Class of ’64 leaves legacy of student success


When the Class of ’64 celebrated their 45th reunion in 2009, this group of stellar Lumberjacks came up with an idea: create the first ever class scholarship and use the next five years to endow it.  In time for Homecoming 2014 — their 50th reunion — the “Class of 1964 and More” gift should be a permanent fund helping NAU students in perpetuity.


Helping future students

“The Campaign for NAU is a perfect opportunity,” says Phil Whitmore, ’64 BSED English and Social Science. “In fact, it is a chance for each of us in the class of 1964 to keep a promise we quietly made to ourselves so many years ago, to one day give back to NAU.”

More than 60 alumni and friends from across the nation, including some from other class years, have latched onto this opportunity to demonstrate that the true blue spirit never fades. This unique fund will support NAU student leaders, and it is impressive how many gifts have come in at the President’s Associates level (donations of $1,000 or more).

“It is monumental when a group of donors comes together at this level,” says Nate Cairney, Director of Annual Giving. “More students can be positively impacted in a shorter amount of time.”

With a few letters, and a lot of phone calls, Phil drove this effort.

“It was an easy sell,” Phil says. “It seemed as if my classmates had been waiting for my call.”

However, he proudly acknowledges that he did not do this work alone. The team of 19 founders is the same high-achieving group that worked together in student government and campus leadership back in the early 60s, including John Martin, Judy (Grangaard) and Bert Hungerford, Allen and Kathy Korneff, Cara Cella Viafore, Anne Hondrum Pearson, and Jim Sherman.

This scholarship will support students who are active in student organizations and sports on the Flagstaff campus and who maintain high academic standards. The class of 1964 believes that dedicated students should receive this type of recognition to ensure their future success.

“Looking back, our leadership and campus involvement helped shape who we are today,” says Jim Sherman, ‘64 BSED, 1964 President, Student National Education Association and currently on the NAU Foundation Board. “We graduated debt free, and we developed the confidence to succeed in our lives and to be leaders in our careers. We want to provide this for future NAU students.”

“It is monumental when a group of donors comes together at this level. More students can be positively impacted in a shorter amount of time.” – Nate Cairney, Director of Annual Giving