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News & Views - Jul, 1999 Issue #59

CEDU Reunion:
A Time to Declare Victory!

A letter by: Scott Canter
CEDU graduate 1983
Director of Marketing
Second Nature Wilderness Program Marketing Office
Sherman Oaks, California

If you invite them, they will come… And they did… 

The CEDU Family of Services invited alumni and their parents from the past thirty years to the first ever “CEDU Alumni Reunion” on Saturday, June 19th in Newport Beach, California. Graduates and Parents came as far as 3000 miles and from as long ago as 1976. 

After staff introductions, the familiar call “Move the chairs to the wall and line up in a Horseshoe” immediately brought back memories (and groans) of emotional growth workshops. Fortunately no one brought out any pillows. At this point we were asked to line up chronologically according to graduation date and make introductions. 

We all remember the past as bigger and brighter. Reunions help adjust that perspective and remind us of the truth. Looking around the room I wondered how we so casually overlooked the Giants when they walked among us: when “Michael Allgood taught a class on Gandhi,” when a powerhouse like “Carmen Earle ran the farm,” when “Tim Brace was a simple, but Extraordinary Counselor” or when “Rudy Bentz produced Life-Changing Dramatic Productions.”

We all know that these outstanding people have since gone on to bigger and better things but my question was “Where are the new Giants?” The answer was standing around the room in a horseshoe, not confined to a small campus in the woods, but living the vision with people everywhere. 

The reunion also included a discussion about the “FRIENDS OF CEDU FOUNDATION,” a charitable organization, independent of the corporation, that was formed by alumni parents Howard and Sheryl Swibel, staffed by volunteers, and designed to assist families who faced having to remove a child prior to graduation, because their resources had run out. 

As a CEDU Alumni, past employee, and a professional in the industry, it was genuinely rewarding to see that the work we are engaged in is impacting the world, and making it a better place, one child at a time. 

All in All, I would say Congratulations to the Brown Schools & CEDU Family of Services for the fresh spirit of openness that has facilitated bringing people together. Hopefully it is just the beginning. 

If you ever ask the question “Is it time for the Emotional Growth Schools to Declare Victory?” Go to a reunion – and you’ll know they already have. 

Copyright © 1999, Woodbury Reports, Inc. (This article may be reproduced without prior approval if the copyright notice and proper publication and author attribution accompanies the copy.)

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