What We’re Seeing, Hearing and Loving

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Five archival photos of past concerts, featuring Bonnie Raitt, Orleans, Dionne Warwick, The Beach Boys and Steve Martin.

The In Concert photo essay in the Fall 2023 issue of FDU Magazine sparked dozens of student and alumni responses in the form of comments, memories and letters. See a sample below!

I was excited to see the spread on the great stars who have graced FDU’s stage. I was at the Billy Joel concert in 1975. It was an amazing concert, but what was even more amazing was his opening act, a “bright, young comedian” named Billy Crystal! He kept us rolling in the aisle and I told my friend, “This guy is going to go somewhere.” I realized later that I had witnessed the beginning of two great careers that night.

Marie Anne Padden Karan, BA’ 75 (Metro)

A vintage flier and concert ticket advertise a Bill Joel show.


I graduated from the Rutherford Campus in 1981 and our commencement speaker was Dizzy Gillespie. I’m 99 percent sure that the photo of him on page 37 of the Fall 2023 issue is from commencement. It certainly looks like that to me!

Joanne Wehmeyer Charnoff, BS’81 (Ruth)

A man wearing a graduation cap and gown plays the trumpet.

Dizzy Gillespie at Commencement 1981.

Correction: Joanne Wehmeyer Charnoff is right. We inadvertently ran the incorrect year for the Dizzy Gillespie photo. It does indeed date to 1981, as this alumna clearly remembers. We regret the error.

Seeing The Ramones was a great night. Will live in my memory forever!

Chris Brancato, AS’84 (Flor)

I had front row seats for the Beach Boys in a tent on the green at the Teaneck [Metropolitan] Campus, circa 1973.

Paul R. Greenwald, MA’69, MBA’ 78 (Metro)

Editor’s Note: The Beach Boys performed at FDU more than once! In 1973, they played the Metropolitan Campus and earlier, in 1966, the Rutherford Campus.

Harry Chapin played at Rutherford in 1975 or 1976. He was the only performer who donated his entire fee to charity! A very cool guy, taken way too soon.

Steven Grumbach, BS’ 77 (Ruth)

A vintage photo shows two women performing music live on stage.

Janis Ian in concert at FDU in 1975.

I remember The Beach Boys, Carole King, Gordon Lightfoot, James Taylor, Al Kooper (until 4 a.m.!), Blue Oyster Cult, Sha-Na-Na, Brewer and Shipley, Loggins and Messina, Good Rats and sooooo many more at the Metropolitan Campus from 1970–1974.

Duff Sheffield, BS’74 (Metro)

I saw Billy Joel, Janis Ian and Steve Martin all at the Madison [Florham] Campus.

Ann Minski, BA’79 (Flor)

Send letters, compliments and complaints to FDU Magazine.

A man and a woman pose for a photo between giggles.

(Photo: Bill Blanchard)

Filmmaker, actor, comedian, author, YouTuber and podcaster Kevin Smith, known for his cult classic films “Clerks,” “Mallrats” and “Dogma,” headlined WAMFest 2023 at the Florham Campus.

In conversation with students Ana Christaldi, a junior creative writing major; Josh Stieve, a junior film and animation major; and alumna Kelly Branco, BA’23 (Flor); Smith shared career highlights and anecdotes and his perspective on the intersection of creativity and storytelling.