For its senior trip, the NBCS Class of 1964 chose to go to the NY World’s Fair. The normal pattern was for the senior class trip to take place in the spring over the Easter break. But Easter was early that year, on March 29th, and the fair did not open until April 22nd. So the Board of Education (probably very reluctantly) voted to allow the class to take their trip during the few days right after graduation in June of 1964 (the exact dates have been lost in the mist of time).
So we loaded one over-the-road bus and one station wagon with everyone who was going, headed for the city and the fair and all had a good time. (We won’t go into the hotel snafu, or that we lost one person on the subway along the way or some of the shenanigans that took place after hours at the hotel. We’ll save those stories for another time).
There were certain costs that the class paid for during the trip, and we didn’t know exactly how much they would be before we left. We had a pot of money, paid out what we had to and lo and behold (and Would You Believe?) when we got back home we had the grand sum of about $350 left.
In this day and age, $350 is nothing to be sneezed at, but in 1964 to a bunch of just-graduated high school seniors, it seemed like a lot of money. A number of us got together and discussed what we should do with it. There were the obvious things like donating the money to the school or purchasing something new for the school building. Being the forward thinkers that we were, we finally agreed to open a bank account of the local branch of the National Bank & Trust Company of Norwich (now known as the NBT Bank) and provide a small scholarship to some deserving member of each senior class. This would be known as the ‘Class of 1964 Award’.
The amount chosen was $10. That really isn’t very much in today’s dollars. But remember that in 1964 $10 was easily enough to feed a family of four at a diner (fast food places didn’t exist yet in small towns) and have change left over to put some gas in the tank (at about $0.30 per gallon).
At the time, a projection was made that, with interest from the bank, this amount at $10 per year might last 46 years or so.
2010, Has It Been Used Up?
Fast forward a long time to 2010, 46 years past our graduation. Our Senior Class Treasurer, Tom DeForest, contacted the school (now the Unadilla Valley Central School with the merger of the New Berlin and South New Berlin shools) and found that they were still giving out the award, and that there was enough left to last a very few more years.
A small number of us alumni from NBCS 64 discussed the problem and decided that we should add a bunch of money to the fund and give a larger annual award. We collected $1000 and sent it off to the UV School.
2011, Award Updated and Re-Funded
The award is now $50 starting at the end of the 2010-2011 school year. This award will be given to the senior who has contributed the most to the senior class, as chosen by the senior class advisors.
So the ‘Class of 1964 Award’ should warm the heart (at least a little) of some graduation senior for at least another 20 or 30 years (depending on interest rates).