Saint-Brieuc 1966

But some mentioned outcomes that were less expected. They said that before that summer they were shy, awkward, or quiet, but that doing something so challenging and out of their comfort zones brought them a confidence that was life-changing. After traveling to France, they weren’t afraid to take on difficult projects, try new things, or challenge themselves in their careers. Holly Carroll Tanguay reflects: "Our adventure in France brought me out of my shell. I had been painfully shy and vividly aware of my marginal place in the cliques that dominated high school social life. In Saint-Brieuc, there were no cliques and I felt fully included. That was a major confidence boost and it helped me break out of my shyness after I started college."

Others mentioned a new perspective on and appreciation for the United States after having the chance to look at their home country from abroad. They also formed connections with one another. Even though they didn’t keep in touch from 1966 until today, when they did meet up again at the 2012 reunion, they were able to reconnect in new ways. Georgie Miner Woessner says, "Since we all started communicating as a group around our fund at IU, I’ve loved hearing little bits and pieces from all of you. I saw Leslie and her husband in California and had a great dinner with Gail and her husband in Denver. Ain was in Tallinn, Estonia in 2015 when we stopped as part of a Baltic excursion. He gave us a wonderful tour of the town and his family’s personal journey. You were all in 1966, and continue to be in 2017, some of the most interesting people I know."

Mike Wetmore and Leslie Oliver Zimring, posing in Breton outfits

Finally, the 1966 stagiaires’ summer had consequences beyond themselves, as they paid forward their experience in some way. In addition to their group scholarship endowment, they spoke of taking student groups abroad as teachers or instilling a love for language, culture, and travel in their own children. According to Linda Dunn Davis, "That summer totally changed my life—not only my life but also the lives of many others around me. I could stop at the fact that I taught French for all those years, but that’s just part of the story. I took, during my teaching career, no fewer than 15 groups of students to Europe, and always found a way to get to St. Brieuc or at least to meet up with a member or two of my French family somewhere. I have kept in touch with that family ever since that summer. I went back for one wedding in which I participated and, sadly, for two funerals." It is amazing to see how one summer for 33 students can cascade to affect the lives of many others, even years later.

IUHPFL appreciates the 1966 Saint-Brieuc group’s efforts to support the program that meant so much to them. Scholarships that the program can offer to prospective students allow greater accessibility to language learning and travel to students across Indiana. We hope to give the experience that this group had to more and more students in the future!

2017 Reunion in Bloomington; Front row (kneeling): Gary Cordingley, Karen Cure; Front row (standing): Kathy Flynn, Jan Clark, Holly Carroll Tanguay, Carol Wolfe Neu, Leslie Oliver Zimring, Kathy Gerig Bowman, Middle row left to right: Sally Maier, Susan Chapman Hersberger, Marcia Katz Slotnick, Marlene Otter Hubbard (partially hidden), Cheryll Zink Wyne, Ann Wuster Flynn; Back row left to right: Mike Wetmore, Yvonne Jones, Sarah Sherman, Ain Haas, Donald Louis Bredle, Linda Dunn Davis (partially hidden), Dale Fink, Gail Eger Loveman, Georgie Miner Woessner