Hundreds of Saint Leo University alumni and their families gathered on main campus for the university's 2018 homecoming weekend, November 1 – 4. Alumni came from more than 20 states, Canada, and even as far as Nigeria. They represented nearly 50 different graduating classes, dating as far back as 1947.
The three-day weekend was packed full of a variety of activities. It kicked off on Thursday, November 1, with the Spirit of Saint Leo Golf Tournament, which is an annual fundraiser for Saint Leo's athletics program, and the dinner and ceremony.
That night at the Athletic Hall of Fame, Saint Leo inducted seven into its 2018 class: Ernie Robinson '68 (baseball and men's basketball), Brian Dayett '78 (baseball), Pierre Augustin '90 (men's basketball), Eusebio Herrera-Montoya '09 (men's soccer), Ashley Urbanik '09 (softball), Kyle Marceau '10 (men's lacrosse), and Kaitlin McKenna '11 (women's volleyball).
On Friday evening, alumni were treated to a welcome reception and special dinners were held for Saint Leo College Preparatory School and Holy Name Academy graduates, and the Class of 1968, which celebrated its 50th reunion.
On Saturday, attendees enjoyed brunch with President Jeffrey D. Senese, who spent some time in front of a packed room talking about the future of the university. "You should feel at home whenever you are here," he shared with attendees.
During the brunch, six alumni were given awards in recognition of their accomplishments. Caleb Fuddy '13, Frank Carillo '11, Jocelyn Morales '16, and Joshua Paul '09 all received Roaring Onward Recognition. This award program celebrates outstanding alumni who have graduated within the past 10 years and is based on professional success, contribution to their communities, and living the university's core values.
Valerie Crane '62 was the recipient of the Benedictine Spirit Award, which is given to alumni who live the values first articulated 1,500 years ago by Saints Benedict and Scholastica. Dr. Brandon Brooks '11 was given the Distinguished Alumni Award, the highest award granted by the Saint Leo University Alumni Association. It recognizes alumni who have achieved remarkable goals in their personal or professional life.
Later that afternoon, everyone enjoyed the crisp fall weather for the Lions Tailgate, which included live music from the Forrest Hoffar Band, games and activities, and fireworks. Greek alumni also participated in a special service project that benefited nonprofit Feeding Children Everywhere. Together, they packaged 20,000 healthy meals for those in need.
The day ended in the Marion Bowman Activities Center where the men's basketball team took on Pasco-Hernando State College, winning 109-49. During halftime, Saint Leo's 2018 homecoming king and queen were crowned: Montre Hall, Class of 2019, and Nadia Crawford, Class of 2020.
The weekend wrapped up with Mass on Sunday at the Saint Leo Abbey Church, followed by brunch.