By Callie (Bentley) Ewing, BA ’03 MH ’22
Two years in the making, Alumni and Family Weekend 2021, which took place Oct. 15-17, emanated a feeling of community and joy.
From the Golden Crusaders dinner Friday night celebrating the classes of 1970, 1971 and earlier, in which former Board of Trustees chairman Manny Zuniga, BA ’70, declared this group “the greatest generation at the greatest university,” to the reunions for classes ending in ’0, ’1, ’5 and ’6 on Saturday night, the weekend brimmed with high spirits, smiles and laughter.
Popular events this AFW included UD Trivia on Friday night, won by the team dubbed “Rodents of Unusual Size” consisting of parents, alumni and a current student. The Saturday morning scavenger hunt was dominated by Chelsea Gibson, BA ’09, who finished first. The standing-room-only debate on Saturday afternoon, “This House Considers That Hobbits Are Vile Creatures,” between Associate Professor of Politics Daniel Burns, Ph.D., and Associate Professor and Chair of History Susan Hanssen, Ph.D., was an especial favorite, with Burns arguing the affirmative and Hanssen the negative, and Constantin College Dean Philip Harold, Ph.D., moderating. Both playful and intellectual, the debate showcased the spirit of UD, with Hanssen ultimately triumphing.
Finally, the Mall was a hub of activity and community, with the first annual Alumni Business Festival on Saturday featuring 14 businesses, along with food trucks, student performances and Class Agent signup (not to mention bounce houses and games for all of the children present).
“AFW reaffirmed for me that UD is my home, in so many ways. Returning to a place where I spent many of my formative years, and seeing some of the people I spent that time with, was priceless and rejuvenating,” said Lisa (Fougerousse) Mobus, BA ’90, who among other weekend events participated in the art show, Due Santi Wine tasting and Fougerousse Convivium Celebration on Friday night; she and her husband, National Alumni Board (NAB) Director Jeff Mobus, BA ’86, began the Fougerousse Convivium Fund this past spring to honor her late father, Jim Fougerousse, Ph.D., BA ’67, and his love of UD and Rome.
“It was outstanding to see alumni from the Class of 1960 to our most recent graduating class,” said Director of Alumni Relations Julie Abell, MBA ’91. “The increased attendance with nearly 700 registered attendees and participation from our parent and family community is particularly special, and we loved seeing parents attend lectures and other activities with their students. AFW is such a special opportunity to come together and share common experiences and connect with each other.”
Mobus added, “I reconnected with classmates (it was my [delayed] 30th reunion!), with former professors, with former colleagues (from my time on the Rome campus, some of whom were former professors!), with former students (to whom I had taught Survival Italian in Rome), and with friends and family from many different generations of UD. I really appreciate that the university does this every year, and I am thankful for all the efforts of UD staff members who make it happen!”
“There is a sense of hope, energy and enthusiasm on campus under President Sanford's leadership that was palpable at Alumni and Family Weekend,” said Vice President for Advancement Kris Munoz Vetter. “It's a new era, and we hope that the 2021 AFW serves as a glimpse of what is to come for our entire community as we come together and dream big for our future.”
Save the date for next year’s Alumni and Family Weekend, slated to be held Oct. 14 - 16, 2022. We can’t wait to see you!