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Many events are scheduled for the Class of '65 this weekend, beginning with a special reception in the library, recognition on the football field before the game, and a dinner at Campisi's downtown on Saturday.

Bishop Dunne’s Class of 1965 Ready to Celebrate 50 Years at Homecoming October 2, 2015

The first graduating class of Bishop Dunne high school will be celebrating their 50th anniversary this year. Karen Johnson Pinard is the chairman of the reunion to be held this weekend.

Suzanne Murphy Ferguson is a member of that class, and says, “We’ve always been close knit!”

As the first graduating class of Bishop Dunne high school, she says, “That in itself has always carried a sense of pride amongst the alumni. There is a lot of history between us.” Although she attended St. Cecilia’s, she’s quick to note that her Class of ’65 came from parishes all over Dallas when they started at Bishop Dunne as 13-year olds.

After the class’s 20th reunion, about 30 years ago, the class got together for dinner. As each annual successive dinner grew, it became hard to find a place to meet, so the group began gathering monthly at each-other’s homes. Rosemary Bendetto keeps a social calendar for the women, and manages the “BD Girlfriends’ Roster” of names and current addresses of each Falcon.  The list currently contains over 40 classmates, “and it grows every year. Not all of those people come every month. And a couple of times I’ve invited the husbands too,” Suzanne says.

Her graduating class had about 200 in it, one of the largest graduating classes at Bishop Dunne.  Her husband of 21 years, Johnny DiBiase, graduated with her in the class of ’65. “We were married right out of high school,” she says, “because that’s pretty much what was done in those days.” Johnny died after 21 years of marriage, but ten years later Suzanne bumped into an old friend as she was gathering people for a reunion. “I married another classmate, who was helping with our reunion, Steve Ferguson, and we’ve been married 20 years.” Steve was a classmate of Suzanne’s since their first grade at St. Cecilia’s. She says, “Everyone was so happy for us.”

In the last decade, her class of ’65 has come together twice a year. In 2005 Mary Lohrman Moon invited the group to her vacation home on Crystal Beach. A dozen women from the class of ’65 attended, and the weekend became an annual “BD Girlfriends’ Getaway.” Word of mouth and a few phone calls had women flying in from all over to attend the annual weekend retreat.

Even a hurricane hasn’t kept the women from meeting. In 2008, after Hurricane Ike destroyed the beloved lake house 14 classmates gathered to enjoy each-other’s company at Rosemarie Listi’s Holly Lake time share. The following year, in 2009, Karen Johnson Pinard invited the group to her Bastrop, Texas, home and 21 Falcons flew to her home for the weekend. A 2010 venture to “Sea Rock,” Mary Lohrman Moon’s rebuilt beach house, was enjoyed by 19 Bishop Dunne alumni.

One of Suzanne’s favorite trips was the 2013 Bastrop “spa weekend” when 30 of her girlfriends all had manicures and pedicures and a massage therapist on hand. “We just had so much fun together!”

The 2014 reunion was held in Medicine Park, Oklahoma, where more than 20 classmates gathered, followed by a trip in February to Holly Lake.

This fall the 2015 trip was in September.  “Bridget Jett and Elaine Blackburn both live in West Palm Beach, so 20 of us met there,” Suzanne says. “We flew on Spirit Airlines and the flight attendant announced over the loudspeaker that the Bishop Dunne Class of ’65 was on the plane, and about to celebrate its 50th reunion, and everyone cheered and clapped for us!”

A trip to Aspen, Colorado, in September, 2016, is already on the books.

Suzanne knows her classmates have become more like sisters because of what they’ve been through. “Many of us weren’t that close in high school, but many of us have been widowed, or been through illnesses or the loss of a child, so we really understand how fortunate we are to have one-another to talk to.  We may not see each-other but once a month – one girl, Olivia Ramos, drives in from Waxahachie – but we all rally around each-other as the need arises.”

This fall the class will be gathering for their 50thyear reunion, and the plans include: a “Lost in the 60’s Tonight” Friday night theme, with music from the decade piped into the library which will be decorated for the evening. The class will be out on the field and introduced prior to kick off of the football game, and then classmates are free to cheer on their team or enjoy the party inside.

Festivities continue on Saturday night at Campisi’s downtown, where the class will enjoy a delicious Italian dinner. A mass, possibly celebrated by classmate Monsignor Larry Prichard, is also tentatively scheduled.

Suzanne is hoping to have a big turnout, like the 25th reunion back in 1990. “We’ve contacted almost everybody in our class,” she says, “and we have a ton of people helping with this reunion!” Rose-Mary Rumbley, the class’s PE teacher and now considered one of the best national speakers in America, will be in attendance.

Chairman Karen Johnson Pinard has four co-chairs. Besides Suzanne there’s Sue Pasqua Davis, Don George, and Lee Fagot.  Suzanne’s hope for the reunion is simple: “Some of our classmates haven’t been back in the school since we graduated,” she says, “But we’re all connected, we have the same heartstrings, we went to school at Bishop Dunne, and we appreciate the sacrifices our parents made to put us through the school. I know it wasn’t easy – I was the oldest of seven children – but our group is special and we have this connection– it’s just magical.”

To find out more about the reunion contact her: suzanne_grammy@verizon.net or call her Home:  972-495-5694 Cell:  469-831-5200​.

Bishop Dunne’s Homecoming festivities begin at 6:30 with kick off at 7:30 at 3900 Rugged Drive. The Falcons are undefeated with a 4-0 record and are playing Nolan Catholic.

For more information see:  www.Dunnesports.com or the school’s website: www.bdcs.org.

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