A Virtual Reunion Weekend

June 9, 2020

By Anna Brennan-Curry

While alumni were unable to celebrate Reunion Weekend 2020 in person, Saint Anselm College brought the celebration to alumni at home. From June 2 – 7, the Office of Alumni Relations offered virtual reunion programming, based on old favorites and new additions that had originally been planned for Reunion Weekend 2020. This year, reunion was set to celebrate the classes of 2015, 2010, 2005, 2000, 1995, 1990, 1985, 1980, 1975, and to induct the class of 1970 into the Golden Anselmians.

The week began with “Haustus” at the Monastery, where alumni had the chance to chat with some of the younger members of Saint Anselm Abbey, learn how they have been keeping busy during quarantine, and catch-up.

“Haustus was engaging yet informal conversation ranging from the theology of Thomas Merton to Harry Potter to favorite Sunday night meals in the monastery,” shared Father Benet Phillips O.S.B. ’87. “We missed not being together in person but also the delicious desserts from Davison Hall.”

On Wednesday, Paul Casey ’70 and George Neary ’70 moderated a presentation by History Professor Matthew Masur looking at the Vietnam War and the Saint Anselm campus. This was a preview of a larger conversation that the group plans to hold at Reunion 2021.

Thursday began with a virtual walking tour of campus with College Archivist Keith Chevalier. He has developed a new, interactive, online walking tour using satellite imagery and archival photographs which is available online. It ended with a virtual class toast with Abbot Mark Cooper O.S.B. ‘71, President Favazza, and Ann Catino ‘82, Chair of the Board of Trustees.

During the class toast, Jim Flanagan, senior vice president and chief advancement officer, reported that reunion alumni have donated $1,127,681.43 to Saint Anselm College this year. The Class of 1970, the newest class to join the Golden Anselmians, led this effort with more than $501,000 raised. He also thanked the 71 reunion volunteers from the different classes for their work raising funds and bringing people together.

“Our volunteers were an essential part of this year’s wonderful Reunion generosity,” shares Jim Flanagan. “To all of our reunion volunteers, thank you for your service and dedication to Saint Anselm College this year.”

Over the weekend, alumni were encouraged to participate in the Virtual Christopher Q. Cabana ’89 Memorial Fun Run/Walk. Alumni submitted photos and times from their 3-mile runs and walks throughout the weekend.

“I’m so happy the Saint Anselm community is joining together virtually this weekend for the Christopher Q. Cabana Memorial Fun Run,” shared Susan D. Cabana ‘89 in the run’s kick-off video.

The week of Reunion celebrations ended as it always does with the Alumni Memorial Mass on Sunday morning. Alumni joined Fr. Jerome Day, O.S.B. ’75 and the members of Saint Anselm Abbey on a livestreamed Mass. Before Mass began, Father Benet Phillips read the names of deceased alumni from the Class of 1970 aloud. The full list can be found online.

“We were heartbroken to not have the reunion classes back to the Hilltop this year,” shares Patrice Russell ’93, assistant vice president of Alumni Relations & Advancement Programming. “Reunion Weekend is full of wonderful traditions and we didn’t want the weekend to go by without trying to bring some of those traditions to our alumni. We have already begun planning for next year and cannot wait to welcome alumni home.”

From June 4-6, 2021, Reunion Weekend will bring together both the classes celebrating this year (graduation years ending in 0 and 5) and the classes scheduled for next year (graduation years ending in 1 and 6).
 

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