May 09, 2011
There’s something about college friendships that tend to withstand
the passage of time.
For many of us, coming home isn’t simply about returning to a
specific place. It’s about getting back together with the people
with whom we shared our laughter, hopes and dreams in the days when
the future seemed to go on forever.
In many ways they were the best of times, and for more than 70
alumnae of Notre Dame College, those days came vibrantly back to
life at the Notre Dame College Homecoming, held on Saturday, April
30 on the Staten Island campus of St. John’s University.
There were hugs and kisses, smiles and laughter, and even a few
tears as many of the women embraced friends they hadn’t seen in
decades. It didn’t make a difference where their lives had taken
them in the intervening years, because for a few hours they were
back where it all began.
“It’s always wonderful when these alumnae come back to
campus,” said Nicholas A. Legakis ’97SVC, ’07MPS, Director,
Institutional Advancement, Staten Island campus. “They know that
they’ve played an important part in the history of St. John’s, and
they’re really proud of that heritage.”
Coming home was special for everyone, particularly for the Class of
1961, whose members were celebrating the 50th anniversary of their
graduation. Each alumna from this signature class received a red
rose and a commemorative pin to acknowledge this important
milestone in her life.
“I was thrilled to see over half of the Class of 1961 come back,”
remarked Class Chairperson Ann Marie Alexander '61NDC. “We
all had a wonderful time at Notre Dame and received a wonderful
education. We've enjoyed every minute of today and of our years
together as alumnae.”
One of the defining characteristics of these very special women is
the loyalty that they have developed to the memory of their beloved
college and their commitment to keeping the spirit of Notre Dame
alive at St. John’s. For many of them, the opportunity to come
together and relive good times with good friends is something they
look forward to every year.
Homecoming Committee Chairperson Marianne Cummins ’60NDC was quick
to note that the chance to see her fellow graduates enjoying
themselves on the campus they knew so well as students was a
satisfaction unto itself.
“This was a spectacular afternoon,” she noted happily. “The Class
of '61 really outdid themselves with their exceptional attendance
and the spirit of their class has just been wonderful. I encourage
the anniversary classes to come back frequently, and not just every
five years, so that we can continue to strengthen our
Joining the alumnae were Alyssa Ferraiuolo '15Ed and Kara
Gavin '15Ed who are this year’s recipients of the Notre Dame
College Alumnae Association Sr. Helen Flynn Endowed Scholarship.
The scholarship is named after Sr. Helen Flynn, C.N.D., Foundress
of Notre Dame College, and is awarded annually to incoming freshmen
planning to pursue a degree on St. John’s Staten Island
The future students expressed their appreciation to the alumnae for
establishing and supporting a scholarship that helps to ease some
of the financial burdens for talented young people wishing to
become a part of the St. John’s family. “I'm very excited and
honored to have the opportunity to attend St. John's University,”
said Gavin, “and the Sr. Helen Flynn Scholarship is
really making this dream possible.”
At the end of the day, many alumnae were making plans to get
together at similar events in the future.
“It was wonderful to see all of the women enjoying their reunion,”
said Joan Mazza Dobis ’66NDC, President of the Notre Dame College
Alumnae Association. “We were all reliving memories, renewing
friendships and reminiscing about past experiences. We’re already
looking forward to next year!”
Notre Dame College served the Staten Island community as a premier
Catholic women’s college for nearly 40 years, ultimately becoming a
part of St. John’s University in 1971.