Tag Archives: Reunion Weekend

Mentor Gains Confidence to Lead (Reunion Weekend 2014)

8 Oct

In honor of Reunion Weekend Oct. 17-19, we’re spotlighting this year’s affinity receptions, which recognize former Orientation Leader alumni and those who were involved with the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA). Here, an Orientation Leader alumnus shares what the group meant to him. Remember: All alumni are welcome at Reunion Weekend 2014, so register today. Registration ends Oct. 10!

Matt Horvath (EDU ’03)

Matt Horvath (EDU ’03)

In the summer of 1999, I remember being extremely nervous about attending college, as it was a massive transition in my life. Premiere DePaul changed that! The mentors were energetic, my group was friendly and I became comfortable with the campus. Plus, my eyes were opened to diversity through the Mile Walkers theatre troupe and I was able to experience dorm-life for the first time. When the orientation program was over, I couldn’t wait to go back and begin my freshman year at DePaul.

Two years later, I became a mentor through the Orientation Leader program. I learned to work as part of the incredible team that was our 2001 Premiere DePaul staff. We bonded during the 70-hours-per-week training period (and over countless icebreakers!). Then, while in the process of leading multiple orientation sessions every week, we picked each other up when our energy levels were running on fumes. I have plenty of fond memories with the 2001 Premiere staff both inside and outside of the orientation sessions.

My summer as an Orientation Leader was the first time that I truly felt I could succeed as an educator. I knew that I had the work ethic and organizational skills but was worried that my introverted personality would prevent me from being an effective educator. Facilitating discussions, performing in skits, and guiding tours of the campus helped to break me out of my shell and give me confidence to lead. I also became familiar with the rewarding feeling of seeing my orientation group members excited about becoming a Blue Demon (just like I felt in 1999). This is the same rewarding feeling I get when students make a breakthrough or tell me that they have been accepted into college.

I hope to see everybody at Reunion Weekend and the Orientation Leader reunion on Saturday, Oct. 18. I am looking forward to sharing stories with mentors from many different eras, and reconnecting with the 2001 Premiere staff.

– Matt Horvath (EDU ’03)

Co-Chair, Orientation Leader Reunion Committee

How PRSSA Connected Me to DePaul (Reunion Weekend 2014)

1 Oct

In honor of Reunion Weekend Oct. 17-19, we’re spotlighting this year’s affinity receptions, which recognize former Orientation Leader alumni and those who were involved with the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA). Here, a PRSSA alumna shares what the group meant to her. Remember: All alumni are welcome at Reunion Weekend 2014, so register today! Early bird pricing ends Oct. 3 (with registration closing Oct. 10).

Nicole Young

Nicole Young (CMN ’08)

As you’re preparing to enter college, people you know and love and even acquaintances tell you to enjoy every moment, because “those are the best days of your life.” In college, you connected at some level to your alma mater—whether it was the friends you made in Munroe Hall, your first home away from home, the professor who taught you to utilize your natural talents in communication, or simply being a part of a diverse community in the great city of Chicago. Those types of connections leave you with a smile and sense of nostalgia at the mere mention of DePaul.

As a member of the Public Relations Student Society of America, I remember hoping to learn from the executive board and members, boost my resume and secure a real public relations position after graduation.

Along with my fellow executive board members, we stumbled to the realization that the PRSSA we had been members of for two years was not actually recognized by the parent organization. Collaborating as a strong, diverse and motivated team, we worked tirelessly to communicate the obstacle to our constituents, inspire support both internally and externally, and strive toward the goal of establishing our organization while laying the foundation for those to come.

Little did I know at the time that I’d learn and accomplish more than I had hoped all while making lifelong friends and establishing the first recognized PRSSA DePaul chapter. As I look back, six years later, I still feel pride for the team that came together, the goal we accomplished, and the continuous success the organization and members have established since. I invite my fellow PRSSA members to join me on Oct. 18 for Reunion Weekend to reconnect, network and share memories!

– Nicole Young (CMN ’08)

Co-Chair, PRSSA Reunion Committee

An Orientation Leader Looks Back (Reunion Weekend 2014)

26 Sep

In honor of Reunion Weekend Oct. 17-19, we’re spotlighting this year’s affinity receptions, which recognize former Orientation Leader alumni and those who were involved with the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA). Here, an Orientation Leader alumna shares what the group meant to her. Remember: All alumni are welcome at Reunion Weekend 2014, so register today. Early bird pricing ends Oct. 3!

