Alumni Weekend is easily one of my favorite times of year, as it provides me with many opportunities to visit with a wide array of loyal Niagara University graduates. I thoroughly enjoyed the 2010 edition of Alumni Weekend, which welcomed more than 600 Niagarans back to Monteagle Ridge to reconnect, reminisce, and be apprised of the current happenings at their beloved alma mater.
From my own perspective, Alumni Weekend 2010 was particularly special because it celebrated the silver anniversary of the Niagara Class of 1985, one of the final alumni contingents that I personally knew during my time as dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. I have always found it interesting to learn of the various paths that our young alumni take after they graduate, and I’m fascinated by all of the diverse and exciting ways in which our former students are utilizing their degrees.
Similarly, I also derive particular enjoyment from celebrating the 50th graduation anniversary with our Golden Eagles, a cadre of distinguished men and women who are always affable and animated in sharing their experiences from the days when the NU landscape was considerably different. The Golden Eagle Reunion begins with Mass in the Alumni Chapel, continues with cocktails and dinner in St. Vincent’s Hall, and is highlighted by the traditional presentation of the Golden Eagle pins. Throughout, many memories and laughs are shared among this special group of alumni.
While it is literally impossible for me to attend all of the 25-plus events that our tremendous alumni relations staff presents over the course of three days, I do make my way to quite a few of them and always find it easy to connect with a cross-section of graduates whose ages may vary by up to 65 years. From the Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) Hall of Fame induction ceremony, which celebrates a program that I have always been so proud of, to the bestowing of the Deans Awards, which obviously hold a special place in my heart, it is a sincere delight and privilege to honor these individuals for their accomplishments.
Most enjoyable of all, however, is the cumulative presence of the several hundred alums that band together to discuss what Niagara was, what it is today, and what the university can be for upcoming generations of Purple Eagles.
For all of this, we thank you.
We also thank you for reaffirming all that we do as a faith-based institution of higher learning. In accord with our mission, we educate students and enrich their lives through programs in the liberal arts and through career preparation, in the Catholic and Vincentian traditions.
We cannot thank you enough for admirably representing Niagara in all that you do on a daily basis. Our alumni have achieved great success in their careers, and we are proud to hold them up as a measure of success for the university that prepared them to take their prominent places in the world.
Finally, we thank you for the affection and generosity that you continually show for Niagara, not just during Alumni Weekend, but throughout the year. We are who we are because of the loyal support of our alumni who strengthen us through the numerous and far-reaching ways that they “give back” to their alma mater.
Again, Niagara University thanks you.
Please circle Oct. 7-9, 2011, on your calendars – the dates for next year’s Alumni Weekend, where I hope to connect with many of you once again. Until then, please take good care of yourselves, and may God bless you and your families.
See more on this year's Alumni Weekend here.