This past week, all of campus was bustling for Alumni Weekend, which took place from Sept. 8 to Sept. 10. The Alumni Affairs Office put together 49 events for Muhlenberg alumni, with class years ending in 3 and 8 celebrating special milestone reunions. All facets of campus life helped support, plan and create an amazing weekend filled to the brim with fun and educational events for Muhlenberg graduates.
Alumni Weekend had a fantastic turnout, with 1,089 alumni pre-registered to attend, and more coming to various events throughout the weekend. Various departments were vital in the success of the weekend, including Plant Operations, Campus Safety, housekeeping, Red Door Catering, ‘Berg Production and many more.
The weekend kicked off with an alumni golf outing at Brookside Country Club on Friday morning, followed throughout the day with campus tours, sporting events and the “Classes Without Quizzes” program.
“Classes Without Quizzes” gives alumni the opportunity to sit in on lectures with professors, some of which they may have had during their time here, on a variety of subjects. Alumni can choose to attend as many events as they’d like. English Professor Charles F. French, Ph.D., partook in the program, leading the lecture “What Books Do We Love?” He left the alumni with not only a brand new list of book recommendations to consider but also a reinvigorated love for literature.
Friday night was completed with “An Evening of Distinction,” in which honors were bestowed to students and alumni for their accomplishments and allowed them to connect and learn from one another. Justin Billich ‘24 reflected on his experience, describing how “It was incredible to be around so many distinguished alumni. [I loved] to hear their stories, oftentimes with a notion of ‘back in my day.’ The Evening of Distinction was a beautiful event, highlighting current and former success stories at Muhlenberg, compiling them into the narrative of success here at Muhlenberg.”
Saturday afternoon included a tailgate with areas for alumni celebrating milestone reunions to catch up and have fun. Following the tailgate was a football game versus Salisbury which ended in a win for the Mules.
One ‘03 alumni, who chose to remain anonymous because of her career, discussed how Muhlenberg helped her in the professional world. “I have an amazing career, and I owe it all to Muhlenberg and the advisor I had junior and senior year, Dr. Jeff Rudski, because without him I wouldn’t have the career I have in forensic psychology.” She also elaborated on the love she has for Alumni Weekend, and how special it is, as “the same core group comes back every milestone. It’s nice because there’s so many extended friendships, too, that I still get to see again and again.” She concluded by saying that “Muhlenberg gets all of the credit for how I grew up as a person, how I learned empathy, and how I learned how to deal with it all.”
In tandem with the alumni tailgate, the Homecoming Fair was happening on the campus green, complete with performances from different ensembles on campus, bouncy houses for alumni and their families, a petting zoo, carnival food and much more. Alumni and their families could be found on the green for hours, taking part in all of the fun family festivities.
The Alumni Author Reception in Trexler Library also took place on Saturday, where published Muhlenberg alumni had the opportunity to share their works with one another and take audiences and other authors through their creative process. This reception is a great way to pay homage to many of the talented alums who have done significant work in their field. It also gives student audience members a glimpse into a potential career field that might be of interest, providing them with the ability to talk one-on-one with successful writers who were once in their shoes.
Along with Saturday night being complete with various athletic teams holding games with outstanding alumni attendance, Alumni Affairs held “Berg Bash: Cheers to the Years,” where alumni ranging from ‘83 to ‘23 had the opportunity to come together and celebrate, complete with lots of food, prizes and dancing.
Student volunteers were an essential component of the weekend, with 32 students from the Cardinal Key Society helping at various events, along with providing golf cart rides to alumni, giving campus tours and even dressing up as Marti the Mule for alumni and their families.
Jem Berney ‘26, resident Marti the Mule for the weekend, reflected on his experiences as a Cardinal Key volunteer. “Well I think it’s just a really great opportunity to see those who came before me, and I was lucky enough to be able to attend the Evening of Distinction as a guest. I sat with a table of alumni and we talked about all things Muhlenberg and all things careers, and it was just really great to kind of get a glimpse of my future and what professionalism is really like.”
The impact that alumni have on current students is monumental, and the connections made during Alumni Weekend prove that to be influential year after year. Alumni Weekend is fantastic as it not only allows alumni to reconnect with one another through the years, but it also gives alumni the opportunity to reflect on their time here, and the broader role that Muhlenberg has played in their life.
Jake Milunsky ‘03, took a look back on his time here and how it has helped him throughout not only his career but his life. “I think that this school is such a diamond, such a treasure, and if you come here with an open mind, you’ll discover so much about yourself and live a better life because you’re so confident in who you’ve become.”