With 62 days until graduation, the Stevens Class of 2013 got the party started in March, with a big, warm welcome from their fellow alumni.
The “Welcome Seniors” event on March 22 saw one of its largest turnouts ever, as more than 200 Stevens seniors and young alumni gathered for mixing, mingling, good food and drink, and much merriment, as the graduating seniors were greeted into the alumni family. The Graduates of the Last Decade program and the Stevens Alumni Association sponsored the event inside the Bissinger Room in Stevens’ Howe Center.
There were door prizes—from stuffed toy Ducks and Stevens sweatshirts to Stevens Award Gala tickets—tasty warm sandwiches, yummy cupcakes and brownies for dessert, drinks, and WCPR at the DJ table.
Devin Corson ’13 may have expressed most every senior’s thought.
“Everyone’s glad to be here—we survived!” she said with a laugh. “It’s a good opportunity to find insight on what it’s like after graduation and to get support for the graduating seniors.”
Richard Delos Reyes ’13 echoed her enthusiasm.
“It’s a great event—great to see all the alumni together,” he said. “The camaraderie, the interaction between classes—it’s cool."
But he also admitted graduating is bittersweet.
“I’m excited to leave but, at the same time, not wanting to leave,” he said.
Young alumni from the past 10 years came out in force to welcome the Class of 2013. Nick Barresi ’12 realized that this was the first time in five years that he wasn’t spinning tunes for his beloved WCPR.
“It’s definitely a change—it definitely cements my being an alumnus,” he said.
As they gathered with friends and rekindled old friendships, students and alumni made time for some career networking.
With Tori O’Connor ’12 serving as master of ceremonies, SAA President Mark LaRosa ’93 offered the seniors hearty congratulations and some good advice.
“This should just be the beginning of your relationship with Stevens,” he said. “Keep connected. You are part of this wonderful family.”
The SAA promoted its alumni clubs throughout the country that offer social events as well as professional and networking opportunities. But no matter where they land, alumni were urged to return to Stevens whenever they can, be it for career fairs, Alumni Weekend, or just to catch up with old friends.
“This has been your home for many years,” said Dean of Students Ken Nilsen. “It will always be your home.”
Meanwhile, the Class of 2013 is looking out for the next generation of Stevens students. Robert Truppner ’13 spoke to his classmates about their proposed class gift—a Class of 2013 scholarship—and urged their support. Recipients must display leadership skills, do well academically and be involved in campus life.
One graduating campus leader, Owen Jappen ’13, called the evening, “an excellent start and culmination of an excellent four or five years.”
“We’re excited to go out into the industry that Stevens has prepared us for,” he said.
But at the same, he wouldn’t mind having time linger a bit.
“I want it to go slow now,” he said. “It’s bittersweet. I’m excited for the next part.”