Largest Alumni Reunion Weekend in History

Eight decades of Gael classes were represented among 700 guests.

The largest Alumni Reunion Weekend in Saint Mary’s history was celebrated on July 15-17, 2022. More than 700 alumni, family, and friends came to our beautiful campus over three days to celebrate the lifelong, meaningful, and joyful shared connection of Saint Mary’s College.

Events spanned Friday evening, throughout Saturday, until Sunday evening. Overnight accommodations in the townhouses were sold out. Walk-up registrations outpaced expectations, requiring additional tables to be set up for dinner. Eight decades of graduating classes were represented. The oldest Gael on-campus, Ken Vincent, was from the class of 1952. 

Standing out amongst the sundresses and Hawaiian shirts was a classic football jersey, cobalt blue with white shouldercaps. Pat Madison ‘72, linebacker and long snapper, wore it proudly after absconding with it half a century ago. “I come back to check up on everybody that is still with us in the class,” he said. “That's the most important thing.” 

“I like the signs that say ‘Welcome Home’ because it feels like home when we’re at Saint Mary’s,” said Mike Testa ‘92.

Unsatisfied with simply reuniting, Mike and his roommates did some re-enacting. Holding an old framed photo, they shuffled around the patio of Syufy 15, eventually standing in the same position as they did on the morning of their 1992 Commencement. 

From left, Eric Dovichi, Dan Junge, Doug Macintosh, Mike Testa, John Etcheverry, Wade Lacque

“To come back to this campus, to be able to stay in the dorms is such a great memory and it’s great to re-live it,” he said “We always try to stay together at Reunion, hang out like we did in college, party like we did in college, and pretend that we’re 19-years-old again for a weekend.”

Saturday’s warm weather encouraged guests to find refuge in a new incarnation of an old favorite, The Pub. Alumni of the 80’s fondly remember the on-campus gathering place. Today’s iteration, The 1928 Pub, was packed inside and out with live music serenading guests in the shade of the patio.

John Matsuo ‘84 enjoyed swapping stories with other generations, “I was talking to someone from the ‘60s. You don't see those people all the time. And as much as I love my class of ‘84—and we are the best class—it's great to be around so many others.” 

More Gaels were invited to Reunion 2022 than ever before. After canceling major festivities the past two summers, the College invited classes ending in 0 and 5 as well as 1 and 6 who missed out the past two years, in addition to the typical classes ending in 2 and 7. 

“After COVID, we had a deep realization that the best people that we know and love, we met at Saint Mary’s,” reflected Carrie (Jackson) Matsuo ‘87. “We wanted to see everyone who loves Saint Mary’s.

Sunday featured a special addition to this year’s Reunion Weekend schedule, the Men’s Basketball All-Star Game. Dozens of Gael hoopers returned to UCU Pavilion for an exhibition game in front of roughly 1,000 fans. It was a treat to see the familiar faces and personalities back in the home gym. 

“Alumni Reunion Weekend is the best event of the year,” said Courtney Carmignani ‘05, MA ‘07, Assistant Vice President for Alumni Engagement & Events. “Being back in person makes us appreciate how special it is to have so many people who are so passionate about Saint Mary’s College in one place. And, culminating with dinner on the Chapel Lawn in the golden hour, it really is a magical closing to a wonderful weekend.” 

While college (usually) only lasts four year, the feeling is forever.

“Between how beautiful the campus is and the smells of the eucalyptus and the trees,” Carrie (Jackson) Matsuo said, “it’s making me fall in love with Saint Mary’s again.”

 

 

--

Photo Galleries 

Friday
Saturday
Saturday evening

Videos

'92 roommates recreate photo

See additional coverage at @GaelAlumni.

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Gael Alumni (@gaelalumni)