Reunion weekend draws a record number
The threat of torrential rain couldn’t stop a record number of alumni from pouring onto campus this weekend for Fairfield’s annual Reunion Weekend. More than 1700 Stags, young and old, celebrated their time spent at Fairfield, according to Julie Tuozzoli ’85 and director of Alumni Services.
For Friday night’s festivities, alumni gathered in local venues to relive their glory days. The Seagrape Cafe was as full as any Friday night during the school year, complete with a live band rocking out the members of the class of 1988. Meanwhile, the class of 2008 crowded The Levee and enjoyed being served their beverages by current students including FUSA president Alex Long ‘14.
Members from the class of 1968 reminisced about their time at Fairfield, before women were admitted into the university. The group got a little rowdy recalling some of the pranks they got away with as underclassmen.
Peter Maher ‘68 recalled an incident during a football game where they hijacked the opponent’s mascot costume—an eagle—and staged a mock fight against a stag mascot. The fight ended with the eagle “crawling on the floor” to the uproarious cheers of Stags in the bleachers.
“That was my excuse to go back to Fairfield every year,” commented Tony Labesky ‘68 on the now defunct football team.
Not all Stags had the luxury of being the pranksters, though. Dr. Steve Schmitz ‘78 remembers going back to his dorm one night in 1975. “The room was empty,” he said. “Our friends had taken everything” and moved it to the bathroom. “Even the stereo was set up,” he recalled with a smile.
Laura Jennings Smith ‘78 remembered standing in line to get her ID photo taken the first day of school and “meeting that woman over there,” she said, pointing across the densely crowded dining hall, “who is still my friend 30 years later.” Seven out of the eight girls in their Campion dorm are still friends to this day.
Saturday afternoon’s activities included fun for the whole family at the “Taste of Fairfield” food fair with face painting, balloon animals and an inflatable bounce house. Adults enjoyed the variety of beverages offered at the beer garden as well as an array of food from local venders.
Later in the afternoon, approximately 40 couples renewed their wedding vows during the vow renewal ceremony in the Egan Chapel of St. Ignatius Loyola. Jessica Welsh ‘98 said, “We got married here almost five years ago” and was excited to “reconnect with what got us together.” Rev. Charles H. Allen, S.J., led the ceremony, which including the gifting of a single white rose.
The highlight of the weekend for Mary Shubsda Agar ‘93 “was definitely the kids’ activities.” Her young son in tow even asked, “Mom, can we come next year?”
Unfortunately, he will have to wait until 2018 to relive the experience. By then he may even be considering becoming a Stag himself.