Tom ’56 and Joanne Meeker are pictured at the Princeton–Lehigh football game Sept. 21, following their 25th wedding-anniversary tailgate at Cap and Gown Club. More than 100 people — Cap alumni and friends and family of 1956 — partied in honor of the couple, who have organized tailgates at the eating club for the past 28 years.


Tom Meeker '56 and wife Joanne celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary before the Sept. 21 football opener against Lehigh. (Photo: Fran Hulette)

The first tailgate in 1985, according to Tom Meeker, was “just eight of us — myself, Dave Jordan [’56], and a six-pack. Now we set up four tables and two tents.” Former ’56 class president Royce Flippin credits the Meekers with fostering great class spirit through the tailgates, which also feature performances by the University Band. The Meekers provide “munchies” for band members at every home game and helped solicit $3,499 in donations for the band from ’56 tailgaters last year.

Class members hope their tailgate tradition will be continued by younger classes, but for now, Tom Meeker plans to keep his tailgates going. “It’s like eating peanuts,” he says. “Once you start, you can’t stop.”