New traditions for alumni weekend

The Spring Pig Pickin’ Picnic on Saturday April 14 was a new tradition added to the alumni weekend festivities and preceded Seafood in the Dell in the day full of traditions. Set up and smoking away at barbeque on Trinder Center lawn, the lunchtime event was perfectly placed for student, faculty and alumni to enjoy a fun lunch and spectate the afternoon lacrosse game that took place just across Smith Drive on the Birdsong field.

Swarms of faculty with their families and dogs, and alumni in nostalgic VWC gear took their place at picnic tables and on the grass to feast on barbeque pulled pork, chicken, potato salad, and cookies. For the 21 and over crowd there was a truck for beer sale across the lawn and while the event remained lowkey and tasteful, the truck was a big hit among the alumni who clutched their plastic cups and relaxed with friends. For the younger crowd, children of faculty and alumni alike, a couple of bounce-house inflatables stood off the the side of the picnic area for the kids to jump and entertain themselves while their parents relaxed.

Senior Stephanie Norwood said the event was a “10 outta 10. Would recommend.” Between the bumping music, and the playful pups, the focus of the afternoon was on fun.

The weekend was also a big hit with former athletes who returned for their teams alumni games in good-hearted competition. Madison Smith who graduated last year, returned for the alumni weekend to catch up with old teammates and friends and to play in the alumni field hockey game. Attending the picnic was a chance for her to relax and have a good time off the field. “For those of us who did play sports, it’s our way to be able to put on our gear again and do what we always love to do.” Smith said. She also recognized the alumni weekend as important for alumni who don’t have the opportunity to come back to campus otherwise. “I love it ‘cause it’s the only way to connect with people you don’t see anymore.”

In anticipation of the impending hot dog and pie eating contests, a small crowd of alumni and faculty gathered on the lawn near the designated tables for participants. Dr Linda Ferguson of the Business department and President of the Alumni Council Mavis McKinley ‘11 were buzzing with excitement and chatting off side of this group. Stopping to speak for a moment between chatting with other alumni and grabbing a bite to eat, McKinley had a moment to speak about her pride and hopes for the weekend of events. When asked about her thoughts on the growing calendar of events for the traditional weeked McKinley said, “Having all of the alumni games, it just seemed fitting to kind of mash all of the old and the new together to get a little bit more energy on campus.” McKinley said that she is lucky enough to be local enough to enjoy the campus when she wants but sees the weekend of festivities as an opportunity to get more alumni involved with fun events and build the events up more and more every year.

Emily Vial