Fairfield welcomed alumni and family back to campus last weekend to celebrate this year’s annual Alumni and Family Weekend.

The weekend contained over 30 events and ceremonies for families and alumni to attend while they were visiting students and old friends.

According to Karen Donoghue, dean of students, the three departments at Fairfield that planned the weekend were Student Programs and Leadership Development, Conferences and Event Management and Alumni Relations.

“The weather turned out great, [compared to] years past,” said Elissa Carroll, associate director of conference and event management who was one of the main organizers of last weekend. “We’ve had high attendance and people seemed relatively happy.”

Around 1,200 people attended Alumni and Family Weekend, according to Carroll. Of that 1,200, she said, 700 people were already pre-registered to attend the events.

Families and alumni could purchase tickets for $25, according to Tyler McClain, assistant director of student programs and leadership development. The tickets, McClain said, covered events such as the Upright Citizens Brigade, brunch, the Glee Club Concert, Fairfield’s Taste of Connecticut and StagFest.

Saturday’s event, “Fairfield’s Taste of Connecticut and StagFest,” took place on the BCC lawn and attracted a couple hundred people throughout the day, upwards to a thousand, according to Matthew Dinnan, event management director.

The event  featured live music, carnival games and pumpkin decorating. Families and alumni also had their pick of six food trucks owned by local restaurants that included: Super Duper Weenie, Flipside Burgers and Bar, Taco Loco, Sugar Bakery Cupcake, Confetti Ristorante & Vinoteca and Sodexo.

Formerly known as the “Taste of Fairfield,” this event is in its sixth year, aiming to demonstrate to families and alumni the many different aspects of the Fairfield life.

Students for Social Justice attended this event and informed attendees about Alta Gracia, a company in the Dominican Republic that pays workers a living wage instead of a minimum wage to increase their salaries. The Alumni and Family Weekend Schedule of Events stated, “This wage is three times the minimum wage in the Dominican Republic. By paying a living wage, Alta Gracia provides a sustainable income and pathway out of poverty.”

Alta Gracia apparel was available for purchase throughout the entire weekend.

“A lot of families come by and they don’t know what Alta Gracia is,” said Laura Stakey ’14. “They were very receptive to staying and listening about the company.”

Junior Katie Gillette said, “I feel like the alumni always look forward to coming back, and I always hear positive remarks.”

The Student Leader and Alumni Student Leader Reception was also held on Saturday, following Fairfield’s Taste of Connecticut and StagFest. The event allowed current student leaders and alumni student leaders to come together and get reacquainted, according to Jessica Wyszynski ’14, chair of exploring Fairfield for Alumni and Family Weekend.

“We had a really great alumni turnout,” said Wyszynski. “They came in and sat down to have apple cider and eat some good food and enjoy a nice atmosphere with some old friends.”

Sarah Martin ’13, a former resident assistant in Dolan Hall, said the event was “a beneficial opportunity for alumni to reconnect with students and faculty they have made a connection with over their four years at Fairfield.”

She, along with Carroll, planned this event specifically to help bring student leaders and alumni together.

“The events are exciting, interactive and allow for people to be social and catch up after being away,” Martin said, reflecting on the weekend as a whole.

On Sunday, families and alumni enjoyed a mass at 11 a.m. followed by brunch. In the afternoon, the Glee Club Concert and the Alpha Sigma Nu Induction Ceremony & Reception concluded the Alumni and Family Weekend celebration.

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