Update on Homecoming and Reunion Celebration

Joliet, Ill. – While the University of St. Francis (USF) is currently making plans for students and faculty to return to campus for classes this fall, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has challenged Joliet’s university to change, postpone and even cancel a variety of special events this year due to attendance restrictions outlined in Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker’s Restore Illinois plan. One major event that has been canceled is USF’s Homecoming and Reunion Celebration, which was originally scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 26.

“Due to the current situation, the inability to gather in large groups, and the priority of keeping our alumni safe, we have made the decision to cancel USF’s Homecoming and Reunion Celebration this year. While we are disappointed and know that our alumni are, as well, we want them to know that we are and will be working hard to make next year’s celebration the best yet and we look forward to everyone’s participation,” said Aubrey Knight, ’04, ’07, USF Director of Alumni & Family Relations.

The decision, while difficult to make, is understood due to the large number of attendees that many of the events that are part of USF’s Homecoming and Reunion Celebration draw annually, including the tailgate at Joliet Memorial Stadium (approximately 600-800 attendees) and the Distinguished Alumni Awards Dinner (approximately 150 attendees).

Knight added that planning is currently underway for festivities in 2021, but with an important change: splitting the Homecoming and Reunion Celebration into two separate events.

“Reunion Weekend is scheduled for June 5, 2021, and will focus on alumni by major as well as our honored year reunion classes (including those who we would’ve celebrated in 2020), while Homecoming will take place later that fall on a to-be-determined date and will focus more on alumni from USF’s athletic programs,” Knight added.

This separation allows the Alumni & Family Relations Office to better focus their efforts on the honored year reunion classes since there will be twice as many alumni to celebrate next year. “We want to make it an event to remember, and this split allows us to do just that,” said Knight.

As plans for 2021 are announced, they will also be made available at stfrancis.edu/alumni/hcrw. Alumni may also direct questions to USF Alumni & Family Relations Office at (877) 811-ALUM or alumni@stfrancis.edu.

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Currently celebrating 100 years of higher education rooted in Franciscan values, the University of St. Francis, in Joliet, Ill., serves close to 4,000 students nationwide and offers undergraduate, graduate, doctoral and certificate programs in the arts and sciences, business, education, nursing and social work. There are over 50,000 USF alumni across the globe. For information, call 800-735-7500 or visit stfrancis.edu.

University of St. Francis: Bigger thinking. Brighter purpose.

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Mark Your Calendar for Homecoming and Reunion Day on October 5

Joliet, Ill. – Calling all University of St. Francis (USF) alumni! USF has its plans set for Homecoming and Reunion Day on Saturday, Oct. 5 and wants to see YOU there!

Homecoming and Reunion Day will include a variety of fun, family-friendly events both on and off campus, including:

  • Homecoming Tailgate and Football Game: Join the USF family for our Homecoming tailgate and football game at Joliet Memorial Stadium! This event will offer fun for Fighting Saints alumni and fans of all ages. The tailgate (sponsored by the Alumni and Family Relations Office and the Student Activities Board) begins at 11 a.m. and will include free food, music, giveaways, and children’s activities before the big game. There will also be a beer tent ($1 pints) this year. Be sure to stop by the Alumni table for your FREE t-shirt (limited quantity available). The homecoming football game will then kickoff at 1 p.m. as the USF Fighting Saints take on the Robert Morris University Eagles.

  • Alumni Baseball Game and Alumni Softball Game/Reunion: Catch up with old teammates and showcase your collegiate athletic skills as you take on either some of your alumni peers or some of today’s Fighting Saints. Families are invited to cheer on their favorite athletes. The Alumni Baseball Game will take place on Friday, Oct. 4 (note this is the only Friday event on this year’s schedule) at Joliet Route 66 Stadium (home run derby at 6:30 p.m. and the game at 7 p.m.). The Alumni Softball Game/Reunion will take place at the Inwood Softball Complex on Saturday, Oct. 5, beginning at 9 a.m. All alumni athletes that register to participate by Friday, Sept. 7 will receive a free game shirt.

