Ravenscroft alumni made a joyous return to the campus community and an all-alumni reunion event during Homecoming on Oct. 7. They were warmly welcomed to the family-friendly Fall Community Event and Homecoming dinner, held on the Campus Green in the afternoon, and from there had the opportunity to explore and enjoy a number of ways to reconnect and celebrate their alma mater.
“We knew, heading into the first full-community Homecoming in three years, that we needed our events to be as inclusive and appealing as possible to the full range of our alumni,” Director of Donor Relations Emily Espenshade said. “We were thrilled that the timing worked out so that alumni and their families could participate in the Fall Community Event, and we were especially excited to host the inaugural event in the Alumni Hall of Fame suite in the Olander Center for Student Life at the A.E. Finley Activity Center.”
The fun kicked off alongside current families, faculty and staff at 3 p.m. with the Fall Community Event, which featured inflatables, games and crafts, snacks and a taco bar dinner. Alumni were also encouraged to stop by home athletic events — including volleyball, soccer, tennis and field hockey — to cheer on the Ravens and, for some, remember their own days wearing the green and gold.
At 6:30, alumni and their families were welcomed into the Alumni Hall of Fame suite in the new Olander Center for Student Life at the A.E. Finley Activity Center. The Alumni Social gave attendees time to mix and mingle, tour the new facility, enjoy light refreshments, grab some Ravenscroft swag and get hyped up for the varsity football game against Charlotte Latin.
Some alumni and families stayed in Olander to watch the game from the suite — whose wide windows and balcony are a key feature of the alumni-focused space — while others returned to the stadium to watch the game from the stands.
For some alumni, this year’s Homecoming and the Alumni Social marked their first visit back to campus in years. Classmates Nat Walker ’78, Jock Brakebill ’78 and Rob Christian ’78, for example, enjoyed touring the Olander Center together.
Noting that coming to the event was a “spur-of-the-moment decision,” Walker said he was glad he and his two friends had attended. “We had a great time,” he said. “We hadn’t been there in a long time, so it was really fun to walk around and see how much everything has changed. The facilities are so nice. We enjoyed reminiscing and getting some nice swag. It was definitely worth it!”
The Class of 1982, celebrating their 40th reunion, enjoyed a dinner off-campus at Winston’s Grille before joining their fellow Ravens for the social and football game.
“We have always felt our class was something special, and the number of attendees — 47 classmates and spouses — is a testament to the closeness we feel even after 40-plus years,” class correspondent William Gaither ’82, who helped plan the event, said. “Betsy Mamoulides Hockaday ’82 led us in an ice-breaker session where we each had an opportunity to bring the class up to speed on what we've been up to over the last 40 years. Many felt that was the best part of the reunion. I want to thank Betsy, Charlie Corpening ’82, Adam Jones ’82, Bill Finley ’82 and other classmates who networked and reached out to each other and helped in making this such a successful event.”
As alumni look forward to more milestone events on the horizon — including recognizing longtime varsity football coach Ned Gonet’s retirement from coaching at the end of the season and the 50th reunion of Ravenscroft’s first graduating class in 2023 — the entire school community celebrates their many contributions and ongoing support.
“We are excited by the renewed alumni energy and look forward to both new and familiar opportunities for engagement ahead,” Espenshade concluded. “Ravenscroft is fortunate to have such incredibly talented and committed alumni who serve as ambassadors — informally and formally — for the school every day.”