There comes a time each year when the Newman community misses its alumni a little too much. This is why the Alumni Relations office organizes athletic alumni reunions – events that invite Newman graduates of specific sports to return to campus for a social get-together, food and games.
Head Baseball Coach Zane Ehling and Head Softball Coach Janice Esses collaborated with Director of Alumni Relations and Annual Giving Sarah Strole, and Alumni Relations and Annual Giving Coordinator Brielle Dunham to plan the festivities for each weekend.
All baseball alumni were invited to reunite for activities on Oct. 1 both at Wilkins Field and in the Tarcisia Roths, ASC Alumni Center. In all, 32 graduates gathered to eat, drink and watch football together, including a graduate of 1979 from Tempe, Arizona.
On Oct. 8, 18 softball alumnae returned for a reunion held during the annual Newman Family Weekend event. Graduates were invited to watch a scrimmage, play a game of softball with their prior teammates and enjoy a cookout complete with hamburgers, hot dogs and chips.
“It’s neat to see alumni return to Newman even after they have matured and moved on to their individual lives,” Strole said. “When you see them come back and relive their ‘golden days’ when they were lively and goofy, it’s as if that adult stress melts away a bit.”
Dunham shared that one current softball student knew some of the alumni who attended the event.
“She brought a connection between the current student athletes and alumni, which helped other students to relax and enjoy the Newman experience,” Dunham said. “It also helps current athletes to see that ‘yes, we may be playing softball now, but it will still be a part of our lives later.’ If they see alumnae return, maybe they will, too.”
In addition to athletic reunions, Strole recently met with some alumni attorneys for a luncheon. A similar reunion will be held for medical professionals on Oct. 24.
“It’s important that we host these events because it brings alumni back,” Dunham said. “It encourages graduates to stay involved and gets current students involved – whether it be through acts of service or financial donations – to help current and future students to get the same experience and opportunities that alumni had when they were students.”
A wrestling alumni reunion will take place on Oct 29, starting with a pre-season kickoff clinic in the morning. This will be followed by a dual meet at 2 p.m. and the official alumni event at 5:30 p.m.
The Alumni Relations Office is also partnering with Student Life for an event on Nov. 12, which is open to all current students, faculty and alumni. Strole challenges any and all graduates to, “Try to outsmart their favorite previous professor in a campus-wide game of capture the flag.”