  • Football Alumni Reunion: Join your fellow gridiron teammates, USF head football coach Joe Curry, and other Saints football alumni and friends after the Homecoming football game at 4 p.m. at The Dock at Inwood for food, drinks and camaraderie! Help us celebrate the past, present, and future of the Fighting Saints football team at this complimentary event.

  • “Joliet Gems” City Tour and Merichka’s Lunch: Enjoy a tour of the well-known buildings and landmarks of historic Joliet aboard the USF shuttle and end with a mouth-watering lunch at Merichka’s! The cost per person for this event is $25 and space is limited. The shuttle will depart the Motherhouse parking lot at 10 a.m.

  • Nursing Alumni and Lunch Tour: Attendees are invited to bring a guest and join fellow nursing alumni from St. Joseph School of Nursing, St. Joseph College of Nursing, College of St. Francis and University of St. Francis! Bring your stories and mingle with your former classmates whether you are retired or still working in the field. A delicious lunch will be served among friends and nursing faculty, including Dr. Ebere Ume, the new Dean of the Leach College of Nursing. A tour of our new nursing building will immediately follow. This complimentary event begins at 12 p.m. at the St. Clare Campus.

  • Champagne Receptions: Special champagne receptions are planned for general alumni, as well as classes celebrating their 25th and 50th reunions this year. Receptions will begin at 5 p.m. and will take place in the following locations: general alumni and guests – Executive Conference Room (third floor of the Motherhouse); Class of 1994 will take place – Alumni Gathering Room (second floor of the Motherhouse); and Class of 1969 – Conference Room A&B (third floor of the Motherhouse).

  • Young Alumni Happy Hour: All young USF alumni are invited to a special happy hour at The Dock at Inwood. This was a popular event last year, so we are hoping to see an event larger turnout this year. Register by September 27th and receive a complimentary drink ticket.

  • Distinguished Alumni Dinner and Awards Ceremony: All are invited to join us for dinner as we recognize this year’s honored year alumni (Classes of 2014, 2009, 2004, 1999, 1994, 1989, 1984, 1979, 1974, 1969 and before) and celebrate our 50th reunion alumnae as they are inducted into our Assisian Club. Alumni award winners will be presented by Arvid C. Johnson, Ph.D., USF President. Winners are selected by college based on their outstanding professional and personal successes and/or involvement in civic, cultural, and charitable activities. The event will take place in San Damiano Hall, which is located on the third floor of the Motherhouse, beginning at 6 p.m. Admission for honored year alumni and award winners is complimentary, and guest admission is $20 per person.

  • Alumni Memorial Mass: All alumni and friends are invited to worship as a community of faith as we celebrate our homecoming and offer thanks for our lives and remember those alumni and friends who have gone before us. Fr. Terry Deffenbaugh, the University’s chaplain, will be our celebrant. Mass will begin at 4 p.m. in St. Joseph Chapel, which is located on the third floor of the Motherhouse.

In addition to the various special events, a hospitality room (Alumni Gathering Room) will be open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and will offer a great place to meet up with classmates or just take a break from organized homecoming festivities. The room is located on the second floor of the Motherhouse.

USF Alumni and Family Relations Director Aubrey Knight ’04 and ‘07 is excited to once again offer a full slate of homecoming activities to USF alumni.

“I am sincerely overwhelmed with excitement as we prepare to welcome our alumni home,” Knight said. “It is amazing to be able to experience the nostalgia that homecoming presents as classmates reconnect and continue to write the legacy of USF.”

Please visit https://www.stfrancis.edu/alumni/hcrw/ for the full schedule of events for Homecoming and Reunion Day, to register for a specific event, and for information on lodging and directions to campus. Alumni are asked to note the event reservation cutoff date of September 30th. For more information or if you have any questions, please contact the Alumni and Family Relations Office either by email at alumni@stfrancis.edu or by phone at 877-811-ALUM (2586).

The University of St. Francis, in Joliet, Ill., serves over 4,000 students nationwide, offering undergraduate, graduate, doctoral and certificate programs in the arts and sciences, business, education, nursing and social work. There are over 50,000 USF alumni across the globe. For information, call 800-735-7500 or visit stfrancis.edu.

University of St. Francis: Bigger thinking. Brighter purpose.

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