Rainy weather didn’t dampen the spirits of alumni who recently returned to campus for Gibbons’ first-ever Alumni Weekend – a three-day welcome home celebration to reconnect with their alma mater, renew old friendships and form new ones.
Explaining the goal of the June 7-9 weekend Associate Director of Alumni Advancement Susan Leigh ’87 said: “Devoting a weekend to our alumni not only reinforces that their connection to Gibbons is lasting but also provides them with myriad new ways to keep their Crusader spirit involved and engaged.”
To be sure, it was a green and gold weekend for Gibbons Alumni and families marked by many gatherings and offerings. From reunions and campus tours to southern food, live music, games and Sunday Mass at Holy Name of Jesus Cathedral, there was something for everyone to enjoy.
More than 200 alumni, representing class years 1967 -2018 – along with their family members attended the entertainment-packed weekend. Some traveled from as far away as Mississippi and Florida, others came from throughout North Carolina, parts of South Carolina, Virginia, Tennessee, and Georgia. All, however, stopped by to reminisce about their high school days and to create new Gibbons memories.
“Devoting a weekend to our alumni not only reinforces that their connection to Gibbons is lasting but also provides them with myriad new ways to keep their Crusader spirit involved and engaged,” said Associate Director of Alumni Advancement Susan Leigh ’87.
Among them was Patrick Flynn ’75. “The physical plant of the new school is fantastic, but the spirit of those students and educators we met along the way was truly amazing,” he said. “I am so proud to be a part of the legacy of Cardinal Gibbons High School...!”
Class gatherings were held off-campus Saturday night for alumni who graduated in years ending in four and nine, Leigh said, noting that there even was a decade reunion for schoolmates from the 1970s. She added that one family of four alumni - Chris Dunn ’74, Laura Dunn Broadhead ’76, Jeff Dunn ’78, Nancy Dunn Lampe ’79 - attended the ‘70s gathering.
Leigh also noted that the weekend drew 10 pairs of alumni siblings, eight alumni couples, and one parent-child alumni set. She noted that Linda Graybeal, who taught business at Gibbons from 1974 to 1986, was among the many educators in attendance over the course of the weekend.
The weekend held special meaning for Principal Jason D. Curtis since it was the last alumni reception he will attend as the Top Crusader on campus. Curtis, who recently was named an honorary Gibbons Alumnus, will step down as principal at the end of June to assume the presidency at St. Francis High School in Mountain View, CA.
“Alumni Weekend was such a wonderful opportunity to connect with classmates ... and say goodbye to Mr. Curtis,” Elizabeth Stone ’16 said. “I was able to think about all the great times I shared at Gibbons. The weekend brought back such great memories!”
Leigh described Alumni Weekend 2019 as a success and added that it was the perfect start to a wonderful new Gibbons tradition. With that in mind, she said she looks forward to “welcoming alumni home,” at next year’s Alumni Weekend celebration, slated for June 12-15!