News

February 20, 2008

Renewing Friendships A Half-Century Later

Alumni Online Community connects Peter Veruki ’60 with long-lost classmates

It wasn’t just the miles, but the years—almost 50 of them—that separated Peter Veruki ’60 from his closest friends at Lafayette.

Alan Staats was in mechanical engineering with me,” he recalls. “We were close friends all four years at Lafayette because we were in classes and studied together. And Charlie Frederickson was my roommate for a year. The three of us were very good friends.”

Veruki remembers the friends making whiskey sours for party weekends, traveling to the Jersey Shore, and setting each other up on what turned out to be disastrous blind dates.

Although the three were close at Lafayette, Veruki estimates that the last time he spoke to his friends was his graduation year.

“They were good times,” he explains, “but once we left Lafayette, we all went our own ways with careers and families.”

Veruki is director of corporate and alumni relations at Vanderbilt University. He also has worked at Bethlehem Steel, on Wall Street, at the University of Virginia, and at Rice University.

“Throughout my whole 50-year career, the common thread has been the hiring and training of college graduates or counseling them,” he says.

While at Rice, he reconnected with one of his Lafayette fraternity brothers. The positive experience he had re-establishing ties stoked his desire to reconnect with other college friends.

“I said I ought to go onto the Lafayette web site,” he says. “I hadn’t updated my information, so I did. And once I got the password for the Lafayette Alumni Online Community, I was able to search for anyone.”

One morning, Veruki spent four hours in the online community searching, as he says, for “long-lost buddies.”

“I had a ball,” he says. “I started with my two closest friends, and I have four or five others whom I plan to track down. Alan and Charlie were a big part of my college experience.

“After all these years, the first thing I do when I get Lafayette’s alumni magazine is go to the obituary page. Invariably, one or two of my classmates are gone in each issue. Seeing that makes you appreciate life and you start thinking about the good memories you have. That is why I am so thrilled at being able to find Alan and Charlie. ”

The three friends have made plans to meet up on campus this summer at Reunion Weekend. And, he says, they plan to keep in touch in the future.

As for those alums who haven’t registered or used Lafayette’s Alumni Online Community, Veruki says, “They ought to register and reconnect because most people from Lafayette have great memories of their college days and the friends they made. It was a fun place. One of the most interesting things for me has been to see how, after all these years, my classmates’ careers and lives have unfolded. If other alumni haven’t used the community, they sure are missing out.”

Lafayette’s Alumni Online Community is a secure resource available exclusively to the College’s alumni. Features include:

  • Resume bank
  • Alumni directory
  • Permanent email forwarding address
  • Ability to read and post Class Notes updates and photos
  • Calendar of events
  • Profile enabling users to provide the College with updated contact information
  • Power Search option allowing users to search for alumni by city, state, zip code, academic major, occupation, job title, company name, fraternity, sorority, sports played in college, and any other information included in profiles
  • Coming soon: online registration for alumni events

To register, visit the Lafayette home page and choose “Alumni” on the left, then the Alumni Online Community icon on the right. Your password is the “L number” above your name on your Alumni News mailing label. (Enter the L number with no space between the L and the number.) You also can obtain your password by emailing lftfeedback@alumniconnections.com.

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