Connecting … one call at a time
By Harika Rao '11 '15
Published Monday, March 18, 2013
How would you react if you heard from a school friend after 20 years? Meet Joe Sullivan '81, whose passion drives him to reconnect old school pals with himself and each other. Inspired by his father’s story, Joe uses his spare time and gregarious spirit to reach out.
His father had rekindled a childhood friendship well over 50 years after they had lost contact. Once reunited, the two stayed very close for nearly 7 months until his friend’s untimely death. The impact on Joe’s father made him realize the importance of staying connected to fellow classmates. He did not want to experience the loss of friendship that his father did. That’s when he made a call to the alumni office.
Joe graduated from the College of Boca Raton with a B.A. degree. “Most of us were in Florida away from our families and we made connections as a secondary family,” says Joe. Nearly 30 years later he started branching out with the hope to reconnect with his friends from CBR.
Thanks to the evolution of technology, social media has helped Joe ‘find friends.’ Initially he was apprehensive about using Facebook, but gradually it became a very good tool to track his classmates. “Facebook has opened up a lot of doors for us,” states Joe. He created an alumni Facebook page that has grown to include nearly 100 classmates.
Many of them meet once a year on campus for Alumni Weekend. During their reunions, they look at old photographs and yearbooks while talking about the good old days and the fun they had in school. Joe says that they still call each other and laugh on all the great times they spent together. “Time stands still for us, every time we meet,” he says.
Joe’s goal is to keep the numbers growing and getting the group together. He hasn’t given up and says, “I am not content; little by little I will find people. This has been the most rewarding journey to me.”