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Xavier Magazine | November 18, 2017

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For 12 from 85 It’s Been a Cool 25

By France Griggs Sloat

If it’s true that you’re known by the company you keep, then at least one group of alumni can be forgiven if they seem stuck in a time warp.

Connected by the friendships they made a long time ago, five members of the Class of 1986—Mark Simpson, Peg Schwartz, Jeff Price, Todd Lovcik and Darrin Elkins—have not only stayed in touch for the last 25 years, but for the last 12 they—and their growing families—have gotten together every summer at each others’ hometowns for their own reunion.

This summer was no exception when the gathering place was Cincinnati, where they reconnected with the sixth member of their group—Darrell Burns, S.J., who gave them a tour of campus and the new buildings.

The alums met each other at Sullivan Hall in the early 1980s when Xavier still used the Edgecliff College campus. Burns was the Jesuit-in-residence there, and they all enjoyed the private setting with its unparalleled views of the Ohio River and access to Eden Park and Mt. Adams. When they had to go to class, there was a shuttle that took them to the main Xavier campus.

“Sullivan lent itself to becoming friends because we were off from the main campus,” Simpson says, “and when we got back over there, it was one dorm in a spectacular campus looking over the Ohio, so why go back to Xavier? We got to know each other real well.”

Now most members of the group are married and have kids. The total has grown to 14. Besides Cincinnati, they’ve met in New Hampshire, Tennessee, Chicago, West Virginia, Virginia, St. Louis and Washington, D.C.—some cities twice. But Cincinnati is the only locale where they can swing by Sullivan, which is still standing, for another look at the place where it all started.

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