Alumni gather on campus, recollect memories

Photo by Taylor Miles | The Duquesne Duke. Senior history major Brian Bost (left) and senior education major Devin Walker (right) pose for a photo after being crowned homecoming king and queen. The announcement came during halftime of the homecoming football game on Saturday.

Photo by Taylor Miles | The Duquesne Duke. Senior history major Brian Bost (left) and senior education major Devin Walker (right) pose for a photo after being crowned homecoming king and queen. The announcement came during halftime of the homecoming football game on Saturday.

By Jen Cardone | The Duquesne Duke

Many generations of alumni, current students and perspective Dukes crowded A-Walk on Saturday in celebration of homecoming weekend and Autumn Fest.

Homecoming weekend this year was a reunion for the class of 1963, but alumni from other classes took part in the festivities. Among other events, attendees watched the football game and visited their old learning halls.

According to executive vice president of student life the Rev. Sean Hogan, homecoming has been a strong campus tradition since the football program was revived in 1972.

Hogan said his favorite part of homecoming weekend is seeing the alumni.

“I have officiated many of their weddings and they have come in from many places throughout the country,” Hogan said. “I enjoy having them get together very much.”

Brian Doak and his wife Emily, graduates from the class of 2001, stopped by the campus on their way to New Jersey to see family.

“We knew that homecoming was this weekend so we figured we would bring our family here,” Doak said.

Doak said he is “very proud” of the education Duquesne gave him, and wanted to show his children, Hunter and Addison, where he and his wife went to school.

Doak also said he notices a greater amount of technology and a number of advancements with buildings on campus since he was a student.

Hogan said the greatest change over the years is the location of the football field, which used to be in South Side. It has been on campus since 1997.

Joseph DiMartile and his wife Maureen, class of 1969, decided to come back for a reunion of the Kappa Sigma Phi fraternity. The fraternity is no longer on campus.

The couple has visited the school a handful of times, but this time, they were there to remember the loss of their fraternity brother and friend Francis J. Skidmore.

Skidmore was killed in the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. The DiMartiles were observing a dedication plaque outside of the law school in his memory.

Joseph noticed a few differences since his time on the Bluff.

“When I came here there was nothing between Canevin Hall and St. Martin’s except for a few abandoned houses, so it’s been a miraculous transformation,” he said.

Maureen said all of the run down homes have been replaced with beautiful structures and great landscaping. Additionally, she said the law school was the library and there was no football team. The couple went to their first Duquesne football game on Saturday afternoon.

Maureen was able to reunite with many of her Sigma Lambda Phi sisters. The sorority is no longer on campus.

“Seeing everyone this weekend is like we never left,” she said.

Maria Basanese, one of DiMartile’s sorority sisters, recalled her time at Duquesne, saying “the people and everything about the school made it such a great experience for me.”

Basanese also said the University is “almost unrecognizable” since then.

“The city and University have just been beautified,” Basanese said.

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