Alumni and students show Judges pride at homecoming

Alumni Relations and Department of Athletics organize fun-filled weekend for student-athletes and alumni

Photos/Mike Lovett

Brandeis celebrated homecoming this past weekend, with hundreds of alumni, students, staff, faculty and family members filling the campus with Judges spirit and pride.

The event featured athletic contests, a career panel discussion with alumni athletes, family-friendly activities and the Homecoming Bash. Dozens of members of the Class of 2014 returned to campus for the inaugural Zero-year Reunion.

“This year’s homecoming was a wonderful success and it has become a great tradition to bring alumni, students and parents together in a celebration of the university and what it’s about,” said Vice President of Alumni Relations Patsy Fisher.

The idea to build homecoming around Brandeis sports came from Jessica Bergman ’91, a former member of the basketball, softball and track and field teams, who joined the Brandeis Alumni Association board of directors in 2012 and is chair of the Friends of Brandeis Athletics.

“Homecoming is now becoming the weekend for many athletes to not only visit with former teammates, but to see their friends who played on other teams as well,” Bergman said. “We are now able to give athletes their day on campus and make them feel welcomed back to the university.”

The weekend festivities began on Friday evening as the campus cheered on the Judges soccer teams against Carnegie Mellon University—the men’s team won 1-0 in double overtime while the women lost 1-0—and then participated in the Be Bold, Be Bald campaign. Baseball team juniors James Machado and Max Berner spearheaded Brandeis’ participation in the national cancer fundraiser and awareness campaign, raising nearly $4,000 for the cause.

Saturday’s schedule featured alumni basketball, softball and baseball games, while the varsity swimming and diving teams opened their seasons against Wheaton College.

On Saturday evening, Bergman moderated “Where Are They Now,” a panel discussion featuring alumni athletes who shared their career paths and offered advice to students and fellow alumni. The event was sponsored by the Hiatt Career Center, Friends of Brandeis Athletics and the Alumni Association. The day concluded with the Homecoming Bash.

“All of our athletes have a sense of pride from playing here,” said Senior Associate Director of Athletics Lynne Dempsey. “They love to reconnect and find ways to support the programs and student-athletes any way they can, not just financially.”

A large crowd was on hand Sunday to cheer on the Judges men’s and women’s soccer teams against Emory University. The Gordon Field stands were packed as the men’s team beat the Eagles 1-0 off a second half penalty kick by Tyler Savonen ’15, and the women’s team tied Emory, 1-1, on a goal by Samantha Schwartz ’18.

In between the soccer matches, members of the Brandeis community mingled and enjoyed a barbecue and a carnival, which featured a petting zoo, a rock-climbing wall, an inflatable corn maze, and pony rides.

“The whole weekend was fantastic,” said Dempsey. “Seeing all the alumni is one of the best parts of the weekend. You get to reconnect and find out how they’re doing, which is how stories get exchanged and remembered.”

A photo album featuring all of the events of Homecoming Weekend is available here.

Categories: Alumni, Athletics, General, Student Life

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