Clare Myers, Staff Writer
Watch out, University of Dallas. This weekend, the alumni are taking over.
Campus will soon be packed full of people who have come to participate in Alumni and Family Weekend, which begins Friday, Oct. 4.
Nearly a thousand people are expected to join in the three-day event, which will serve as a chance for alumni to reunite and for the families of current Crusaders to visit the university, according to Kate Bergez, UD alumna and current alumni relations officer. The Office of Alumni Relations and the Office of Student Life have partnered to organize a series of events that will take place over the weekend.
“Celebrate. Commemorate. Connect.” That’s the theme of the 2013 Alumni and Family Weekend promoted by UD’s alumni website. The busy schedule should ensure that everyone has an opportunity to do all three.
On Friday, certain Core classes will be open to visitors so that families can get a taste of what students are learning, and former students can see how things have (or haven’t) changed. There will be various lectures and presentations, including a pre-law panel discussion and a Walking Rome Lecture by Dr. Andrew Moran.
Later in the day, the Mall will be full of activity: inflatables and games will be set up, and both the faculty reception and the Bell Tower barbecue dinner will take place. Off campus, the Golden Crusaders (those who have been alumni for fifty years or more) will be celebrating at Las Colinas Country Club. Current students will show off in the Student Talent Show and Dr. Richard Olenick will lead a stargazing event.
Highlights of Saturday’s schedule, which is chock-full of UD traditions, include a nature walk with Dr. Margaret E. Brown Marsden and the highly anticipated alumni-versus-students Groundhog Rugby match.
Junior Zachary Kraus, social chair of the Rugby Club, says the team is prepared to make this year’s game one to remember.
“Let’s put it this way: in the 14 years that the alumni game has been a thing, I believe the student side has won twice,” he said. “This Saturday will be the third.”
Certain activities will be ongoing throughout the weekend, including Cor Pour, as part of which those of legal age can purchase a special cup that comes with endless refills. It can be used at many events throughout the weekend. Proceeds from the sales of the cups support the Cor Fund, which, according to the alumni website, “supports all aspects at the University of Dallas.” UD’s iconic tower will be open all day on Saturday, and a school-spirit-themed photo contest will be open through Sunday. All are encouraged to attend varsity soccer and volleyball games over the course of the weekend.
Both student and alumni bands will perform on Friday and Saturday, including the popular act The Stillwater Hobos.
“I am so excited,” said senior Paul Fiesel, who will be performing with fellow senior Mark Pearson. “This will potentially be the largest crowd I have ever performed in front of … and Mark and I enjoy every performance we do.”
Five classes (’73, ’83, ’88, ’93 and ’03) will celebrate milestone graduation-anniversary years, and four alumni will be honored with the Distinguished Alumni Award at a special dinner hosted by the National Alumni Board on Saturday.
This is the second year that Alumni Weekend has been merged with Family Weekend, says Bergez.
Junior Brigid Callahan is helping promote the family aspect of the three-day event, which will include such favorites as a cakewalk and face painting. Callahan is enthusiastic about the new additions as well.
“One of my favorites is the pie poll, where students can put money down on which professor they want to get a pie in the face,” she said.
But the most important part, she says, is interacting with all the families at the event, which does double-duty as the start of Charity Week.
“I’m looking forward to … kicking off Charity Week with a Sunday celebration!” she said.