Saint Peter’s College Celebrates Alumni Weekend 2010

This year marked the first Saint Peter’s College Alumni Weekend in the 138-year College history, with a series of events that were open to all graduating classes of Saint Peter’s instead of only reunion class years.

“Alumni Weekend 2010 was a great success. With events of interest for everyone, we were thrilled to reconnect our alumni with their alma mater.” said Gloria Mercurio, director of alumni relations for Saint Peter’s.

Kicking off on Friday, June 4, the weekend presented a compelling reason to celebrate for the Class of 1960, who entered a new category of alumni as Jubilarians of the College, or Golden Peacocks. Celebrating their 50th anniversary of graduating from Saint Peter’s, more than 100 alumni from the class of 1960 came back to visit their alma mater.

Saturday, June 5, offered a wide variety of activities for alumni and their families. A trip to Ellis Island and a tour of the Statue of Liberty, as well as Jersey City and campus tours were available; the College also had an international fair, which featured its own Alumni Beer Garden, along with unique cuisine from around the world.

The evening included the venerable tradition of the Alumni Mass and Gala at the Westin Jersey City. President Eugene J. Cornacchia, Ph.D., gave remarks as the gala began, and shared some of the College’s most recent accomplishments with the alumni, including graduating the 2010 class with 800 students, which nearly triples the 245 graduates in 1960.

Another reason to celebrate during Alumni Weekend was to honor the class of 1970, which graduated the first female students at the College. Maureen Donelan ‘70, who grew up in downtown Jersey City just next to Saint Peter’s Prep, claimed, “I was practically raised by Jesuits. When Saint Peter’s admitted female students, I knew I wanted to have a Jesuit education.”

An urban studies and business major at the College, Maureen fondly recalled how it felt to be the only female student in her night classes. “The married men were always very protective of me; but of course, I wanted the single ones to talk to me,” Maureen said, as she laughed at the memory.

Among the stories told and memories reminisced throughout the weekend, one exceptional moment inspired everyone: the presentation of the Alumni Weekend gift from the Class of 1960 to President Cornacchia, which was a check for $1,707,983 from the Jubilarians to support the 2009-2010 Saint Peter’s College Annual Fund.

The weekend closed Sunday, June 6, with a Class of 1960 Mass, brunch and medal ceremony, when the gentlemen formally became Golden Peacocks of the College.

“We hope the weekend will become a welcomed tradition for our alumni, their friends and family,” noted Mercurio.