Stevens welcomed back alumni and the families of our newest students for a warm October Homecoming and Freshman Parents weekend.
Close to 500 people enjoyed a mild, breezy weekend on campus that included performing arts events, a community barbecue, an all-alumni Oktoberfest, and much more. Five athletics teams – women’s lacrosse, men’s lacrosse, men’s and women’s swimming and baseball – welcomed back alumni for some friendly alumni versus student games. In Stevens Ducks action, the field hockey team beat Ithaca, women’s tennis posted a win (over Alfred University) and a loss (Ithaca) and women’s soccer lost a close one to Nazareth College.
The Athletic Hall of Fame welcomed five new members, all delivering heart-felt speeches as they entered an elite group of alumni athletes for their contributions to Stevens’ athletics programs. The newest Hall of Famers are: Charles Collins ’61 (tennis and lacrosse); Patrick Drennan ’85 (lacrosse); Nicholas Miuccio ’99 (fencing); Matthew Cannon ’04 (lacrosse); and Danielle (Dudek) Kaiser ’09 (basketball).
“We were proud to induct such a distinguished list of individuals into the Stevens Athletic Hall of Fame,” said Director of Athletics Russell Rogers. “It was a diverse group with a variety of sport backgrounds and eras represented. The common theme among all of them, however, was the first-class manner in which they represented Stevens as student-athletes and have continued to do so in their lives after college.”
It was a weekend filled with both nostalgia and anticipation of a bright future.
Elizabeth Pallone ’88 visited her son Daniel, a freshman, and enjoyed the Legacy Scholarship Breakfast inside a sunny Babbio Center atrium. She enjoyed seeing the newer aspects of campus – the Babbio Center was built long after her time as a student – but the campus still felt familiar.
“It’s really like coming home,” she said. “It’s just such a great place, and I like to see what they’re doing to move it forward.”
Meghan Collins ’13, a law student at Duquesne University, traveled more than 350 miles from Pittsburgh for an 8 a.m. alumnae lacrosse match. She showed up bright and early at DeBaun Field, ready to play and, most importantly, to see good friends.
“We’ve always been so close; I have to see them again.” How did she feel at half-time? “I feel old!” she said. The Stevens team did top the alumnae 6-2.
The alumni games were a top draw, with men’s and women’s swimming welcoming 30 alumni from as far as California, Texas and North Carolina. Men’s lacrosse saw some 47 alumni show up, representing classes from the 1970s to 2014, including an alumnus from Minnesota. And the baseball alumni game attracted 22 alumni players, ranging from the Class of ’69 to the Class of 2014.
The weekend also featured many rich offerings in the performing arts, from the Stevens Jazz Band (their Walker Gym outdoor gig was a hit) to Theta Alpha Phi drama honor society’s performances of “And the World Goes ’Round,” as well as a Performing Arts Showcase that featured musicians and the Stevens Choir.
As the choir rehearsed sparkling versions of the Stevens “Alma Mater” and Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” in the Ondrick Music Room, freshman parent Michelle Ehrhart watched daughter Kelly, choir director Bethany Reeves – and the entire choir—in awe.
“This is such a unique place,” she said. “My daughter has been in music all her life. (Ms. Reeves) is fantastic! She’s so lively and she brings these kids up. I understand now why my daughter loves it here.”
A number of families with multi-generational graduates returned for the weekend, for the Legacy Scholarship Breakfast, where the Stevens Alumni Association awarded eight merit scholarships to the children and grandchildren of alumni. At the popular community barbecue, Joan and Ed Sitler, both Class of ’87, enjoyed lunch with their next generation of Stevens graduates: Julianne, a sophomore, and Justin, a freshman.
“Every time we come here, it’s been a gorgeous day,” Joan said with a smile. “Dr. Farvardin lives under a golden cloud! I love the new president. He makes me proud that my children go here. He has such a vision for the school; my pride is ten-fold.”
Alumni will have more chances to celebrate with the Stevens community in the coming months. The third annual Stevens Awards Gala — honoring the university’s accomplished alumni and friends — will be held on March 28, 2015, at The Plaza Hotel in New York City. (See www.stevens.edu/awardsgala). And Alumni Weekend is set for June 5-7, 2015; visit www.stevens.edu/alumniweekend.