Homecoming Weekend 2016 turns up record attendance and PK Pride

Homecoming Weekend 2016 turns up record attendance and PK Pride

It just keeps getting better and better. When Welcome Back Weekend returned to campus in 2014, it was after a 25-year gap. This year UB’s third consecutive Homecoming revival took the annual celebration to a whole new level, breaking records with more than 1,300 alumni, students, families, faculty, staff and friends returning to campus on the picture-perfect weekend of October 14-16.

The attendance, the Purple Knights Pride, the weather — all astounding!

“Homecoming’s success went well beyond University Relations to everyone on campus who worked equally hard,” says Alumni Association President Dennis Brotherton ’86, who galvanized efforts across campus this year. “It was obviously a labor of love for everyone and absolutely a team effort across the University.”

The campus-wide effort included Alumni Relations, the Alumni Board, Campus Activities, Residential Life, Athletics, Admissions, Special Events, Media Relations, Music, Engineering, Business, Nursing, Career Development, Security, Facilities, Student Affairs, and hard-working staff from Sodexo and B&G.

The emotion, the camaraderie, was palpable! I stayed for the entire thing. – Dennis Brotherton ’86
Adds Brotherton, “Certainly everyone in University Relations worked incredibly hard to manage the myriad details, but I’d like to give a special shout out to our two Graduate Assistants, Lindsey Toper and Ricky Grasso, who not only did an enormous amount of work, but were so very proactive, taking on efforts and making decisions without having to be directed. They took a true leadership role on so many levels and I, for one, am incredibly grateful!”
Highlights this year included:
  • A Friday night pep rally
  • Campus tours including of the new residential hall
  • Alumni soccer and baseball/softball games
  • BBQ lunch with over 800 alumni, students and families in attendance
  • Engineering Carnival, complete with robot/drone parade
  • Dedication of the Flagpole in Veterans Park
  • Athletics Hall of Fame induction, including the 1971 and 1972 football teams
  • Young Alumni Black Rock Bash, with over 200 in attendance
  • PK5K race around campus and in Seaside Park, benefiting the Alumni Scholarship Fund
  • Music Alumni Brunch and Jam Session
More details include:

Veterans’ Flagpole Dedication

Held in Marina Pocket Park, UB honored their Veterans with a raising of a pole. It was a special ceremony for Alumna EJ Cohen, as her father was one of the founding members of the Alpha Gamma Phi here at UB and went on to serve for our country.

A flagpole and flag donated by Alumnus Dan Landau was installed at Veterans’ Park and dedicated Saturday afternoon. The dedication ceremony honored two Marine Lance Corporals, Brian Drury and Joshua Estevez, from the Marine Maintenance Services Company, Combat Logistics Battalion 25, New Haven, CT, who raised the flag up the flagpole at the end of the dedication ceremony. Also in attendance were four Bridgeport Mounted Police: Tom Choothesa, Brian Grabinski, Herbi Mack, and Edgar Perez.

UB’s Veterans’ Park was dedicated last year in honor of five members of the Alpha Gamma Phi fraternity who gave their lives during the Vietnam War: John Corr ’66, Michael Dalton ’68, John Hulme  ’68, Fran Sullivan ’66, and Charlie Yaghoobian. Alpha Gamma Phi was founded by Malcom Cohen ’50. In attendance was Malcom’s daughter, E.J. Cohen ’75, who brought along her father’s Alpha Gamma Phi banner as well as his University of Bridgeport banner from his time here at UB.

Purple Knight 5K Race

On Sunday morning Purple Knight Pride hit the pavement as many took part in the PK5K run around campus – past the new residence hall, around Seaside Park and concluding down Park Avenue.

What a difference three years can make! The first Purple Knight 5K was held during Welcome Back Weekend 2014, and had a total of 14 runners. Last year the race had grown to about 40 runners, and this year our total was 79. Great fun, great pride, and a great boost to our Alumni Scholarship Fund!




More follows, with photo selection and captions by Ricky Grasso ’15:

Baseball/Softball Alumni Game

Alumni new and old gathered on Diamond #1 during Homecoming Weekend for a quick game, many spending the afternoon catching up or tailgating.

Alumni Soccer Game

Alumni gathered during homecoming weekend 2016 for their annual alumni soccer game.

Athletics Hall of Fame Ceremony

This year University of Bridgeport Athletics honored the 1971 and 1972 UB Football Teams and Steve Markoski ’82, as well as Fran Bacon Lifetime Achievement and Coaching Award winner Artie Gigantino ’73, and Purple Knight Shield of Merit Award recipient Donna Phillips. Alumni and their families traveled from all over the United States to be here for this great event!

BBQ Lunch

On Saturday, families, alumni, current students and faculty gathered for lunch alongside Knights Field.

Engineering Carnival

The Engineering School showed off their talents during the Engineering Carnival. Showcasing their robots and drones, they put on a show for a number of people walking around campus on Saturday.

Harvest Festival

The Harvest Festival showcased a number of UB clubs and organizations. Alumni and current students walked through the Ped Mall sampling and surveying all that UB has to offer.

UB Music Alumni

The University of Bridgeport Music Department had a special gathering Sunday morning honoring Professor Neil Slater, director of jazz studies at UB in the 1970s and 1980s, with a special brunch and alumni jam session.

Academic Open Houses

Various departments hosted academic open houses on Saturday, including the Schools of Business, Engineering and Nursing, as well as the Office of Career Development.

Pep Rally

UB kicked off Homecoming Weekend with a PEP Rally in Marina Dining Hall. Many students attended and showed off their Purple Knight Pride. A great start to #UBHC2016!

Women’s/Men’s Soccer Game

Alumni new and old gathered to see the men’s soccer game at noon, followed by the women’s soccer game at 3:00. With pompoms in hand, they showed their Purple Knight Pride cheering on both teams!