Being the wife of the Alumni president isn’t always exciting, but it DOES have its perks!! For instance, I was included in Bruce’s invitation to the 60-year class celebration that took place on Sunday morning after Alumni weekend ended on Saturday night. As a 7th grader at SVA Elementary, I had adored the Seniors when they graduated 60 years ago, and at this private brunch, I found them to still be very adorable people!!
We couldn’t have asked for a lovelier setting for a gathering of friends. Geraldine (Geri) Broughton Ruybalid (’57) and her husband, Jerry Ruybalid (’54) were our very gracious host couple in their spacious, beautiful home in Bosque Farms. The eight members of the class of ’57 in attendance were [in photo order] Mike Griego, Rudy Torres, Jeanne Arnold Wilcox, Clara Garcia Valdez, Orie Calderon Garcia, Geri Broughton Ruybalid, Elaine Selby Phillips, and Zona Berry Graham. Their years after SVA took them into careers in business and government and as pastors, pastor’s wives, and teachers. They still represent active lives that involve ongoing contributions such as church music ministries, church facility development, and outreach/inreach ministry positions.
As the class members and available spouses arrived, the table grew heavy with food items to compliment Geri’s enchiladas. Expectant appetites were mixed with lots of hugs and catch-up news. Some of the friendships between these classmates started long before academy days -- in early childhood -- and there was no end of stories to tell. Geri brought to mind happy recollections of being a student employee in the kitchen where my mom was the SVA cook for several years. Rudy Torres, President of the Class of ’57, and Mike Griego, class Pastor, entertained us with tales of their pre-teen escapades – many involving driving and owning vehicles as very young boys. Exciting memories also surfaced from the “village gang” whose ’57 grads had gone to elementary school together and still shared academy life while living at home with their village student privileges.
The meal was sumptuous and made us relax as we continued to share memories into the afternoon. Finally, we gathered in a circle to prayed for Christ’s soon return and an alumni reunion where we will never have to part again.
Thank you, Geri and Jerry, and the Class of ’57, for letting Bruce and I join you for your delightful, memorable brunch. President Bruce says, “This is the kind of small gathering that could take place all through the year.” His encouragement is for you to plan a get together with your SVA friends in your area and celebrate precious friendships. Let us know when you do, and we will do our best to show up!
Karen Stephens Bowen (’62)
Bruce Bowen (’61) – Alumni President