Alumna Sarah Shields

Sarah Shields (EDU ’12)

My experience at DePaul University was—to try and sum it all up in one word—amazing. I learned so much about myself, and by participating in so many extracurricular activities, I found I had a passion for working in student affairs! Thanks to so many wonderful staff mentors, I grew so much as a person, student and professional during my time there. Out of everything I was lucky enough to be a part of at DePaul, hands down my most impactful experience was being an Orientation Leader for two summers.

In 2008 and 2009, I was fortunate enough to be chosen to serve as an OL alongside some of the brightest and kindest students from across the university. Those two summers taught me not only about DePaul and all it offers, but also how to give entertaining tours through Lincoln Park while walking backward, how to interact with stakeholders (parents, academic advisors, etc.), how to execute the best icebreakers (candy is key!), and how wonderful it is to create friendships that will last far beyond those few months.

The moments we spent hanging out in the green room of the MPR, playing cards and pumping each other up at the start of each orientation session, were some of my favorite of each summer. However, so many funny stories came out of the time spent outside of actually working—the hour-long bus ride back from our retreat in Wisconsin that turned into a five-hour trek through flooded highways, numerous late-night trips to the beach that turned into epic dance parties, and even spending a day together at Six Flags! There is something special that happens when you work that closely with people for an entire summer—a bond that can’t really be explained or replicated anywhere else. And I am so thankful I had the opportunity to meet and learn from so many fantastic people!

I cannot say enough wonderful things about my time as an Orientation Leader. I know everyone I worked with those summers would agree that we had the time of our lives. I am so looking forward to reconnecting with all of my orientation friends in Chicago for Reunion Weekend. Hope to see you there!

– Sarah Shields (EDU ’12)

Co-Chair, Orientation Leader Reunion Committee

Reunion Weekend: Which Group Defined Your DePaul Experience?

25 Sep

Clare Thomas (EDU ’05)

In honor of Reunion Weekend Oct. 18-20, we’re spotlighting this year’s affinity receptions, which recognize Honors Program alumni and those who were involved with University Ministry Community Service. Here, a community service alumna shares what the group meant to her. Remember: All alumni are welcome at Reunion Weekend 2013, so register today!

If you are reading this post, chances are something at DePaul hooked you. Maybe you dove into your field of study as you prepared your career, maybe you met your future husband or wife, or maybe you found your calling being part of a campus organization. For me, it was University Ministry Community Service. I enjoyed popping into the UMIN office for a few minutes to chat with classmates or staff. As part of the DePaul Community Service Association, I looked forward to our weekly meetings featuring discussion and food. During my time as an undergraduate, I loved being part of the UMIN family.

When I received an email earlier this year asking if I would help be part of the UMIN Community Service Reunion, I could not refuse. I had time available and the responsibilities seemed manageable. Moreover, I felt contacting fellow alumni was the least I could do for a group that defined my DePaul experience.

In attending the UMIN Community Service affinity reunion, I am most looking forward to catching up with people. My peers and the staff at University Ministry inspired and challenged me. I am curious to see where life has taken them and to hear about their experiences since leaving DePaul. I know I could find all of this information on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter or Google. A reunion via social networking, however, fails to entice me. A reunion where I can actually talk to people? I’m in!

Hope to see you at the UMIN Community Service Reception on Saturday, Oct. 19! P.S. Who is bringing the hummus?

– Clare Thomas (EDU ’05)

So You Think You Know DePaul – September 2013

20 Sep

SYTYKDP SeptIt’s just one month until DePaul University’s Reunion Weekend 2013, which is coming up Oct. 18-20! In honor of the event, this month’s photo trivia focuses on somewhere alumni may pass (and can tour!) while on campus for Reunion Weekend events. The space, which just opened this fall, was designed by a world-renowned architectural firm to focus on openness and transparency, which helps bring the excitement of what happens inside the building out to the neighboring community. Which DePaul college is housed in this new building?

