Over 2000 alumni congregated on the University of Miami campus this weekend for a day of reunions, campus tours and Storm Watch festivities.
“Alumni Night is done for the anniversary dates of reunions,” said Lucy Evans, Homecoming committee chair. “After the parade, there are specials going on at the Rat and the Homecoming committee passes out gifts and prizes.”
According to those present, spirits were high among the alumni, who were reliving the good old days with their college friends.
“I’m simply amazed at the number of people here for this Homecoming,” said Dr. Butler, who served as vice president for student affairs in 1965. “I don’t see how Homecoming could be better in terms of spirit, participation, students and faculty involvement.”
“We’re seeing a lot of people from all the different student organizations we worked with,” said Sonja Moore, class of 1992, who now works in Career Services at Arizona State University.
“It brings back so many good memories and it seems like the spirit is up even more,” said Robert McArdle, class of 1982, now a legal assistant in Las Vegas.
“U of M changed my life.”
Recent graduates were also present at the event.
Matt Weisberg, class of 2000, graduated from the jazz program at UM. “[The jazz program] has changed a little, but a lot of the same teachers are here, so it’s nice to see them again and catch up.” Weisberg has been touring with Branford Marsalis of the Tonight Show Band and now resides in Boston, Massachusetts.
“It’s good to see all my old friends. The music school is really small so it’s a tightly knit group,” said Mike Borden, class of 2000.
Alumni were thrilled to experience the major changes around campus since their graduations.
“It’s amazing to see how much the campus has changed,” said ten-year alumna Amy Troiano, who is currently the creative director at the Discovery Channel. “Go Donna Shalala!”
“The campus is totally different since I’ve been here,” said Jim Field, class of 1998, now working as a structural engineer in New York.
“I’m really impressed with the changes in the facility and landscaping – it’s incredible,” said Bob Dougherty, a retired administrator of law judge who attended UM in the 1970s. “Dr. Shalala is doing a great job and Dr. Foote really turned the University around.”
The students in attendance enjoyed the events as much as the alumni.
“The atmosphere is really amazing and I’m really glad to be a part of it,” said Fara Gold, a third-year law student recently tapped into the Iron Arrow Society. “The UM spirit is contagious.”
Junior Cory Randolph and senior Ash Abili, who worked the doors at the Rat, commented on the event.
“The alumni have a lot of love for the undergrads,” Randolph said. “It’s a great atmosphere and we’ve made some good connections.”
“The graduates are genial,” Alibi said. “They seem happy to be here.”
Organizers of Alumni Night explained why it is important for current students to participate in Alumni Weekend festivities.
“It’s great for students to participate in alumni weekend events as a good way of providing interaction between the two groups,” said Jason Haber, the UM ambassador chair for special events.
“I think that students should work harder to create relationships with the alumni because they are connections to the working world,” said senior Annie Guttenberg, member of the UM Ambassadors.