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Students from the COSD spring 1997 speech-language pathology cohort. Raquel Rivera, Sarah Cook and Anne Marie Pinkenburg.
Students from the COSD spring 1997 speech-language pathology cohort. From left to right: Raquel Rivera, Sarah Cook and Anne Marie Pinkenburg.

The speech-language pathology spring cohort of 1997 returned to TCU to celebrate their 25-year reunion. 90 percent of the class reunited with some of their former professors, Lynn Flahive, M.S., Jennifer Watson, Ph.D., and Irmgard Payne, M.S.’94, to reminisce. Before graduating, before email and before social media existed, the cohort created a video. Here’s what they had to say about it.

In 1997, you all made a video. What was the filming like? 

Alissa: It was very low-tech! I used my Sony camcorder and taped pictures on the wall, filmed, then replaced the picture. We had videos we took during comps week, videos of our post-comp party, and clips from various picnics and celebrations. We interviewed every student in the cohort and asked them to share what they loved most about graduate school. We also interviewed every professor; almost all of them talked about each person in our cohort and the cohesiveness that was unique to our group. There wasn’t much in the way of “editing,” and I somehow made a VHS copy for everyone in the group. I don’t even know how I did that!

Korey: We really were obnoxious!

Lori: We just acted like our silly selves!

Anne Marie: I remember it being very secretive and I didn’t know what Alissa was up to. She also contacted all our parents to get photos, and our parents kept that very quiet.

Raquel: I don’t remember the filming, but I do remember that my mom called me to inform me that a woman called her to ask for photos of me – it was Alissa.

Coleen: I didn’t even remember having the video until my 22-year-old son was helping me clean out our VHS tapes, and he gave it to me this summer. I watched most of it before the reunion and was so impressed and amazed at our group back then. I knew we had to watch it as a group at our reunion!

Yuneska: Alissa did an amazing job filming our video! This wasn’t our first time in front of Alissa’s camera, though, she filmed us during comps, group activities, etc. She captured all of our great times together!

You watched this video 25 years later. What went through your mind as you watched it?

Alissa:  It was nostalgic and embarrassing and wonderful. I think we realized that we were quite obnoxious but that we truly made the most of our two years. We are so lucky to have made those memories together. Our professors were very kind to have put up with our camcorder antics, requests for interviews, and conga lines through the clinic.

Raquel: We all look so young!

Lori: It is hard to believe how much time has passed since we were in grad school together. The video brought up a lot of good memories. It’s amazing how much you can forget in 25 years!

Coleen: One of my favorite parts of watching it all together was seeing our old professors. I think we all still cherish the observations and advice they gave our class.

Korey: The professors’ comments were amazing and still very relevant today. I am shocked that I was a mother and still that ridiculous with my friends. I don’t know how I could have made it through those two years without them. I cried happy tears.

Anne Marie: I had several thoughts!

  1. Why didn’t Alissa tell me my hair was sticking out on the side like that?
  2. Wow, Korey really made it look easy to be a mother and a graduate student at the same time. I now have a much healthier appreciation now of how hard that must have been.

Yuneska: I’m amazed we still have the video since it was VHS, and even more amazed that Nicole had a VCR! I was reminded of all the good times we shared. It was very emotional!

How do you feel after watching the video?  

Alissa:  Grateful and emotional. Nine of us sat in the bedroom of our Vrbo and watched that video together, laughing until we cried. Once the video was over, we didn’t move from our spots. We just sat there reminiscing about our time at TCU and all the things we had forgotten until we watched the video.

Anne Marie: I appreciate our professors even more now than I did then! I took that for granted. I just knew that this was the hardest thing I had ever done, and I couldn’t imagine getting through the program without everyone’s support.

Lori: I felt thankful, happy and sad. I was grateful that our professors took the time to instill some words of wisdom to us and to speak to each of us individually. I also felt thankful Alissa took so many hours to put this video together.

Nicole: I was reminded of just how much I carried with me, especially when I heard each professor reflect and advise us. Although much of what I learned was established in the class lectures and discussions, and in conducting therapy at the clinic and at our externships, I realized that so many subtle nuggets of wisdom had been ingrained by my professors’ daily interactions with me and my friends.

Korey: I am so thankful for those two years and so glad that Alissa took the time to make it for us all. I’m so thankful for every one of those girls and that they can still be a part of my life.

 Coleen: We were so blessed to have each other and our professors in our “Circle of Friends.” This song, sung by Point of Grace, was featured on the video and speaks volumes about our group in the past and even to this day. Our 25-year reunion renewed this precious “circle of friends” and we are all so grateful!

Students from the COSD spring 1997 speech-language pathology cohort reunited and replicated a photo taken 25 years prior (above)
Students from the COSD spring 1997 speech-language pathology cohort reunited and replicated a photo taken 25 years prior (above). From left to right: Raquel Rivera, Sarah Cook and Anne Marie Pinkenburg.