Alumni Experience Gradual Return to Normal During Homecoming Week Celebration

Virtual GAHW image
July 8, 2021

Alumni, friends, and other members of the St. John’s University community joined together virtually and in smaller groups to celebrate the University at the first-ever Virtual Grand Alumni Homecoming Week.

Held on Monday, June 7, through Sunday, June 13, Homecoming Week included Remote Rounds of Golf, Athletics Hall of Fame Panel, Virtual Happy Hour, 5k Run/Walk, GOLDen Hour, and Mass—each designed to give alumni an opportunity to reconnect, reminisce, and create new memories.

“The St. John’s spirit was alive and well in our virtual Grand Alumni Homecoming Week,” said Mark A. Andrews, Director, Office of Alumni Relations.

“Our proud alumni always have fun while making wonderful new memories. I look forward with excitement to being with everyone very soon!”

While Homecoming Week officially kicked off on June 7, participants in the remote Round of Golf could submit their scorecards from rounds of golf that took place as early as May 1. Professional golfer and alumnus Keegan Bradley ’08CPS led all golfers with a score of 69, while Joseph Alfarone ’14TCB shot an 81 for the best score among amateurs.

The Virtual 5K Run/Walk was held in a similar fashion, with 53 participants running or walking during Homecoming Week and submitting their times.

Hosted by sports broadcaster Tina Cervasio, the virtual Athletics Hall of Fame Roundtable discussion was held on June 9 and featured a who’s who of the St. John’s Athletics family. Each panelist spoke about their time at the University, as well as the impact that experience made on his or her life.

“One of the things that St. John’s taught me early on was camaraderie, and how a team could mesh together and play as one,” explained former Men’s Basketball player Bill Wennington ’85SVC. “We were a family.”

Graduates of the Last Decade (GOLD) enjoyed their own version of a happy hour—GOLDen Hour—a virtual get-together on June 10 that included a St. John’s scavenger hunt, “Name that Tune,” and music throughout the evening. “GOLDen Hour was truly a party in the comfort of my home,” exclaimed Paige Band ’16CPS, ’18GCPS. “I am so happy to have been a part of it!”

With the week winding down, alumni were invited to the virtual Tasting Series on Friday, June 11. The series offered participants a choice of tasting events for wine, beer, or Scotch. The wine tasting featured selections from California’s Drive Wines, which is co-owned by alumnus John J. Musto ’13MBA, while the beer tasting featured offerings from Long Beach Brewing Company, co-owned by Brett Blau ’88SVC.

“I was ecstatic to participate in such a great week by hosting the beer tasting event,” said Mr. Blau. “It was a pleasure to meet everyone, and we look forward to next year when we can host the event at our brewery!”

Homecoming Week concluded with a virtual Alumni Mass on Sunday, June 13, featuring St. John’s University’s new President, Rev. Brian J. Shanley, O.P., as celebrant and homilist.

“Homecoming was such an amazing way to celebrate my first year as an alumna from St. John’s,” said Taylor Capoziello ’20CCPS, a GOLD Committee member. “Seeing so many other graduates come together for a virtual event truly shows that no matter where you are physically, Johnnies always come together and have a great time.”