Bristol, R.I. — If you noticed an increase in RWU-themed apparel in and around Bristol recently, it was not an illusion. For three days at the beginning of June, Roger Williams University alumni descended on the East Bay for the third annual Alumni Weekend – a fast-growing tradition at RWU.
Not even the threat of coastal flooding and remnants of a tropical storm could keep the golfers off the green for the 7th Annual Ray Cordeiro Alumni Golf Classic at Montaup Country Club. Sporting plastic ponchos, windbreakers – and a few pairs of brightly patterned pajama pants for those disappointed the weather ruined the “Boxer Short Open” – the golf tournament boasted a tremendous turnout.
Later that night, new friends and former classmates celebrated at the Lobster Clambake Dinner and a Pub Night held in the North Campus Residence Hall. Acoustic musician Andre Arsenault played songs ranging from classics to contemporary tunes, sourcing genres from classic rock to pop and country.
Other weekend highlights included the third coalescence of the Women’s Leadership Network at the School of Architecture, Art and Historic Preservation; a tour of Mount Hope Bay aboard the Rum Runner II; and the celebration of Professor of Theatre Bill Grandgeore’s 80th birthday – complete with an alumni tribute performance and cake in the shape of the Barn – at the Performing Arts Center.
Dinner, drinks and dancing rounded out the weekend-long celebration at the Global Heritage Hall Dinner Dance, where the Alumni Recognition Awards were presented. The Class of 1993 received the Class Leadership Award for their participation and engagement with the life of the university; The Young Alumni Achievement Award went to Meghan Grady ’08M (Public Administration) for her outstanding efforts to improve health and social issues in Rhode Island; Marine Biology alumnus William Geraghty ’78 received the Alumni Service Award for his continued involvement in RWU’s marine biology program; and the Distinguished Alumnus/a of the Year Award was given to Art Education and Elementary Education Pamela M. (Pinskey) Fernandes ’76 in recognition of her devotion to establishing a lifelong love of learning in young children entering elementary school.
Alumni Recognition Award winners Meghan Grady '08M (left), Bill Geraghty '78 and Pamela (Pinskey) Fernandes '76 pose with RWU President Donald Farish.
“We are so pleased to see that enthusiasm for Alumni Weekend is building. Now in its third year, we had more alumni than ever return and the feedback was fantastic,” said Lisa Raiola, acting vice president for University Advancement. “Alums thoroughly enjoyed reconnecting with friends – whether it was from an affinity group like athletics, theatre, architecture, or from their reunion class. Many alums are now also looking forward to seeing the people they know have made a commitment to return every year. Alumni Weekend is truly the highlight of our year, and it’s gratifying to the Roger Williams Alumni Association see the return and success of such a vital university tradition.”
For more on the Alumni Weekend tradition, check out the slideshow below, or visit the RWU Alumni Flickr page here.