Photo: Las Vegas 2004 – Roxanne ~ Nancy ~ Tim ~ Julie ~ Dixie ~ Caryn.
In the year 2000 a group of about 20 alumni became friends on the Classmates.com message board. As more Alumni joined in on the conversations Julie Krejci ’79 and Garry Schanke ’72 volunteered to be the moderators of the board. In 2001 Classmates announced the message board was changing to a paid members only message board so we opened our own message board on DelphiForums.com and on January 19, 2001 and then our own web site hosted by Julie (Krejci) Wilson ’79.
Over 10 years, 174,680 posts, and the birth of FaceBook it was time for another change, on October 5th, 2011 the Forum changed to the Azusa Connection. The Azusa Connection invites all with connections to Azusa California to join the fun.
Join the conversation on the Message Board hosted by alumni: The Azusa Connection
Left: Judy Berryman-Gilbertson 1962 “Butterfly ’62” Las Vegas 2007 with Dave ’78 & Roxanne (Olejnik) ’80 Hernandez, Tim Meeks ’76, Dixie (Odom) Megrew ’65, Julie (Krejci) Wilson ’79, and Caryn Meeks.
Azusa Alumni Message Board Awarded April 2004 “Forum of the Month’ by Alumni Connections!
Jim Burgardt writes:
When I was a kid in the 40’s and 50’s, we used to listen to the Jack Benny Show on radio and then television. At some point every week, we laughed together as Mel Blanc, playing a Union Depot train caller, would announce, “Train leaving on Track 5 for Anaheim, Azusa and Cuuuu-ca-mon-gaaa!” Back in those days, I had no idea where those cities were located or whether or not they were even real names of real cities. Fifty+ years later, I now know that they are very real cities in southern California, populated with very real people, and real schools with real alumni.
We are pleased to announce that one of those schools is our Forum of the Month for April. Established in January of 2001, the Azusa Alumni forum was established by Julie Krejci-Wilson as an alternative to Classmates, where she had served as her school’s moderator. Her main goals were to provide a place for her alumni to meet and renew friendships that was free and friendly. She has accomplished both of those goals. Even after more than three years at the helm of the forum, Julie has not tired of her job.
In its three years of existence, the Azusa Aztecs forum has attracted more than 1200 members and almost 100,000 posts, and it continues to thrive to this day. Julie attributes much of the success of the forum to her able assistants. One of these assistants is fellow host Judy Berryman, who says that the best part of the forum is “meeting old friends again, and making new ones.” She thinks that one of the things that sets the Azusa forum apart from many of the other forums is that everybody gets along, with no fighting.
If some alumni forums have passed their peak of popularity, it isn’t evident to Roxanne Olejnik-Hernandez, another forum host. She says that they have “a lot of new visitors all the time.
Roxanne also describes the inter-relationship of their forum and web page. “In conjunction with our web page our forum is the main source of reunion information for our school,” she says. “Especially the annual Food Crawl.” The Food Crawl is an annual all-alumni picnic. The web page also mentions an upcoming Alumni Weekend in Las Vegas, which will take place from April 2-4, 2004, and includes memorials for deceased classmates, a school hall of fame, individual pages for the “feeder” schools from which Azusa attracts its students, as well as pages for the marching band, drill team, cheerleaders, singers, and many other features, with many more in the works. These are things that will draw alumni back to the forum again and again.
Speaking of that Alumni Weekend, Julie tells a story. She says, “(On) our first Las Vegas Weekend, an all-alumni trip we plan from the forum, we had a run in with a couch. This was the first time most of us met in person. Saturday night we all met at the Rio for dinner, watched the Marty Gras parade (and) played some slots. Then all eight of us piled in my ‘burb’ and went to Fremont Street to see the light show and gamble some more. On the way back to the hotel, cruising down the freeway, the SUV in the lane on my left slammed on his breaks, I slowed down, and then Lynette yelled from the back seat ‘COUCH!.’ There was a couch moving across the freeway heading into my lane. I swerved and missed it. Now the couch is the logo for our yearly event… and a greeting… COUCH!”
For people who have recently started a forum of their own or who may be considering starting one, Julie offers the following advice: “Have patience (for your alumni to find the forum), an open mind (use other alumni’s ideas), and a sense of humor. They will get you through most things in life.” They have served Julie and her alumni well, and we are happy to salute their forum for the month of April.