The Newman University All-Alumni Reunion held June 10-12 offered something for everyone, as participants from as far away as California, New York, Florida and Virginia converged on the Newman campus to see old friends, make new ones, and observe the changes in the school since they were last here.
The event drew more than 230 alumni, ranging from a Sacred Heart Academy graduate of 1946 to Newman University graduates of 2016 – a span of 70 years. Some alums came for a single event while others came for the entire weekend. Either way, they seemed to enjoy being back at their alma mater, according to Director of Development for Sciences and Health Sciences Therese Wetta, ASC.
“We had a good turnout for many events, and a whole range of alums, both female and male,” Wetta said. “The canvas painting for adults class was very popular, and the beer tasting. Most academic presentations had 12 or more in attendance.”
Reunion planners designed the weekend to include a variety of events for people of all ages and backgrounds. Activities included the groundbreaking for the Bishop Gerber Science Center (see related story), as well as an opening BBQ dinner and stories about the Sacred Heart Hall ghosts. Other events were Newman-style TED Talks, presentations by faculty and alums on topics such as mindfulness, head concussions, the Adorers of the Blood of Christ and the new science center, and readings from five Newman alumni authors, including Clare Vanderpool ’87, who received the 2011 Newberry Medal.
Wetta added that several alumni appreciated the services offered during the weekend, including children’s activities, on-site childcare and lodging in Newman residence halls.
“People who stayed in Beata Hall said they enjoyed it and that it was economical,” she said. “Many said they would encourage families to use the halls in the future.”
The event was so successful that an all-alumni reunion is now planned as an annual event. Wetta said some changes in scheduling and individual events will come based on the evaluations of the participants and what was learned this year. Still, Wetta said she’s content with the success of this year’s reunion.
“I was really pleased with the way the alumni on the steering committee worked to get other alumni involved, and how they helped manage the many events,” Wetta said. “Special recognition goes to [All-Alumni Reunion Committee Chair] Christine Siefers for her leadership.”
Reunions for 2017 are planned for:
June 22-23, 2017 – Sacred Heart Academy All-Alumni Reunion
June 23-25, 2017 – All-Alumni Reunion