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Celebrating Two Reunion Weekends

The tables were barely cleared from one Reunion before they were redecorated for a second one. Two back-to-back weekends of Reunion festivities in June brought together hundreds of alumnae to celebrate each other and Saint Mary’s.

On Campus Together

After two summers of virtual reunion celebrations, the Saint Mary’s campus was filled with new memories during Reunion weekend. More than 800 alumnae from the classes of “twos” and “sevens” were honored during the weekend, and they came prepared to celebrate more than ever.

With homemade T-shirts, hats, stickers, and cups, these alumnae were ready for four event-packed days. Participants attended talks and panel discussions with current professors, toured buildings new and old, enjoyed morning exercise classes, celebrated Mass at the Church of Loretto, shared meals together, and met with President Katie Conboy.

As the largest registered class, the Class of 1972, or as they dub themselves “Carol Mooney’s Class,” celebrated their 50-year anniversary of being alumnae of the College.

Carol Mooney

I love Saint Mary's because of you.

– President Emeritas Carol Mooney

Rachel StoweHeidi CernekaMaryann Tattersall

During the weekend, the Alumnae Association honored four alumnae with awards. Rachael Stowe ’07 was presented the Outstanding Young Alumna award for her professional impact on the world, her passion for justice, thirst for the discovery of faith and knowledge, and her love of Saint Mary’s. The Humanitas Award honoree was Heidi Cerneka ’87, who was recognized for her lifelong dedication to serving the most marginalized women, from volunteer work as a teacher in Belize, to her work as an attorney in Mombasa and Nairobi where she helped women navigate the criminal justice system. Mary Anne Luzar Tattersall ’72, Ph.D., received the Alumna Achievement award for her impressive career in medical sciences, especially with the National Institutes of Health (NIH). And Carol Mooney ’72, president emeritus, was honored at the all-class banquet with the Distinguished Alumna award. She ended her poignant speech by thanking every graduate around the world saying, “I love Saint Mary’s because of you.”

With hugs, tears of laughter, and an overwhelming amount of gratitude, alumnae described their renewed sense of faith as well as their ongoing appreciation and love for their education. Reunion weekend is a time to celebrate all things Saint Mary’s: lifelong friendships, the bond between graduates of all ages, and shared memories of their time on campus. During these four exciting days, the College celebrated all the remarkable Saint Mary’s women in the world.

Alumnae Gather for Postponed Reunion

reunionFor members of class years ending in “zeros,” “fives,” “ones,” and “sixes,” their original Reunions were a medley of virtual group visits, online presentations, and livestreaming. It was, to say the least, wildly different from what they’d hoped it would be. Yet in many ways, the online Reunions brought unexpected joys. There were alumnae who attended who wouldn’t have—or couldn’t have—made the trip to South Bend. There were others who proudly introduced family members and pets to their classmates, and showed off their homes and gardens, while on Zoom. Everyone made the best of it, and though different, it was still a beloved connection with classmates.

This year, June 9-12, Saint Mary’s offered these alumnae a Reunion in person, with all the traditional activities, class photos, food and drinks, plus the reconnection and laughter.

reunion“This time around, our alumnae who had their in-person Reunions postponed are here, ready to see the campus with their own eyes. A good part of the virtual reunions were spent discussing what was going on at Saint Mary’s. They were worried about the current situation, the students, and to be sure this special place was going to be able to weather the storm,” said Kara O’Leary ’89, executive director of alumnae relations and advancement. “Once they were back in the residence halls, roaming Le Mans, and walking across campus, you could see the gratitude and happiness on their faces. It was a really special time.”

Next year, we celebrate the classes of “threes” and “eights,” and we hope to see you there! †

2022 Honorees

Distinguished Alumna Award
Carol Mooney, Class of 1972

Outstanding Young Alumna
Rachael Stowe, Class of 2007

Alumna Achievement Award
Maryann Luzar Tattersall, Class of 1972

Humanitas Award
Heidi Cerneka, Class of 1987

More Courier Summer 2022