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DeSales Celebrates Inaugural Reunion Weekend with All Reunion Classes

by Tom McNamara ’92, M’21 Jun 28, 2024

Returning to campus from states such as Virginia, South Carolina, and Florida, DeSales University and Allentown College alumni participated in Reunion Weekend, June 14 and 15.

This was the first June Reunion Weekend where all reunion classes were invited to participate, including the classes of 2019, 2014, 2009, 2004, 1999, 1994, 1989, 1984, 1979, 1974, and, for the first time in the school’s history, a 55th reunion class, 1969.

“It was inspirational to be part of a weekend that brought back a mix of alumni to campus who haven’t been back in decades or just graduated five years ago,” said Dan Villanti ’09, executive director of alumni relations and annual giving. “I’m so grateful to be able to see everyone celebrate the DeSales and Allentown College family together and hear stories from the earliest days of our history. We look forward to celebrating with even more of our alumni community and their families next year.”

The Friday evening celebration included the alumni awards ceremony, which had been paused for a few years. Award winners were:

  • Young Alumni Salesian Spirit Award: Andy Okuley ’19.
  • Young Alumni Service Award: Andrea Guarino ’14.
  • Young Alumni Achievement Award: Troy Bauer ’14.
  • Alumni Salesian Spirit Award: Deacon George Kelly ’69.
  • Alumni Service Award: Mary Ellen Strohl ’74.
  • Dr. John Compardo Alumni Award: Don Wright ’69.
  • Alumni Achievement Award: Mary Pratt-Henaghan ’88.

Following the award ceremony, alumni were then given the opportunity to attend the Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival’s production of “The Play That Goes Wrong” or play Quizzo in the new O’Connor Commons in the DeSales University Center. 

On Saturday, members from various classes participated in a service project to assemble hydration packs to be sent to alumni serving in the military and members of the Bethlehem unhoused population through the University’s partner organizations.

Later in the afternoon, Father James Greenfield, OSFS ’84, Ed.D., president, delivered the State of the University address to alumni. He was also the main celebrant of the Memorial Mass in Connelly Chapel to remember all deceased graduates.

Along with all other classes and their guests, 75 members and friends of the Class of 1974 celebrated their 50th reunion at Saturday’s dinner dance. During the dinner, members of the reunion committee announced the establishment of their Class of 1974 Scholarship Fund.