69Cares: An Initiative to Support Classmates and Families

Mission: provide support to classmates and families at times of loss or crisis. 


  • Class engagement in noticing needs and acting to support members of our Class and their families
  • Send a hand written note to every classmate or their family identified as needing support. 
  • Facilitate a personal contact by a connected classmate when possible
  • Provide additional actions or support when appropriate and possible



  • Classmates in crisis with illness, loss, or threatened loss.
  • Families of departed classmates.
  • (Does not include financial issues or support.)


Three options or stages: 

We have started small but will grow our process over time.

  • We snd a handwritten note on a Class-themed card to the family of departed classmates.
  • In settings where we can, we follow the handwritten note with a personal contact by phone or email, whenever possible by a classmate who has a known pre-existing connection. The call is to offer sympathy and support, and to find out to what degree the classmate or family would like the Class to be aware. To do this well requires a bigger team of volunteers and use of the College database.
  • In the future it may be possible to use the personal contact to coordinate or arrange further actions when possible and appropriate, ranging from simple and short-term actions (cards, flowers, donations) to more complex or long term involvement (visits, fundraising, putting them in touch with resources). This 'intensive' initiative requires a fairly large volunteer group with a wide range of skills and interests to serve as a support network and a database of resources.


The current process: 

  • Peter Elias maintains a small supply of cards with College campus photos.
  • Tex Talmadge and Peter Elias rotate sending cards to families of departed classmates as soon as possible after we learn of a death.
  • We announce the passing on the ListServ and solicit firends or classmates with connections willing to reach out to the family.