Hundreds of people of all ages gathered on the sun-soaked Alumni House lawn this past weekend to enjoy the Alumni Tailgate Party prior to the Homecoming football game. And while many in attendance commented on the beautiful weather and tasty food options, others, including Amanda Lapinski ’14, couldn’t help but notice the size of the crowd.
“It’s definitely the biggest it’s ever been,” said Lapinski—an observation later confirmed by Amanda Klaus Brockriede ’09, senior director of university engagement, who said Saturday’s Alumni Tailgate Party was the largest-ever alumni-attended event at Monmouth.
“With the new stadium and the team doing so well, you can tell that people have more school spirit,” added Lapinski. (The football team did its part to keep that momentum going, defeating Liberty, 56-39, that afternoon and moving to 6-1 on the season.)
For the first time, a handful of Tailgate Party activities were moved to the front lawn of Alumni House, allowing more room for alumni, friends, and family members to spread out across the property. Future Hawks in attendance had plenty of activities to choose from, whether it was jumping in the bounce house or getting their faces painted, while their adult counterparts could enjoy drinks, food, and live music. Tours of Wilson Hall were also offered by historical presenter Glenn W. LeBoeuf ’76.
Throughout the morning, reunions of all kinds took place—such as the one among brothers of the Sigma Alpha Mu (“Sammy”) fraternity who, together with friends and family, made up a group of about 100 people. They were there, in part, to celebrate the dedication of the Hawk Walk bricks they had purchased in memory of their Sammy brothers. The bricks include the slogan, “Memories of brothers who shaped our lives.”
“It’s not where you go, it’s who you meet along the way,” said Kurt Lessenger ’71 about his brothers and their time at Monmouth.
George Marucci ’75, who volunteers at Homecoming every year, said the Alumni Tailgate Party is an important happening that people of all ages look forward to every year.
“It’s a way to feel like a part of the university—here you get to connect with friends and colleagues, you’re seeing people you haven’t seen in a while, and that’s what it’s all about,” said Marucci. “I think people come back every year because there’s that camaraderie—alumni really are the heartbeat of the university.”
Don’t stop with Homecoming!
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