lisa Rose (Crown ’72).

Held Focus Groups

In April 2020, we emailed the classes of ’70 and ’71 for focus group volunteers. Two Zoom meetings were held in May to identify general preferences upon which we could base a survey to be emailed to alumni of the classes of ’70 and ’71. 

Created a Website

In the summer of 2020, we created this website. The aim is to reacquaint ourselves with the Crown community of the early years, bring us together in the spring of 2022, and pave the way for new and renewed friendships.

Altered Reunion Plans

As the pandemic raged, we postponed the in-person 50th reunion of the classes of ’70, ’71, and ’72 until April 2022. But then, we had a wild idea, let’s have a combined 50th reunion of the classes of ’68, ’69, ’70, ’71, and ’72, bringing together all the founding students of Crown College. What a great idea! Find out what’s happening and how you can help.