Open House, alumni and parent visits make weekend a Welcome Back Bash

September 30, 2022
Staff report
food trucks

Food Trucks were part of Saturday’s Welcome Back Bash — a rugby game on the 300s Field is visible in the background. (Photos by Patrick Bohan)

The weekend of September 23 through 25 was one of the busier in memory on the Saint Michael’s campus with two major successful events in the annual Alumni & Family Weekend, concurrent with a well-attended Open House put on by the College Admission Office.

A first-time welcome

Hannah Roque of the Admission staff said that for the Open House Saturday, “we were happy to welcome prospective students and families on campus to enjoy the beautiful weather and experience Saint Michael’s at its finest.”

Visiting families enjoyed welcoming words from Vice President for Enrollment & Marketing Kristin McAndrew, a touching speech from sophomore Amy Hylen ‘25, and an invitation to consider the purpose of the weekend from Heidi St. Peter, director of the College’s new Office of Purposeful Learning.

After that, biology Professor Declan McCabe lead hugely popular tours of the College’s Cheray Hall science labs, with several families later citing that as the highlight of their day. The visitors also got a taste for life at St. Mike’s by eating lunch in the Alliot Dining Hall.

Visiting families ended the day Saturday by speaking with faculty and staff from College’s many academic majors and co-curricular programs in the Dion Student Center.” It was a beautiful location for our students to learn more about academic life on campus,” Roque said.


Central campus bustled Saturday with Welcome Back Bash activity.

A welcome back

This year, the Office for Alumni & Family Engagement was proud to welcome all alumni & families back to Vermont for a weekend of programming that took place on and off campus. The Athletic Hall of Fame ceremony kicked it all off on Friday, where the College recognized five inductees and celebrated their legendary status in Saint Michael’s history.

On Saturday, families were invited to chat with faculty and staff on the first floor of the Dion Student Center for a coffee hour with representatives from the offices of Purposeful Learning, Student Financial Services, Study Abroad, Career Education, Public Safety, and Institutional Advancement, among others. Saturday’s offerings also included many athletic events for current players and alumni alike, a Media Creation Studio Open House, the College Archives Open House in Durick Library, and more tours of the College Farm.

The Welcome Back Bash on Saturday afternoon invited students, families, and alumni to the library lawn for food trucks, live music, and the SGA club fair. Concurrently, The Office of Alumni and Parent Engagement honored the 50th anniversary of men’s rugby and the 30th anniversary of women’s rugby with a celebration on the 300s field. This reception and short program included an invocation by Fr. Brian Cummings, S.S.E. ’86, welcome remarks by former men’s rugby player Ben Filmore ’92, profound recollections from the “godmother of women’s rugby” Lisa Zaferakis ’95, and a humble expression of gratitude by current men’s rugby coach Bhuttu Mathews.


A band on the Durick steps was part of the scene.

On Saturday night, Three Needs Taproom and Pizza Cube hosted an alumni social, where more than 100 Purple Knights connected, reconnected, and reminisced, “making the back patio of the venue appear more like the corner of the 300s field,” said Sydney Rybicki, assistant director for alumni and family engagement.

Sunday morning was a time for families to mingle with one another one more time before heading home for the weekend over breakfast in the Dion Student Center. “All weekend, it was heartening to find Purple Knight pride wherever you looked, across campus and throughout Burlington, reminding us that the SMC spirit thrives in each of us and in every gathering of Saint Michael’s community members,” said Rybicki, thanking “all who participated, volunteered, attended, and celebrated with us this truly memorable 2022 Alumni & Family Weekend.”

full range

Campus clubs, offices and programs were out in full force representing Saturday on the main campus green.

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