Alumni Celebrate at First-Ever SJU Oktoberfest

Monday, October 28, 2013

Nothing says autumn quite like kicking back with old friends and enjoying some brews and brats. And at St. John’s first-ever Oktoberfest, held on the Great Lawn, alumni and friends came back to campus to do just that, as they celebrated the season in style.

Guests mingled underneath a massive heated tent, enjoying bratwurst, knockwurst and other authentic German dishes. A local Queens, NY brewery – SingleCut Beersmiths – provided a fantastic beer-tasting selection, as Bavarian dancers dazzled the audience with traditional folk music and dancing.

“As I walked out to the Great Lawn, the memories came flooding back,” said Mike Birnbaum ’10C, ’11G. Birnbaum spent the majority of the evening catching up with friends.

“It’s great to just kick back and relax on campus, without having to worry about exams and studying like we used to,” he explained. “And, of course, the German twist is pretty awesome.”

The University’s new brand identity was on full display throughout the event, with banners, plates and even souvenir beer mugs and wine glasses all prominently displaying the updated St. John’s logo. Alumni and friends seemed enthusiastic about the new brand and were excited for what the future has in store for St. John’s.

“I think, first and foremost, we’re all in agreement that moving back to ‘SJU’ is a great move,” said Meredith Leverich ’11C, ’12G. “And if this event is any indication, it’s going to be a fun and fantastic year ahead for the University. I’m glad to be a part of it.”

Prior to Oktoberfest, many of the guests attended Mass at St. Thomas More Church, followed by a reception in which they met St. John’s new President, Rev. Joseph L. Levesque, C.M. Alumni enjoyed learning more about him and hearing his vision for St. John’s.

“I was definitely impressed,” said Thomas Riddle ’08TCB, who came all the way from Maryland for the Oktoberfest celebration. “This whole event seemed like a great reason to come back to campus, since I haven’t been back in a while. Now, after meeting Fr. Levesque, I’m really happy with the direction our University is headed.”

As the Oktoberfest celebration came to a close, guests noted how great it was to relive their student days.

“To be honest, I haven’t been back on campus even once since I graduated,” said Stephen Pinto ’09C, ’10G. “I almost forgot how much fun it was to be here. There’s nothing better than grabbing a few beers and enjoying a true German celebration, and without a doubt, I hope I’ll be back here soon for more events like this.”