Singer-songwriter Barry Dean was embraced with a standing ovation from around 250 Colgan alumni and family after performing his No. 1 hit Pontoon at the diocese’s reunion banquet yesterday in the SMC Fieldhouse.
The banquet was the cap of a two-day event to celebrate the school’s 100th anniversary. Dean was asked to be the keynote speaker, he reluctantly agreed. Dean only went to Colgan for his junior and senior year, but said it has had a profound impact on his life and career – even referencing people from Colgan in some of his songs.
“Two years at Colgan have really changed my life,” Dean said, “and I’m really grateful for that.”
Dean, a 1985 graduate of Colgan High School, gave a roughly 40 minute speech, which he topped off with a performance of one of his No. 1 hits.
Dean said his parents’ work ethic to make Pitsco Education prosper showed him what it takes to be successful.
“They were working very hard and pouring everything they had into that business to make it float… they went on a lot of faith, courage and incredibly hard work,” he said.
Dean said he was working with his father in the 90s. He had quit music at that point, until he met his wife, who pushed him to be a songwriter.
“I’ve learned that people will think you are crazy when you go for,” he said. “But you should still go for it.”
The two-day event consisted of the banquet, a 5k, golf tournament and luncheon. Alumni ranges from last year, all the way back to 1941. It also connected a lot of alumni in between.
“All of my children and grandchildren have been part of the school,” said Betty Clements Dellagega, class of 1941.