Homecoming Weekend

Between Friday, Oct. 8 and Sunday, Oct. 10, more than 2,000 Sacred Heart University alumni returned to campus for its annual alumni homecoming weekend, an event filled with 21 different events including golf outings, a pub night at Red’s, and sporting events, as well as various reunions. 

 “Our programming goal was to create a homecoming experience that highlights the best of university life and showcases the growth and development of our campuses and facilities,” said Todd Gibbs, Executive Director for Alumni Engagement.

For some alumni, the memories of homecoming weekend from when they were students made them excited to come back.

“As a student, I loved the energy of homecoming,” said class of 2019 alumna Daniele Mascia.  “There was so much Pioneer pride shining through because so many of the students would come out to watch the game and just have such a fun time making memories.”

Others looked forward to meeting up with friends who graduated in a different class year besides their own.

“My friends and I have all been talking about this weekend a while now,” said class of 2021 alumnus Dan Gardella, last year’s Editor-in-Chief of Spectrum. “The fun of it is that it’s not just your own class, so you get to see all those people that you really haven’t seen in a while.”

In addition, many alumni were able to attend some of the sporting events throughout their weekend back on campus and even catch up with their former teams.

“Some swim team alumni came to watch our meet at Fairfield University on Saturday,” said sophomore swim team member Kate Belle. “It was great to talk to them and see where they are in life.”

“Just to see them again was great and for them to watch us play was really cool,” said sophomore club baseball player Chris DiGangi.

According to Gibbs, the Pioneer Pre-game Party was the largest event of the weekend with over 1,500 people in attendance. It was “designed as an experience for all age groups. There was music, lawn games, inflatables, food trucks and a photo booth.”

The range of alumni in attendance spanned the entire length of time since Sacred Heart was established, with a member of the original charter class of 1967 all the way to the class of 2021.

The “Golden Pioneers” luncheon was held for any alumni that reached the 50-year reunion milestone. There was also an “Original Greeks” reunion, where members of some of the original fraternities and sororities got an opportunity to reconnect.  

However, because so many of the alumni in attendance consisted of those who have graduated within the past five years, there was an event specifically for the classes of 2020 and 2021 at Stonebridge in Milford.

“These alumni lost their Senior Week experiences due to the pandemic,” said Gibbs. “We thought it would be a great way to provide them a celebratory opportunity as they begin their adult lives as alumni.”

Sacred Heart has expanded within the past few years, so the weekend gave alumni the opportunity to tour all of the new places on campus.

 “Some members from the class of 2018 were really excited to see all of the new things in Pioneer Village, while a member of the class of 1997 came back to campus for the first time and was blown away by the chapel that opened in 2009,” said sophomore student ambassador Kayla Kutch.

Sacred Heart alumni can be found in all 50 states and in more than 50 countries worldwide.

“Being an alumnus is a lifelong relationship to SHU and can bring great fulfilment and value,” said Gibbs.

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