Next Level

2010 1988

The adults replicating a photo from younger days, with children along for the ride this time, are, from left in front: George Barrios ’87 (CLAS), ’89 MBA, Carol Marques ’88 (BUS), ’97 MBA, Beth Gedansky ’90 (CLAS), Ken Young ’89 (BUS), ’01 MBA, and Taylor Beerbower ’89 (CLAS). From left atop and behind car: Kristine Nolen ’88 (CLAS), Thomas Russo ’90 (ENG), and Arianne Iannone ’90 (NUR). Circa 2010.

For some of us, one of those rare pandemic silver linings has been re-connecting with old friends. You’ll see, say, Hawaii turn bright red on a Covid-transmission map and track down a former roommate you think is living there, or a Zoom invite from grad school friends you’ve not spoken with in years pops up in your inbox.

We’ve needed all the friends we can get lately, and these old college friends seem to bring a unique measure of comfort. Maybe it’s the days so halcyon in memory or the particular bonds that forge in 24/7 dormitory togetherness. Maybe it’s the fact that we knew one another before we were employers and employees, moms and dads — while we were still, together, figuring out who we were and who we’d be. For whatever reasons, college friends are uniquely indelible.

The 16 UConn friends on this issue’s cover, though, are entirely next level. It’s been three decades since they graduated, but they’ve never had to track anyone down. They’ve been there to support one another throughout. The group gets together often to celebrate the ups, commiserate the downs, and re-create the glories — including staging re-enactments of favorite Husky moments, sometimes with their children, who call each other “friend cousins,” in tow, as in the photo above.

To find out what’s incredibly uncommon about these 16 alumni, and to discover why their kids are just a little ticked off about it, turn to “An Epic UConn Love Story — in Eight Acts.”

Lisa T. Stiepock


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