First alumni weekend since pandemic


Courtesy / saintanselm.come

Students and alumni enjoy Homecoming football game by tailgating in South Lot

Caroline Moran, Crier Staff

Homecoming Weekend was a big hit on the hilltop last weekend, starting Friday the 4th. For the first time in three years, Alumni Weekend was also held, coinciding with Homecoming. With past and present hawks celebrating, the weekend had a great turnout. Members of Alumni Relations and visiting alumni reflected on the successful weekend. 

After a three year hiatus, Homecoming Weekend came back to Saint Anselm College. Having to “put a halt on having large crowds come to campus due to COVID-19,” Homecoming has been a no-go for the past few years. Alumni Relations was “eager to bring Homecoming back this year,” Patrice Russell, Assistant Vice President of College Advancement, said.

This eagerness caused a great turnout of “more than 1,000 alumni and friends [who] came back for Homecoming,” Russell stated. Numerous events occurred during the weekend, attracting many visitors, including “women’s hockey, volleyball, and field hockey…and the football game on Saturday” Russell said.  Other happenings that gained speculation were a “women’s lacrosse alumni game and a men’s club hockey alumni game” mentioned Russell. Visiting alumni and supporters of the college had many opportunities to cheer on our teams, with many former students getting the chance to relive their college years.

Alumni got to relish in their time visiting, with “Professor Ann Holbrook’s band, Quickfire” Russell shared.  The weekend continued with “snacks, a raffle, and giveaways as well,” Russell shared. They “had food trucks this year,” Russell shared,  and alumni were automatically entered into a raffle when they registered for the weekend. The warm welcome to alumni finished off with “the Blessing and Dedication of the Class of 1969” on Sunday, Russell said. This variety of activities did a great job attracting alumni to pay a visit to their alma mater!

The success of the weekend wasn’t just noticed by Alumni Relations; several alumni reflected on the weekend they spent at Saint A’s. Gina Gallivan, an ‘01 graduate of the college, shared her experience at this year’s Alumni Weekend, saying that her and her family “attend Alumni Weekend every year,” and were excited to come after the three year pause that was placed on the weekend. Gallivan remembers that she “liked that the Alumni tent was placed in the midst of the football tailgate and game locations.” She felt that it was so “lively,” and that it was “a great way to connect alumni to current students.” Gallivan’s insight is great take on what the weekend is all about. 

Gallivan found excitement in the women’s hockey game that had taken place that Friday, saying it was “a nail biter with a buzzer-beater victory.” Kids activities were offered as well, and her daughter enjoyed “the pumpkin decorating and petting zoo,” which she requests to have in the Alumni Weekends to come. The weekend brought fun for all ages and for everyone in the family!

Above all, for Gallivan, “Alumni Weekend is a wonderful way to reconnect with who we are as Anselmians, to nourish our friendships and spirit, and to celebrate and take pride in our beloved college.” In true Anselmian spirit, Gallivan got to reminisce on her years here at Saint Anselm and reconnect with those she has missed. 

Gallivan’s enthusiasm was mirrored by other alumni, like Kate Folan. A Saint Anselm graduate of ‘95, Folan has “attended Homecoming almost every year,” and shares the tradition not only with her family, but with her former Saint Anselm roommate, Pamela Call MacDonald; the two spend every Alumni Weekend together. 

Because of the hiatus, Folan said it was “disappointing not being on campus for Homecoming during those years,” but, with this year’s return, she remarked that it “was so much fun…Everyone working the event was so welcoming to alumni returning to campus.” This special weekend has been missed equally by those working the event and the alumni it was for. 

She reminisced on some of the weekend’s happenings, and Folan said that the “expanded tailgating area outside of the picnic grove was so much fun,” and that “the band was fantastic.” Alumni Relations’ hard work paid off; the alumni certainly thought it was a success. 

The beauty of the weekend and all of the hard work, was topped off with weather “like a summer day,” which made Folan think of “Spring Weekend when [she] attended Saint Anselm.” The weekend has a special quality of bringing memories old and new to the college’s past students. 

The first Alumni/Homecoming Weekend in years brought the same Anselmian spirit that students of all years hold so near and dear. With sports games galore, attracting speculation from many visitors, and a warm welcome to our alumni, Saint Anselm played a generous host to a memorable weekend. The Benedictine tradition of hospitality was noted by Kate Folan, who said that the “Saint Anselm community emulates this tradition and is what makes coming back so special.” For Homecoming Weekends to come, Saint Anselm is always there to welcome its students home.