In just under nine days, Fairfield University’s annual Alumni and Family Weekend (AFW) will commence. Held from Oct. 21 to the 23, family, friends and alumni can join students and staff on campus to celebrate this annual tradition, filled with non-stop activities throughout the weekend.
Senior Tess Morrissey comments on the significance of AFW, stating that “Parents weekend at Fairfield is something so special. It is so fun to see friends’ parents become close with one another, and Fairfield makes it so whether or not you go here you feel at home that weekend.”
The activities and events hosted by the University will begin on Friday, Oct. 21. Parents can join their children Friday night in the Daniel and Grace Tully Dining Commons to experience an authentic Tully dining experience. They can then finish the night with “Fairfield Flicks” located in the Gonzaga Auditorium.
First-Year student Sophia Haber Brock states, “I’m looking forward to my parents coming to campus for the weekend so I can share my college experience and new routine with them. I’m excited for the different events and to have them meet my new friends!”
For alumni, Friday night is the kick-off to their weekend as Young Alumni Mug Night will be hosted at the Seagrape Cafe.
Saturday, Oct. 22 boasts a day packed with activities, starting with breakfast in the Tully, a President’s Welcome Address and a Campus Update. Additionally, academic achievement and informational events including a Clinical Initiation Ceremony, The Fairfield Residential Experience hosted by ResLife, Study Abroad information sessions and a Fairfield Legacy Association Reception will be offered.
Sophomore nursing students look forward to their Clinical Initiation Ceremony, where they will be formally inducted into the start of their clinical experience.
Sophomore Gabby Clune states, “As a nursing major, I’m excited that we are taking the next step into the nursing profession, as well as the fact that the school is celebrating and acknowledging our hard work in the first two years of school.”
Saturday’s larger and more widely attended events will include the highly anticipated StagFest. The Friends of Fairfield Rugby will also host a Homecoming RugbyFest starting with a welcome gathering at 9 a.m. and a series of games starting at 11 a.m.
Senior Caroline McConville looks forward to her final StagFest, “Parent’s weekend is something my whole family looks forward to each year. The Stag fest event is so fun and a great way for new students and alumni to come together.”
StagFest begins at noon and is the main event of Alumni and Family Weekend taking place up on Bellarmine Lawn.
Offering a variety of food vendors, including beloved food trucks often seen by students on campus, to food trucks from the surrounding restaurants in town, StagFest does not lack food options. Likewise, there will be a wine and beer garden available. A Lil’ Stags Zone with a petting zoo, a Stags Pep Rally and live band entertainment performed by “St. Hubbins Band” are all included at the festival.
Sophomore Ryan McGowan comments on his experience at last year’s Alumni and Family Weekend.
“Last year during parent’s weekend I liked how the campus was set up and how welcoming it was on Bellarmine Lawn for the parents and families. I hope this year it’s set up in a similar fun and engaging way,” he says.
Furthermore, on that Saturday, The Office of Student Diversity and Multicultural Affairs will be partnering with The Black Student Union and the Alumni of Color Network to hold a panel discussing various topics, along with speakers who will share their experiences at Fairfield University.
These panels and speakers will be followed by a Fish Fry in which Mekaylia Ingram ‘25 comments that “At the Fish Fry students will be able to create connections with each other, as well as network and bond with alumni of diverse backgrounds.”
Saturday night rounds out with a couple of events in the Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts. Theatre Fairfield will present “Tiny Beautiful Things” at 7:30 p.m. and the Dubious Circus Act will show at 8 p.m. The night will end with Breast Cancer Bingo starting at 9:30 p.m. in the Tully.
Alumni are invited to end their night with a Fireside Meetup which gives the opportunity for alumni to catch up at the fire pits at Bellarmine Hall.
Sunday wraps up Alumni and Parents Weekend, with a Fairfield Special Breakfast in the Tully, Mass in the Egan Chapel of St. Ignatius Loyola and a Glee Club Concert to commemorate their 76th season of music.
Additionally, Fairfield University athletic events will be happening throughout the weekend, with Fairfield Hockey, Women’s Soccer, Women’s Rugby, Volleyball, a Women’s Lacrosse Ring Ceremony to honor winning the 2022 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Championship, Men’s Rugby, Club Field Hockey and Women’s Tennis all hosting home games.
Alumni and Family Weekend is a fun way for old friends to reconnect and experience first-hand the changes made to their alma mater, as well as for students to reunite with their families after over a month away at college.