Homecoming at Montclair State is one of the biggest and most anticipated events of the year. This year was no exception. On Saturday, October 19, alumni and friends gathered for the first ever Alumni BBQ. With beautiful weather, live music and a visit from our very own Rocky the Red Hawk, the signature event was one for the books.
New Jersey’s own Hoi Polloi band and the Montclair State University Pep Band rocked the quad with live music for everyone to enjoy. In addition to a BBQ lunch, the event also featured two alumni owned breweries, Two Ton Brewing and Ghost Hawk Brewing.
For Janice DeAngelis ’77, ’81 MA, and her niece, Jaclyn Beck ’12, Homecoming was a memorable experience. “The ‘It’s all here’ was evident with great weather, many activities for all ages and the Alumni BBQ that provided the opportunity to connect with fellow classmates and meet new friends,” noted DeAngelis and Beck. “We look forward to next year’s Homecoming to participate in the alumni swimming and diving meet as well as other scheduled events.”
The event also provided the opportunity for Swing Phi Swing sorority sisters, Simone Flowers ’03, ’17 MA; Keyanta Williams ’04; Shemika Austin ’04; Salena Williams ’03; Hadiya Sellers ’00; Cynthia Bulson ’02, ’07, ’09 MA, ’17 MA; and Tai Matthews ’05 to get together on campus and celebrate their connection to the University. For Flowers, it was the first time she had attended Homecoming. “The opportunity to reunite with sisters during Homecoming, as well as classmates was a monumental experience,” she says.
Many Red Hawks, who had not visited campus in years, were surprised to see the physical transformation of the University. For Karen Bloch ’84, Homecoming was the perfect opportunity to pay her alma mater a visit. “It’s been terrific to see the current students, the unbelievably beautiful buildings, fields and theaters,” says Bloch. “Montclair State is truly a gem of a university.”
For Scott Pace ’94, ’96 MA, returning to campus was memorable as he came in the company of his daughter, Jessica Pace, a current student at Montclair State. Reflecting on why he gives back to his alma mater, he says, “I think it’s really important to give back because the University helped me become who I am today.” Now, having his daughter follow in his footsteps, Pace wishes for her to experience the same opportunities that he once did as a student, but to also take part of opportunities that he didn’t have a chance to. “It’s great to see that through her eyes,” says Pace.
In addition to the Alumni BBQ, alumni also had the opportunity to enjoy a campus carnival, a student demonstration and tasting in the College of Education and Human Services Food and Nutrition Labs, and a Stop the Bleed and Start the Heart session at the School of Nursing. Alumni and families also enjoyed a tailgate prior to the men’s soccer and field hockey games. Always a highlight of the day, the football team shut out Christopher Newport University 24-0.
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