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DSU Celebrates Homecoming and Family Weekend

by Paige Hawk Oct 18, 2021

For the first time ever, DeSales University combined Homecoming and Family Weekend, and it was a major success.

“We had more than 1,500 members from the DeSales community come together,” said Dan Villanti ’09, director of alumni relations. “It was great to see so many parents and alumni together sharing stories and memories, and a pleasure to partner with Catherine Blanar '08, the director of annual giving and event coordinator of Family Weekend.”

The diverse programming fostered deep connections between alumni, parents, families, and community members–whether it was over beverages during the second annual Founder’s Day Celebration: Wine and Ale Trail, during discussions on the experience of Indigenous Peoples and our impact on the environment, at the reception with live music and fireworks, or while attending brunch with President Father James Greenfield, OSFS ’84.  

"Being able to reconnect with faculty and friends and literally retrace my steps on campus during Homecoming weekend was such a spiritually fulfilling and incredible experience."

 Conor Cicchitti ’20

During the Wine and Ale Trail, as the journey of the Oblates was revealed by Fr. Kevin Nadolski, OSFS, Ph.D., vice president for mission, and Father Danial Lannen, OSFS, University chaplain, so were the journeys of the individuals within the community. From learning of new jobs and engagements to discovering serendipitous connections such as who is related to who, or who currently lives in one’s childhood neighborhood, the evening’s intimate setting revealed why Homecoming and Family Weekend is so important–it fosters existing bonds and creates new ones. This theme was prevalent at all the activities, as we celebrated how our Salesian roots have positively impacted our lives. 

Even stormy weather couldn’t put a damper on the festivities. On Saturday, Billera Hall bustled with family, friends, and alumni, who enjoyed live music and delicious food while playing cornhole and ladder ball. Later a stunning fireworks display illuminated the campus, capping off the fun-filled day. 

“As someone whose senior year of undergrad was devastatingly cut short due to COVID-19 in March 2020, coming back to DeSales more than a year later was the most spiritually refreshing and genuinely fulfilling experience of my life so far,” said Cicchitti. 

View our Flickr album for more photos from Homecoming and Family Weekend.