United in Rowan pride

United in Rowan pride

Alumni, students celebrate a Homecoming of PROFhistoric proportions

Their graduation dates are 51 years apart. Yet, Shirley Monastra and Nick Dondiego share something significant.

They’re both #RowanPROUD.

“It’s my first time back in 30 years,” Monastra ’67 said as she sat with fellow members of the 50th reunion class in the alumni tent at Rowan University’s Homecoming celebration on Saturday, Oct. 14.

More than 2,000 alumni came back to campus for the annual Homecoming parade, alumni lunch, University tours, reunions and athletics events, all of which capped off a busy—and fun—celebration of campus pride.

The theme of the week was PROFhistoric, which highlighted the University’s history-making firsts—the transformative $100 million Rowan gift and the 50th anniversary of the Summit at Hollybush—as well as the establishment last year of the Jean and Ric Edelman Fossil Park at Rowan University.

“It’s astonishing to see what’s happening to the campus,” said Monastra, who enjoyed a career in the field of education. “I’m really very glad to see all of the growth and development of the college. And I’m happy to know the College of Education is very important to the University. I’m impressed.”

As Monastra reminisced with her classmates—“We saw the Supremes here. I’ll never forget that. And The Association,” she boasted—just across the way, Dondiego was enjoying a tailgate celebration with brothers of all ages from Tau Epsilon Phi fraternity.

“I love the tailgate every year,” said Dondiego, a senior marketing major. “Our alumni brothers come down. They tell us about their days here. They tell us to make sure that we enjoy college. And they feed us, too. At Rowan, people are actually like family. I love the University and the small class sizes.”

One for the ages

From the annual student Homecoming parade, which had a decisively prehistoric theme replete with dancing dinosaurs, to College Row, where Rowan’s schools and colleges offered up information and activities highlighting the PROFhistoric theme, to a spirited tailgate row, where alumni from fraternities and sororities, programs and clubs reconnected and enjoyed foods on the grill, Homecoming was one, for the ages. All ages.

Multiple reunions—for the classes of ’62, ’67, ’07, as well as black alumni and friends—were held throughout the weekend, giving Prof alumni the chance to share memories and celebrate their shared institutional pride. The annual student events, including the Push Cart, Battleship, Lip Sync, banner and parade and spirit competitions—led up to the weekend Homecoming events. The 34th annual Step Show, a longstanding Homecoming tradition, was held Saturday evening.

Rob’ert Palmer, Jr. ’84 was honored at the Rowan football game as the recipient of this year’s Alumni Ambassador Award. Palmer, who earned his degree in management information systems, also was the grand marshal of the Homecoming parade. He has worked with federal agencies for 25 years and currently is a program analyst at Marine Corps Systems Command in Quantico, Va.

The weekend kicked off with a spirited PROFhistoric block party on Hollybush Green on Friday evening that included games, food trucks, vendors, live reptiles, and entertainment.

Also on Friday, students participated in a free fossil dig at the Jean and Ric Edelman Fossil Park. Homecoming concluded with the Rowan Unified Sports Championship and the Black Alumni and Friends fellowship breakfast on Sunday.

The combined team of Alpha Sigma Alpha sorority, Alpha Chi Rho fraternity and women’s rugby won the University’s spirit competition this year.

Homecoming was sponsored by the Chamberlain Student Center & Student Activities, which planned all student events, and the Office of Alumni Engagement, which hosted all alumni events.