hen I was growing up, my family moved a
lot. So home to me has always been where I
spent my first four years. That place was my
parent’s hometown, Williamsport, and the
campus of Lycoming College, where my father,
Henry Lewis Long (’56), had grown up as the
youngest son of Dr. John W. Long. When it was time for me
to attend college, Lycoming was an obvious choice. It was like
After college, my husband, Peter (’79), and I moved to New
England, my parents’ family scattered, years rushed by, and
somehow I never returned.
Then, in 2013, I made my first attempt to reconnect with
the Lycoming administration since my graduation in 1980. My
father had died and with the administration’s generous help,
I was planning a memorial service for him in Clarke Chapel.
I quickly learned of all the changes that had taken place on
campus over the years, but was pleased to find threads of
continuity still in place.
Now it’s 2015 and to my astonishment, I received an
invitation to the 35
reunion of the Class of 1980. I wasn’t
surprised so much at the number of years that had elapsed, but
the mere blink of an eye in which they had passed.
Memories came pouring back as I looked through the
material that the alumni office had sent, and I grew curious
as to how many others in our class would remember the same
moments and events that occupied my mind. Memory is such
an elusive thing — so unique to each individual and so plastic
— changing each time we pull one out for review. I wanted to
share some of my memories with the Class of 1980. I hope that
some of them might stir up your own recollections of our years
together at Lycoming.
In the fall of 1976, we were the first freshman class to occupy
Skeath Hall as a co-ed dorm. The guys had the first and fourth
floors, and the girls occupied the second floor. The third floor
was equally divided between men and women. Our parents
were a little skeptical at this arrangement, but most of us were
thrilled at the prospect of this daring new housing plan. I had
only sisters at home, so this was something brand new to me.
The first adjustment we had to make was to get used to the
noise of all those stereos. On the second floor, I remember
hearing Fleetwood Mac, Peter Frampton’s Frampton Come
Alive and Jackson Browne, among others. On the first and
fourth floors, you were more likely to hear Led Zeppelin, Jethro
Tull or the Eagles. In the student union building, I remember
walking in rhythm to Aerosmith’s “Walk This Way,” which was
booming from the jukebox as I made my way on platform shoes
to the snack bar for one of Mrs. B’s black and white milkshakes.
The tune was punctuated by the pinging of the pinball
machines and the steady “pock-pock” from the ping-pong
tables. At Bucknell University that fall, some of us saw Billy Joel
and Harry Chapin in concert.
By Joanne Long
LYCOMING COLLEGE 2015 SUMMER MAGAZINE
F E AT U R E S