Red heart with two falcon birds inside


Alan, Christine, and Kathleen Gauthier with a city in the background

Kathleen Gwiazda ’72, from Chicopee, and Alan Gauthier ’70, from Springfield, met at UMass in the fall of 1968 when both were on the student senate. Kathleen represented John Quincy Adams dorm, and Alan was treasurer. Alan was campaigning for re-election in the spring of 1969, going from dorm to dorm asking people for their vote. When he knocked on Kathy’s door to ask for her support, he also asked her on a date—to the St. Patrick’s Day parade in Holyoke. (She said yes!)

Memories from that time include hanging out at the Student Union, studying together in the library (located in Goodell Hall at the time), attending homecoming concerts, Saturday afternoon football games, swimming at Puffers Pond, and Friday nights at The Pub in Amherst—with $.25 drafts! They married on June 30, 1973.

What’s the secret to their long marriage? They say, “Don’t sweat the small stuff. Put yourself in your partner’s shoes. Always have in mind that you are working together towards common goals. Talk about the goals you have in your life together. Never forget the feelings that brought you together in the first place, value your partner for their good characteristics, tell them that you do, and realize that everyone has flaws.” Finding interests that you both share helps keep the cement strong that holds your union together. Showing interest in your partner’s hobbies (even if it’s not your cup of tea) occasionally is important too. But falcon-watching is an activity that everyone can enjoy!

Alan discovered the Falcon Cam about 10 years ago and shared the link with family and friends. “Watching the goings-on in the nest on our laptops soon replaced the morning crossword puzzle. Our favorite falcon antics are feeding times and watching the hatchlings exercise their bodies and their curiosity on the way to becoming independent. We also find it cool that peregrine falcons mate for life and share responsibilities.”

“We are grateful to those who work hard on the care and research of these beautiful birds of prey and to those who keep the camera up and running—educating us about these fascinating creatures. Our daughter surprised us with a donation to the Falcon Cam in honor of our 50th anniversary, and it was such a meaningful gift! We are hopeful that others will consider donating to the Falcon Cam to honor a friend or loved one for a special occasion or just because it’s a feel-good thing to do.”

To make a gift online visit:
Mail a check to:
UMass Amherst Foundation
Memorial Hall
134 Hicks Way
Amherst, MA 01003-9270