Reunion weekend brings back college romances

Regina Kraus hadn’t been back to the Seton Hill campus since she graduated in 1969, even though her husband, Bill, has visited his alma mater, St. Vincent College.  So she was looking forward to a return trip to a joint campus reunion to the places where their fledgling romance blossomed some 40 years earlier.

“I just thought this was a great way for us to go together,” said Regina Kraus, of Mill Hall, Clinton County.

And they’re not the only ones.

More than 600 marriages between students at St. Vincent, in Unity, and Seton Hill, in Greensburg, have occurred over the years.

So the campuses hosted the “Union Reunion”, bringing back dozens of the couples who met each other through interactions between the two colleges before they went co-ed and before Seton Hill became a university.

“During that period of time when the social relationship was strong, many, many marriages (took place),” said Jim Bendel, alumni director at St. Vincent. “Why not celebrate that relationship?”

So he and Ellen Greiner, alumni director at Seton Hill, assembled a committee to plan the events.

Laurene and Zoltan Kristof, of Unity, headed the planning group.  Laurene, a 1964 Seton Hill graduate, met Zoltan, a 1963 St. Vincent alum, during a co-ed summer philosophy class at Seton Hill.  To the Kristofs, the number of marriages between students from the two campuses isn’t surprising.  “What you have to understand is Seton Hill was women and St. Vincent was men and we were the only act in town,” Laurene Kristof said.

The schools held mixers. Seton Hill women cheered for St. Vincent teams. They appeared in theatrical productions at each other’s campuses. They even shared a few classes.

Couples from the 1950s to the 1980s came from as far as New Hampshire, New Mexico and California.

Reunion attendees gathered for a welcome-back party Friday.  Part of Saturday was spent at Seton Hill for a prayer service, brunch and tours before heading to St. Vincent for Mass and dinner.

From a story by Jennifer Reeger in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.