By David Collins
COVID-19 and its effects have been pervading the Saint Vincent Community. Due to coronavirus safety concerns, Saint Vincent College’s 2020 homecoming celebration was held virtually. Almost three hundred alumni participated in live virtual events in place of the traditional festivities. But the campus took a stride towards normalcy this past weekend when Saint Vincent hosted its 2021 in-person Homecoming and Fall Family weekend. The homecoming festivities kicked off Friday, Oct. 1, with a reunion luncheon for the classes of ’57 through ’63 at Denunzio’s Restaurant, jump-starting a weekend of various alumni-centered activities.
The headlining events of the weekend occurred on Saturday, Oct. 2, and included the homecoming parade, tailgates, food trucks, the Fall Fest Carnival and Petting Zoo, the football game against Case Western, and a performance by The Filharmonic a cappella group.
Equestrian Club leads horseback rides for visitors at the Fall Festival Carnival. (SOURCE: SVC FLICKR)
Homecoming attendees included graduates from classes ranging from 1951 to 2021, who joined the current student body in their own journey through college at SVC.
Molly Creenan, class of ’93, has been involved in alumni events ever since her graduation nearly thirty years ago. She has been to over ten homecomings throughout the years and was thrilled to be back again this year.
“It was a beautiful day, which was nice. I really enjoyed watching some of the football because when I was there, they didn’t even have football,” said Creenan. “I had a lot of family up there as well. It was like a family gathering.” Creenan reported that continuing to connect with the Saint Vincent community is her favorite homecoming tradition. “I would say family legacy [was my favorite part of revisiting SVC] because my sisters all went there,” said Creenan. “The best thing about Saint Vincent is the lifelong friendships. The people I met when I was eighteen, I am still in contact with today.”
These celebrations of community were housed outdoors to lower the risk of COVID-19, a decision which Creenan said made her feel safe throughout the day. Saint Vincent also required visitors to wear masks indoors regardless of vaccination status and encouraged physical distancing both indoors and out.
While holding homecoming events in person was a step towards normalcy in terms of the COVID-19 pandemic, the virus is not forgotten. Cases still arise sporadically on campus, and many safety regulations remain in place. But having an event like homecoming where so many generations of SVC students can gather in person signifies a return to convention as we move forward after more than a year fighting the coronavirus pandemic.