Happy guessing! And remember these trivia rules:

  • To enter, post your answer in the comments section by clicking “Leave a Comment” below.
  • The contest will be open Friday, Sept. 20, from 11:30 a.m. Central through 3 p.m. Central.
  • All of the correct answers will be compiled and a winner from that group will be drawn at random to win the prize.

Also, don’t forget to register for Reunion Weekend. We’ll look forward to seeing you Oct. 18-20!

Reunion Weekend: Here and Done and Here Again

28 Oct

DePaul alumni and guests enjoying the Reunion Dinner and Celebration

Reunion Weekend 2010 is over — but what weekend it was! More than 800 alumni and friends stopped by reunion events over the course of this three-day celebration, Oct. 15-17. Thanks to everyone who was able to attend!

Here are a few quick highlights:

  • During the traditional Reunion Luncheon on Oct. 15, over 70 graduates from the Class of 1960 and earlier were welcomed into DePaul University’s Fifty Year Club.
  • Later that same day, 150 recent graduates partied at Rockit Bar & Grill in River North for the Young Alumni Reunion.
  • On Saturday, Oct. 16, hundreds of alumni and guests filed into Chicago’s beautiful Drake Hotel for a cocktail reception, three-course meal and remarks from DePaul’s president. Along with graduates celebrating a reunion year anniversary, alumni of fraternities and sororities at DePaul also reunited at a special cocktail reception — then joined the full brigade for dinner.
  • Sunday included the Reunion & Family Weekend Mass, as well as the Reunion & Family Weekend Brunch. During brunch, DMaC, a student-run men’s a capella group at DePaul, serenaded alumni and friends as they enjoyed the closing event.

Were you there? If so, we might have caught you on camera! Take a look through the Reunion Weekend Photo Gallery and see if you spot yourself. And if you couldn’t make it this year, browse the albums to see what all the fuss is about!

And even though this Reunion Weekend has come and gone, there’s always next year! Mark you calendar for Reunion Weekend 2011: Oct. 14-16.

Of course, alumni are always invited to the many special events planned throughout the year. Be sure to check the alumni events calendar regularly for DePaul activities in your area. See you soon!

Chester Bolek (COM ’49, MS ’73) Looks Back

13 Oct

“I’m one of the really old seniors who call Chesterfield Villas home,” jokes 90-year-old Chester Bolek (COM ’49, MS ’73). Chester grew up in Chicago’s “Little Poland”  neighborhood and, encouraged by his parents Frank and Rose Bolek, chose DePaul University for college. “I have an ongoing love affair with my school… even though I graduated over half a century ago,” he says, “[DePaul] molded me into a clear-thinking person.”

Recently, Chester shared with DePaul about another “ongoing love affair” — this one with his wife of more than 65 years, Dorothy Bolek. The couple met at a DePaul dance, and Chester tells the story best himself:


64 E. Lake Building
(circa 1949)

64 E. Lake St. – Chicago, Ill: These are not just street numbers — mere digits. They are the focal point of my life. This was DePaul University’s address in 1941. There I acquired the fabric which allowed me to evaluate the events in my life and make decisions based on Christian principles in a materialistic world. 

Great as all that was, there is something that surpasses all that in importance. I ment my future wife, Dorothy, there at a DePaul dance — same address — on October 17, 1941. Dorothy was there as the date of one of my friends… . What can I say? She was good looking — major correction — she still is. Looked like Alice Faye, the movie star. Remember her?

My date grumbled somewhat! I danced a lot with Dorothy. After the dance I suggested we go to the Hotel Gramere overlooking Garfield Park. There they had a lounge, The Glass House, which was a cool place. Well, we went there and to my surprise the leader of the band was an acquaintance of mine… . I then introduced him to the group. Talk about making an impression — I just lucked out!

This was the beginning of a World War II romance, and it all began at 64 E. Lake St., Chicago, Ill.

This coming weekend, Oct. 15-17, we’re looking forward to hearing more memories from DePaul alumni during Reunion Weekend 2010. Phone registration is still open for the weekend’s many events; simply call the Office of Alumni Relations at (800) 437-1898. If you can’t make it back this weekend, but want to share a DePaul memory, post a comment here or send an email to dpalumni@depaul.edu.

Thanks, Chester, for sharing such a lovely snippet from your life!