July 6-10 was a fun filled, action packed week that flew by in a blur. One thing is for sure: the Gallaudet spirit was apparent everywhere--from the booths to the pep rally to the Gallaudet sponsored breakfast. Since there were four booths from Gallaudet shared by several departments (Alumni Relations/GUAA/Development, College of Professional Studies and Outreach (CPSO)/Admissions, Social Work/Gallaudet Academic Technology and Library Services, and Clerc Center), it felt like being at the Jordan Student Academic Center on Kendall Green since the booths were always filled with alumni and friends stopping by.
On Thursday evening, right before the College Bowl, Gallaudet held the first-ever pep rally in the lobby where the event was held, and a healthy sized crowd of alumni showed up. Attendees were greeted by our *Mighty Bison, who walked around handing out shakers, shaking hands, and posing for pictures. Master of Ceremonies Sam Sonnenstrahl, ’79 & G-’84, director of alumni relations/GUAA executive director, opened the program by taking alumni on a trip down memory lane with the famous "Bison Song," which was performed by Jennifer Ann Cook, ’94, and Cindy Hall D’Angelo, ’98. It was clear the crowd thoroughly enjoyed it, judging by the exuberant shouts and chants that accompanied the "Bison Song" signers, who modified it to fit with the concept of the College Bowl. Jonathan McMillan, ’10, was the drummer and did an outstanding job.
With the crowd fired up, the College Bowl team coach, Robert Weinstock, ’77 & G-’83, introduced his team, which consisted of Gabriel J. Paulone, Meredith M. Peruzzi, David T. Uzzell, Allison J. Weiner, Colin M. Whited, and Pia Marie Paulone, '07, assistant coach. The crowd waved the shakers when the team came on stage. President Hurwitz then congratulated the team members and wish them good luck. The crowd grew to approximately 400 alumni and friends by the time the competition ended, and went wild every time Gallaudet got a correct answer. It was a beautiful sight, seeing those blue and yellow/white ribbons of threads waving from the shakers in the audience, the bold colors of Buff and Blue.
It is nice to think that the pep rally boosted the team’s already healthy confidence and spirit because after a really hot, gut-wrenching competition that caused more than a few sweaty palms, Gallaudet won by a mere two points. Later, the team members said that the pep rally did inspire them to try even harder to represent Gallaudet well. They did a beautiful job of maintaining their cool throughout the entire competition.
The next morning was the Gallaudet sponsored breakfast. The vibe was jubilant, following Gallaudet’s win in the College Bowl the night before, so it was a great way to celebrate and start the day. Over 300 people showed up for breakfast, again greeted by the Mighty Bison, much to their delight. The Bison also kept many of the children entertained by playing with them and posing for pictures. As they stood in line waiting to greet Board of Trustees Chair Benjamin Soukup, H-’00, trustee Harvey Goodstein, ’65, President Hurwitz, First Lady Vicki Hurwitz, Provost Stephen Weiner, ’78, and GUAA President Alyce Reynolds, ’76 & G-’78, they filled out raffle tickets for door prizes and socialized. It was a very lively scene!
Sam Sonnenstrahl kicked off the program by having Melissa Dragnac Hawk, ’98 & G-’01, accompanied by drummer Jonathan McMillan, perform the "Bison Song." It was a terrific way to open the program! The audience absolutely loved the show as Melissa did a stellar job of modifying the song to fit with the NAD theme. Jonathan really beefed up the beat, making it a very spirited moment. Once the audience had settled down, President Hurwitz gave a brief update on Gallaudet and thanked key people for doing their part for NAD. Then there was the awarding of door prizes, led by Patsy Bowman, ’78, assistant director of annual giving, and Abby Drake, ’97 & G-’99, assistant director of alumni relations. Abby explained that the planning committee had forgotten one tiny detail: a bowl to put the raffles in, and decided to "borrow" the trophy that the Gallaudet team won in the College Bowl. This was met with laughter, and she thanked the College Bowl team for "loaning" it to them. Patsy held up the trophy, filled to capacity with raffle tickets, and three door prizes were given: a can opener, which Harvey Corson, ’64, claimed; a water bottle with the Gallaudet logo, claimed by Leonard Peacock, ’55, and a beach towel with the Gallaudet logo, which went to Randall Haugh, Jr.
It is easy to say it was certainly an event-filled week. It is also easy to see that Gallaudet was well represented and that everyone was thrilled by the occasion to come together.
*(By the way, for those who are wondering, Steve Florio, ’92, was the Mighty Bison!)
Posted: 2 Aug 2010