All Alumni Reunion
August 29 - 31, 2014
One of the premier events commemorating the 50th Anniversary of Divine Word College was a “happening” of the first magnitude at the beginning of the school year. DWC hosted an all-alumni reunion over Labor Day weekend, from Friday, August 29 through Sunday, August 31.
This reunion was not just for former students of Divine Word College, but for all the SVD educational institutions in North America, especially those that have since closed their doors, such as Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, Bordentown, New Jersey, East Troy, Wisconsin, Gerard, Pennsylvania and Miramar, Massachusetts. Individually, there have been reunions for the different schools. This was the first effort to include all of them.
The weekend’s events began on Friday, August 29, with a welcome reception at the Grand River Center in Dubuque. As old friends arrived, they enjoyed refreshments and reconnected with old friends. Overheard more than once, “I haven’t seen you in 40 years!” There were many laughs, many hugs and many photos!
On Saturday, August 30, alumni and their guests spent the day at Divine Word College. There were tours, an update on the current college program from college president, Fr. Tim Lenchak, SVD, and a chance to meet students who now occupy the dorms. Participants enjoyed the opportunity to visit their former dorm rooms and see what’s changed and what’s stayed the same.
A highlight of Saturday evening was entertainment provided by the alumni themselves. A reunion of the Hemlock Singers, a folk-music group that made a name for itself, and even recorded albums, back in the ‘60s, brought the audience to their feet. Eleven former members joined voices and sounded nearly as good as they did back in the day. A comedy routine, musical duet and a special presentation of the song, “One Heart, Many Faces” rounded out the show.
Fr. Steve Bevans, SVD, who graduated from DWC, and is now a member of the faculty at Catholic Theological Union in Chicago, presided at Sunday Mass. Alumni served as readers and also presented the offertory gifts
Following the liturgy, the alumni and current DWC students gathered one more time in the gym for a meal. After more photos, sharing email addresses, and promising to get together again soon, the event came to a close.
It’s believed that this is the first time that not only former DWC students, but those from the other SVD seminaries have ever gotten together at one time.