Geneva's oldest living graduate - Laura (Jannuzi '32) Wilson
In 1932, a loaf of bread cost 10 cents—the same price as a gallon of gas. You could buy a new house for $6,500 and a new car for $600, but average annual income was just $1,650 and the unemployment rate reached 25%. That same year, Amelia Earhart became the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean, Al Capone was convicted of tax evasion, Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig led the New York Yankees to the World Series championship, and Franklin D. Roosevelt defeated Herbert Hoover to become the 32nd President of the United States.
Also in 1932, Laura (Jannuzi) Wilson graduated from Geneva College. And she can still tell you about it while sitting in front of her prominently displayed Geneva athletics letter.
Laura is Geneva College’s oldest living graduate, at the age of 105. She was born in Beaver Falls—one of 12 children in the Jannuzi family. She chose Geneva because of its location, her parents’ influence and the promise of an excellent Christian education. Seven of her brothers and sisters also attended Geneva, including Gene Jannuzi ’36, who died in December.
Laura was very active on the Geneva campus. She played basketball and volleyball, participated in the French Club and Women’s Student Association, and graduated with a degree in education. After her time at Geneva, she moved to Massachusetts with her late husband Adam and taught third grade for many years.
When Laura sees pictures of Geneva’s campus today, she still smiles and immediately recognizes the stature and beauty of Old Main. But perhaps her most treasured Geneva memory is connected with that athletics letter, which sits on a bookcase for every visitor to see.
So what does Laura have to say about Geneva? Quite simply that “it’s a great all-around college.” She is thankful for how Geneva follows its mission, educates its students and impacts the vocations and lives of its alumni.
A lot has changed since 1932—but some things never change.
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