• About Us

    (Photos are from 2014 50th Reunion)

     

    This is our story.

    We were college seniors ...

    when President Kennedy visited our campus that November day. Fifty years later, we have undertaken this film project because Kennedy’s message to us is more important now than when he spoke it. Our fiftieth reunion sparked a process of reflection on how we have done, as a class and as a generation, in responding to the challenge to guard the public interest and to champion liberal education and the arts. With the help of a professional filmmaker, it is time for us to tell our story. We not only carried the torch that Kennedy passed to us, but we also seek to pass it intact to a new generation of leaders who will be responsible for the future of our society and our country. We cherish the values extolled by Kennedy and Frost and hope that they will live on well beyond our time.

     

    2017 marks the 100th anniversary

    of President John F. Kennedy’s birth.

    Just 26 days before his death, in what is now viewed as his most significant speech, President Kennedy spoke at Amherst College in dedication of the Frost Library. He challenged students to a life of public service, extolled the importance of the arts and reflected on the work of Robert Frost and the relationship between poetry and power. Kennedy spoke of privilege, of inherited wealth and inherited poverty. “Unless the graduates of this college and other colleges like it who are given a running start in life – unless they are willing to put back into our society, those talents, the broad sympathy, the understanding, the compassion – unless they are willing to put those qualities back into the service of the Great Republic, then obviously the presuppositions upon which our democracy are based are bound to be fallible.”

    Format and Schedule

    of The President And The Poet

    This 60-minute film is being broadcast by select public television stations (check your local listings) distributed by American Public Television beginning in June 2018. It will also be screened at film festivals, potentially at premier libraries, and at college and non-profit venues seeking to promote civic engagement. 

     

    Reunion '64

    is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit corporation ...

    formed in 2014 by members of the Amherst Class of ’64 at the time of their 50th reunion for the express purpose of producing a documentary concerning President Kennedy’s visit to the Amherst campus, the message he conveyed in his convocation address, the timeless importance of that message and the impact that it has had on students who heard it. The premise motivating the film is that Kennedy’s message is more important today than when he spoke it on campus.

    Board of Directors and Management

    of Reunion '64

    Robert R. Benedetti (Director and President)

    Mr. Benedetti is a retired professor and retired head of the University of the Pacific’s Jacoby Center for Public Service and Civic Leadership. He is currently affiliated with the Center for California Studies, California State University, Sacramento. He voluntarily expends such hours as are required to assist in the formation, organization, and operation of the corporation.

     

    Neil C. Bicknell (Director and Vice-President)

    Mr. Bicknell is a chartered financial analyst, who after several years on Wall Street with Goldman Sachs, founded his own company. He has been active in mergers and acquisitions, representing at various times both the sell side and the buy side. He voluntarily expends such hours as are required to assist in the formation, organization, and operation of the corporation, and in its fund raising activities. His experience includes previous involvement in the production of two different educational films one of which was produced for, and broadcast on, public television.

     

    Charles C. Stover (Director and Secretary)

    Mr. Stover is a member of Innovative Development Expertise & Advisory Services, Inc. (IDEAS), a small business dedicated to strengthening health systems that target underserved populations throughout the world. He voluntarily expends such hours as are required to assist in the formation, organization, and operation of the corporation.

     

    Stephen E. Smith (Director and Treasurer)

    Mr. Smith is a retired attorney at law, formerly active primarily as general counsel for various medical device and technology companies. He voluntarily expends such hours as are required to assist in the formation, organization and operation of the corporation. His experience includes the financing and legal representation of one IMAX/OMNIMAX film for distribution to science museums around the country.

     

    Dr. Roger M. Mills (Director)

    Dr. Mills is a retired medical doctor. He was Professor of Medicine at the University of Florida, and later worked for Johnson & Johnson (Janssen Pharmaceuticals) both in medical affairs and in research and development. He voluntarily expends such hours as are required to assist in the formation, organization and operation of the corporation.

     

     

    These five individuals are alumni of Amherst College, class of 1964. They are donating their time to this endeavor on an entirely volunteer basis with the intent that they not in anyway be unjustly or otherwise enriched by this activity.