On a recent Saturday morning, a group of Gibbons Alumni converged on a Habitat for Humanity building site in Raleigh. They came to serve, to support one another, and to give back to their alma mater.
“It was a wonderful display of Gibbons Alumni in solidarity and in service to others,” Associate Director of Alumni Advancement Susan Leigh ’87 said of the day.
This was the second consecutive year Gibbons Alumni sponsored a Day of Service – a time for alums to gather in fellowship to help others. Sporting hard hats and Gibbons T-shirts the 17 alumni, representing graduation years 1980 to 2018, spent several hours that April 6th morning hammering nails, sawing wood, and installing windows to ready two homes for deserving families.
In the process, they appreciated that doing even small things have a big impact on others. They also appreciated that joining together with fellow alums helped to strengthen their bond with one another and with Gibbons.
“It was a wonderful display of Gibbons Alumni in solidarity and in service to others,” Associate Director of Alumni Advancement Susan Leigh ’87 said of the day. “Our alumni share a willingness to get involved and give back. It’s part of the culture at Gibbons that they hold dear and have carried with them.”
Alumni agree. Just ask Jennifer Pinna’00, who served as Alumni Service Chair for both days of service. Last year, the group worked on a beautification project at Beginning and Beyond Child Development Center in Raleigh.
Of what is becoming an annual spring tradition of service Pinna said: “The Habitat build this year was extremely gratifying... and really captured the spirit of service the school instilled in all of us. I look forward to serving alongside fellow alumni for years to come.”
Dan McKenzie ’97 volunteered at the first-ever Alumni Day of Service last year and returned this year for what he described as a joyous experience. “Volunteer days like this are the perfect opportunity to mark the calendar and be servants in the community,” he said.” Volunteering also allows us to set an example for younger generations of how performing service within our community can also fulfill something within ourselves.”
Of her first experience at Alumni Day of Service, Caitlin O’Donnell Newby ’01 added: “I’ve been looking for ways to serve and give back to the community. Getting to do it alongside fellow Gibbons Alumni was a bonus.”
Gibbons Alumni Day of Service concluded with fellowship and pizza, as well as promises of returning next year for the third day of service, which all agree, is a very Gibbons Way to celebrate our faith-filled community.