Students who suffer from homesickness were fortunate this weekend, as their families were able to come visit for the annual Alumni and Family Weekend.

Some of the activities planned for the enjoyment of alumni and families were StagFest, Paint Nite at the Levee, the Mentalist Duo show, “Coffee with your Deans and Faculty,” Stags Pep Rally and family Masses.

This year, about 600 families registered for Alumni and Family Weekend, and around 8,000 food vouchers for StagFest were purchased, according to Assistant Director of Student Engagement Colleen Wilson ’11.

“This year’s numbers are comparable to our 2016 AFW with the number of pre-registered guests,” said Wilson.

Wilson added that many families participated in StagFest who did not initially buy vouchers.

“I would say we had close to 800 families that participated, with the majority being families from the classes of 2021 and 2020,” said Wilson.

According to Wilson, Paint Nite at the Levee, which was last brought to Fairfield in 2015, returned this year.

“This year we had 60 participants that created an abstract Stag in a sunset,” Wilson commented on the Paint Nite.

Prior to Paint Nite, on Friday evening the Mentalist Duo put on a family friendly show. Jeff and Tessa Evason, husband and wife duo, included psychic reading, levitation and hypnosis in their performance.

Additionally, AFW had various events that catered to different majors, such as the Biology Reception which featured a panel of alumni speaking on what they did post-graduation and the White Coat Ceremony, where sophomore nursing students were officially inducted into the clinical practice of their nursing studies.

Sophomore Madison Ortiz commented on the Biology Reception.

“I thought the event was a great learning experience and it helped me learn a lot about what to do after graduation,” said Ortiz. “They had a variety of different careers, so that was good to see. I didn’t expect that many so it was good to see that there’s a bunch of different stuff that you can do with a bio major.”

Sophomore Olivia Piccoli, a nursing major, attended the white coat ceremony, as well as the blessing of the new School of Nursing building.

“I thought the events were great, they were really well-planned out,” Piccoli commented. “I thought it was a really awesome weekend and great for my nursing career here at Fairfield.”

Wilson discussed some of the changes that made AFW different this year from previous years, including StagFest moving from the Traffic Circle to the Rafferty Stadium parking lot, the beer garden adding red and white wine and the new event “Coffee with your Deans and Faculty” for the College of Arts and Sciences, Dolan School of Business and the School of Engineering.

“This event was incorporated after hearing a lot of feedback from families about the desire to have the opportunity to interact with the academic side of Fairfield University,” said Wilson. “Prior to the weekend we had 24 participants registered for Engineering, 101 for DSB and 124 for Arts and Sciences.”

According to Wilson, adding wine to the beer garden was a definite success.

“We had almost 450 more alcoholic packages purchased this year than last year,” said Wilson.

Last year, 584 people bought alcohol vouchers, while this year, 1,040 people bought them.

Piccoli said, “I think [AFW] is a great tradition. I know a lot of people who graduated in the past were here, and a lot of my friend’s families were here as well, so I think it’s a great way to bring the whole community together.”

Wilson echoed this sentiment, adding, “Alumni and Family Weekend is an extremely unique weekend, as it’s one of the only times that we have current students, families and alumni together on campus for the sole purpose of being together as a community.”

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-- Junior | Co-News Editor -- English: Education

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