Alumni demonstrated their devotion to Cabrini with unprecedented event attendance during Alumni Weekend September 23–24.
"Alumni weekend was such an outpouring of friendship," said Nancy Gorevin Costello (71), Director of Communications for the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. "No matter what year we graduated, the sense of appreciation and unity surrounding our Cabrini experience was palpable."
The weekend started strong on Friday with a return to Cabrini Night at the Phillies. The Fightin’ Phils gave the 300 Cabrini alumni, faculty, staff, and friends a big win at Citizens Bank Park after the group gathered for a pre-game tailgate.
On Saturday, a stream of alumni and families braved Tropical Storm Ophelia’s rainy winds to return to campus for Fall Fest’s festivities, which were moved indoors. The Grace Hall Atrium brimmed with carnival-themed family fun, and many attendees visited the food trucks outside for a delicious lunch or stopped by Iadarola Hall to sample from the Beer Garden and listen to the music of Nicole Neidermeier (’06) and Francesca Maslin (’19, MS’21) and friends. Mansion tours continued throughout midday, and women’s basketball alumni put their skills to the test once again for a friendly game on the Dixon court.
“Even in the midst of a rainy weekend,” said Laura Chisholm (’22), Executive Director of Development and Alumni Relations, “it was lovely to see so many alumni return to campus to reconnect, reminisce, and make new memories together.”
More than 250 people—with graduates representing every decade—attended the All-Alumni Party in the Mansion on Saturday evening, reconnecting with classmates as they shared cherished memories and lots of laughter. A performance by the Cabrini Steppers led by Quiana Volney (’12) kept the energy high, and DJ Bob Wiederwax’s music flowed all night.
“The weekend allowed me to connect with friends and classmates that I haven't seen in a long time,” said Fran Brooks (’82). “We reminisced about the good old days when we were students, and how things have changed over the years. It allowed me to celebrate with my Cabrini family.”
During the party, the Alumni Association honored the 2020 Celebration of Cavaliers Award winners, whose recognition had been put on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The recipients included:
- John M. Mack (’98, MS’05)—Martha Dale Award for Distinguished Service
- Yvette Y. Ousley (’88)—Distinguished Achievement Award
- Ryan Manion (’04)—Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini Award for Community Service
- Ben Nanna (’11)—Cabrini University Young Alumni Award
- Michelle Filling-Brown, PhD, Dean of Academic Affairs—Cabrini University Honorary Alumni Award
“Mother Cabrini Sunday” brought Alumni Weekend to a beautiful close, beginning with a Mass in the Bruckmann Chapel of Saint Joseph that featured alumni and students as choir members, musicians, greeters, readers, and Eucharistic ministers. Celebrant Father Richard Jasper (’96) acknowledged the value of a Cabrini education and the loss felt in anticipating the University’s closure. He challenged everyone to “take the gift of Catholic education—one of the Church’s greatest gifts—and go inspire. … remember that in God’s will, this hallowed institution did what God needed it to do. We were given a great gift, but one that was always His to offer the world in the first place.” Read Fr. Jasper's full homily here.
Attendees then enjoyed lunch in the Mansion, followed by a highly anticipated free screening in the Widener Center of Cabrini, a biopic to be released in 2024 about the University’s beloved namesake. (Visit angel.com/watch/cabrini to watch the trailer.) After the film, Executive Producer Eustace Wolfington, whose generosity provided for the establishment of Cabrini’s Wolfington Center in 2002, led a Q&A session about the development of the project and discussed how Mother Cabrini’s life and example have inspired him. The conversation continued as many moved on to the Holy Spirit Library for an opportunity to view the key writings, artifacts, and photos in the St. Frances Cabrini Collection.
“It was so incredibly special to be present for Mother Cabrini Sunday,” said Jill Nawoyski (’17, MS’21). “From the morning Mass to the end of the movie, I could feel Mother Cabrini’s spirit with us, and I’m confident that she will always be with me.”
Visit cabrini.edu/alumnievents for information about future alumni events.