Home Community Alumni reunion weekend offers a chance to celebrate academic achievements and come together as a community

Alumni reunion weekend offers a chance to celebrate academic achievements and come together as a community

by Kendal Clark

The alumni reunion weekend will be virtual and span from April 17 to 24 this year, consisting of various events.

This annual event allows alumni from various years to come together, be social and connect with fellow Rams, Branigan Contreras, a 2015 graduate and former coordinator and sponsor of Programs and Alumni Relations said.

“We want everyone to feel a part of it,” Christian Wommack, director of alumni relations said. 

Branigan Contreras and Christian Garcia Wommack attending a former alumni reunion weekend. Photo by DeAwna Wood, former Director of Alumni Relations.

This event is held to celebrate Texas Wesleyan Alumni as a community.

Alumni reunion is one of Texas Wesleyan’s highlights and Upward Bound Coordinator and 2012 graduate, Brenton Flowers has enjoyed working and attending it since 2008. “I was fortunate to participate in my first one as a student worker because I worked in the Advancement/Alumni Relations office. Being there solidified my devotion to Texas Wesleyan,” he said.

Upward Bound Coordinator and 2012 graduate, Brenton Flowers, Photo by Chuck Greeson, former university photographer.

Wommack said it took a few months to plan the first virtual event, but since then they have found success in perfecting virtual event planning.

Virtual Golden Anniversary Reception

The Golden Anniversary Reception will be Saturday, April 24 from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Members of the graduating classes of 1970 and 1971 are invited to celebrate their 50-year anniversary at Ben’s Triple B restaurant.

The Golden Shears Breakfast during Alumni Weekend is the event Flowers mostly looks forward to. It is the highest honor a student, staff, or faculty member can receive at Texas Wesleyan. 

“…They influence the campus and their desire to improve the campus life for the students. Having them all in one place and hearing about how active they were during their time at Texas Wesleyan, as well as how they continue to support Texas Wesleyan and their surrounding community to strengthen it for future generations, inspires me to give it my all in all I do and is the reason I return every year. Even though they won’t connect in person, I guarantee that the energy and excitement they have when they see each other will be on full display,” Flowers said. 

Wilde says having her mother present when she received this honor was an unforgettable moment in her life. “I choke up every time another student receives this unique campus leadership award because I know what it meant to me.”

Wommack thinks it is important to connect alumni with the university and each other. “That being said, there are many personal benefits to being involved in your alumni association including creating future collaborations, influencing and being a mentor to current students, growing your network and much more,” she said.

Contreras was excited to hear that the alumni reunion weekend was still happening in a creative way. “2020 was a very rough year for our community and especially for those of us who thoroughly enjoy getting together with Wesleyan Alumni,” she said.

Since the alumni reunion is virtual this year, Jan Pettigrew Wilde, a 1994 graduate plans to roam the campus before the event. “Texas Wesleyan is where I recharge my soul. I can walk by a tree, building, window or elevator and tell you who I talked to, about what and touched me at that moment,” Wilde said.

Jan Pettigrew Wilde, 1994 graduate, and mass communication/journalism alumni. Photo by Jan Pettigrew Wilde, TxWes alum.

“We want people to feel connected with the University and we have the perfect blend of fun and informative events for people to participate in,” Wommack said. These virtual events allow alumni and students to connect with each other and the University.

Wommack says virtual events open our events to people outside of the DFW area and are available for viewing online here.

Wilde says the reason to attend plays a part with the Smaller. Smarter motto. “A smaller university means you get to interact with alumni from multiple decades. We enrich each other and the university through these interactions,” she said.

Event mailer sent to alums. Photo by Christian Wommack, director of alumni relations.

WHAT TO ATTEND?

Virtual Painting Night

Saturday, April 17 at 6:00 p.m. will be the Virtual Paint Night hosted by Alpha Psi Omega, the national theatre honor society. Attendees will be creating a spring-themed painting while following the directions of Jennye James, a graduate with a theatre arts degree and the Theatre Wesleyan scene shop foreman.

Virtual Stretch and Sip

Monday, April 19 at 7:00 p.m. is the Stretch and Sip, hosted by Ensō Apothecary. This is a yoga event with a beverage focusing on self-care.

Virtual Transformation TxWes

Transformation TxWes with University President Fred Slabach will be at 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, April 20, where changes on campus and plans for the future will be discussed.

Virtual Music Department Concert

The TxWes Music Department Virtual Concert on Wednesday, April 21 at 7:00 p.m. will consist of performances of Texas Wesleyan’s various and talented music ensembles.

Virtual Ram Sports: Then and Now

Thursday, April 22 at 7:00 p.m. is the Ram Sports: Then and Now event, hosted by women’s soccer coach Josh Gibbs ‘04. The athletic program and the goals for it will be discussed by former and current athletic staff members.

Virtual Friday Night Live

Friday, April 23 at 7:00 p.m. is Friday Night Live, featuring a live comedy stand-up routine and other surprises. 

Virtual/In-Person/Live-Streamed Outdoor Musical

To end the week on Saturday, April 24 at 7:30 p.m. the 2021 Outdoor Musical at Kay Granger Mall, in-person, virtual and live-streamed. This is a Texas Wesleyan spring tradition.

“The loyalty of Texas Wesleyan’s alumni gives me great confidence that we’ll show up for the virtual events and that the events will be of value. I’ll attend the spring musical in person so I can be a part of the amazing night of music and dance that awaits,” Wilde said.

Nightly Virtual Get-Togethers

Virtual get-togethers from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. for alumni of various decades will be held in addition to these events. Additional information, including registration, regarding all these events, can be found here

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