Homecoming Weekend Brings Home International Alums

Former exchange students, Per Linde of Sweden, and Folke Johansson of Finland, joined 220 alumni for their Stratford class reunions during Homecoming Weekend, Oct. 24-25.

Although both left Stratford over 25 years ago, Linde ‘87 and Johansson, who attended Stratford during the ‘82-83’ academic year, still have fond memories of their time at the academy.

“At first, it was very hard getting used to both school work and athletics and learning new things, the culture, people, and also adjusting to the weather conditions,” Linde said.

“One of my best memories was getting my first A grade on Mr. Kelley’s history paper.  Also, being successful in sports, being recognized as the Best Male Senior Athlete, and winning the state championship in track and field are great memories.  Another good memory of mine was when I could quit using my tape recorder for recording classes and being able to keep up with class taking regular notes,” Linde said.

Johansson recalled that one of his best memories was during spring break at St. Simon’s with his host family. “The whole week was great and full of fun parties.  I also had my first oyster there,” Johansson said.

“I’m a European patent attorney, so I need to use English a lot and need to write a lot.  Improving my English significantly both thanks to the education at Stratford and speaking with everyone has been a great value and benefit to me for my career,” Johansson said.

“It [Stratford] affected me in all ways.  It taught me about taking pride in what I am doing, always striving for perfection and nothing less.  I just went to New Jersey for a business trip for me to become a big American company’s agent in Scandinavia.  They asked me about the Hall of Fame Induction and football playing days, and after this, they chose me,” Linde said.

Stratford’s annual alumni homecoming weekend is filled with class reunion parties, the Stratford Athletic Hall of Fame Class Induction, the Sam Anderson Memorial Flag Football Game, and the Alumni Picnic.

Jaime Kaplan, Director of Alumni Affairs, organizes the reunions.  “I contact the presidents of each class and see if they want to head up the party.  If they don’t, then I start contacting other members of the class who live nearby to see if they would like the role. The head of the party finds the venue, which could be a restaurant or personal residence, and the school sends out the invitations,” Kaplan said.

Per Linde
Per Linde
Folke Johansson with family
Folke Johansson with family