Class of 1963 Returns to Saint Peter’s University for Alumni Weekend

When Frank Ciesla ’63 returned to Saint Peter’s University for Alumni Weekend, he brought with him an unopened port wine, which was bottled in 1963. He had saved it for a very special occasion.

The wine aged along with the Class of 1963. As it got sweeter and richer throughout the decades, so did Ciesla and the lives of his former classmates and friends. They experienced the joys of life: from the unity of marriage, landing that dream job, the excitement of a first child, to the joys of becoming grandparents and even great-grandparents. As all this occurred, the port continued to age, waiting for the day it would be opened to commemorate life. And it was, shared amongst Ciesla and friends during the Class of 1963’s 50th reunion, held from September 13-15 at Saint Peter’s University.

“What took four years to bond cannot be separated by these last 50 years,” said George Degnon, member of the Class of 1963 Reunion Committee.

Alumni Weekend offers former students a chance to reconnect with alma mater and witness all the exciting changes taking place at Saint Peter’s University. Members from the Class of 1963 came to the Jersey City campus from locations across the nation and were treated to a weekend filled with exciting events, such as campus tours, a Kickoff Social and a Gala Cocktail Hour/Dinner Dance.

Executive Director of Alumni Engagement Gloria Mercurio said, “Alumni typically attend alma mater events to nostalgically reminisce about their college days, to fondly remember school activities, to bring each other up-to-date on what has happened since they have graduated, and or to see the changes that have taken place on campus and in the area while getting a glimpse of the future of the University.”

She added, “This year’s reunion was especially exciting because we were able to host many of the events in the Mac Mahon Student Center – a first for the annually held Alumni Weekend. The Class of 1963 had the opportunity to meet with students, who took them on tours. They were very impressed to see that we still strive to educate intelligent and caring ‘men and women for others,’ such as Saint Peter’s did when they were in school.”

The capstone affair of the weekend – the Golden Peacock Mass and Brunch – took place on Sunday, September 15. Mass was held at St. Aedan’s: The Saint Peter’s University Church and was led by Rev. Vincent Sullivan, S.J. of the Jesuit Community at Saint Peter’s. As part of the Mass, a member from the Class of 1963 read the names of deceased classmates.

During brunch, the Class of 1963 was inducted into the Golden Peacock society, one of the University’s most highly respected groups. Alumni were presented with certificates and medals for reaching this 50-year milestone.

In addressing the crowd during the Golden Peacock Brunch, Eugene J. Cornacchia, Ph.D., president of Saint Peter’s University, told alumni, “Reaching this 50-year milestone earns you the prestige of being a Saint Peter’s University Golden Peacock. As all Golden Peacocks know, even though you may have only spent four years at Saint Peter’s, Saint Peter’s will always be home.”

He added, “Today’s students stand on the shoulders of giants. You are those giants. You – the Class of 1963 and all of the other Golden Peacocks who join you today – made the Saint Peter’s of today possible.”

The success of Alumni Weekend provided the Class of 1963 with wonderful memories to add to their recollections of Saint Peter’s. To view photos of the event, click here.