So Alumni Weekend was last weekend and, let me tell you, this year was sooooo much better than last year. First of all, the weather could not have been any better. Don’t let anyone fool you, good weather is essential to a successful Alumni Weekend – last thing you want is a whole bunch of cold, soaking wet people manhandling the yearbooks. Secondly, I had an incredible turn out. And by incredible I mean more than the handful or so that I had last year. And this time people weren’t coming by to reclaim their stuff. Ok, I did have one person ask for her stuff back but that was because she loaned it to another department and they gave it to the archives (this was before I started).
So let’s go over some of the highlights:
- One alum from the class of 1959 spent about 20 minutes regaling me with stories of her time spent on campus and the pranks they used to pull
- Another alum spent time talking to me about how she was a history professor for the Department of Defense over in France where she met an alum from the University who so touched her that she has often thought about her over the years and has wondered what became of her. (I am in the process of trying to locate the alum; she is also from the class of 1959)
- A mother and her daughter (both legacies) came to view the yearbooks from their respective classes; when the mother found out that I did not have a yearbook from her class, she returned the next day with her personal copy for me to scan (in return, I printed pictures of her mother as a student back in 1954)
- A group of alumni came to the archives wanting to know why some books that were written by their classmate were not in the library’s collection. I explained to them that I do not have purchasing power, but I would check into purchasing the books for the collection and get back to them. (I have since checked on the books and they are no longer in print. I have a request out to the publisher and I hope they get back to me soon)
I didn’t receive any donations (but I didn’t get any last year either and couple that with the people who wanted their material back and I’m ahead), however, I did get to meet a lot of interesting people who shared their memories of their time here at Misericordia University. And in listening to those stories, I was able to take the opportunity to try to make a couple of people’s wishes come true. So I think the success of the weekend comes not from what the alumni gave to me but from what I, hopefully, am able to give to them.