Every year, students reunite with their families and recently graduated friends during the highly-anticipated Alumni & Family Weekend.
Freshman Tess Griffin enjoyed seeing her family again for the weekend.
“It was a much needed, nice little break,” she said. “It gives us a little boost until Thanksgiving when we see [our families] again.”
The planning for the weekend this year, which was headed by Assistant Director of Student Programs in the Office of Student Engagement Colleen Wilson ‘11, included events for the whole family such as a Solo Circus Show, a petting zoo and a showing of “The Secret Life of Pets,” along with events geared more toward older family members, such as the Beer Garden and a Mimosa Reception for Fairfield Legacy families.
Alumni also returned to Fairfield to participate in sporting events, such as Rugby Fest and Men’s and Women’s Alumni Swimming and Diving Meet. Also, the rock band The Adults, which is made up of five Fairfield alumni, gave a performance on Oct. 22.
According to the President of the Alumni Association John Pagano MBA ‘04 MS ‘06, 15 percent of Fairfield graduates are members of a legacy family.
“Because you have such a good experience, it passes along to your children when you go to the events,” said Pagano. “You have that family atmosphere. I can tell you from this past weekend, as a student, [the children] are more apt to enjoy it and want to come here.”
Wilson spoke on the events of the weekend.
“This year’s events follow the pattern of past Alumni & Family Weekends, but with new twists,” Wilson stated. “We have moved our StagFest event to the traffic circle, which is a unique venue that we are excited to use. The Beer Garden [was] in the middle of the circle with the 14 food vendors surrounding that.”
StagFest included food vouchers for some of the most beloved restaurants in Fairfield, including Colony Grill, Super Duper Weenie and Taco Loco. There was also a petting zoo at StagFest, known as the Lil Stag Zone, which included a pig, goat, sheep, bunnies, chickens, ducks and a pony.
However, because of rain, StagFest had to be moved to the Lower Level Barone Campus Center.
Senior Bethany Russo commented, “I think it was pretty well organized, despite the rain. I think that moving everything into the LLBCC was a good idea to keep things dry and warm because it was pretty cold outside.”
After StagFest, there was a Solo Circus show featuring Michael Dubois at night on Oct. 22.
“The Solo Circus is a fast paced, audience interactive and technical skills variety show featuring an all original presentation of magic, juggling, circus and sideshow stunts all wrapped in a blanket of comedy,” commented Wilson.
DuBois has performed his act for over eight years and has made appearances on NBC’s “Tonight Show,” “The Jay Leno Show” and the “Late Show with David Letterman.”
Senior Anthony Iorio, who attended the Solo Circus with his family, found the event to be entertaining.
“The performers were very skilled,” Iorio said. “I found it incredible the way they did stuff with hoops and juggling … It was like Cirque du Soleil, but with two people.”
The show, which was sold out weeks before the event, filled the Quick Center’s 740 seats.
The annual Glee Club Concert on Oct. 23 was also filled to capacity, according to Wilson.
Associate Director of the Office of Student Engagement Jeremy Kaler, who was on the planning committee for the weekend, commented on the events, stating, “The Alumni and Family Weekend Committee began laying the groundwork for the weekend early on in the Spring 2016 semester and have been working ever since,” Kaler added. “Events are a mix of traditional events that are a staple of Alumni & Family Weekend and new ones that were solicited from various departments and offices across campus.”
“Alumni & Family Weekend is one of those unique opportunities that brings alumni, family, friends and current students together to celebrate the past, the present and the future of Fairfield University,” Kaler added. “There really isn’t anything else like it.”