SXU wraps up successful 2011 Homecoming Week celebration

Alumni, students, faculty, staff and friends celebrated Saint Xavier University’s 2011 Homecoming with a week of events from Sept. 19 to Sept. 25 at its Chicago campus.

More than 900 people attended the 11th Annual Cougar 5K Run/Walk on Sept. 24. Ryan Hopper, of Cincinnati, Ohio, finished with the best men’s time, 15:41, and Amanda Janosz, of Orland Park, had the top women’s time of 20:05. More than 150 alumni, parents and friends joined President Christine Wiseman in the Alumni/Cougar Club Tailgate tent prior to the Homecoming football game, with a portion of the proceeds going toward student athletics. To top off a fantastic day, the No. 1 Cougar football team continued its undefeated season, scoring 35 first-half points and culminating in a 49-14 victory over Trinity International University.

SXU’s Service Through Action Team (S.T.A.T.) gathered about 65 students and alumni on Sept. 21 to make more than 325 lunches for area homeless shelters, such as Port Ministries, Oak Lawn PADS and P.R.I.D.E. alternative schools. S.T.A.T. has made more than 3,000 lunches for shelters during the past two years.

SXU honored its best and brightest on Sept. 22. More than 100 guests gathered to honor five Academic Distinguished Alumni and six O’Brien Student Leadership award recipients, including Chicago Police Detective John L. Folino Jr., ’02, ’05, Joni Thompson, M.A. ’92, Anthony Denovellis, MBA ’06, Darcie Brazel RN, MSN ’83, ’91 and Carol A. Keene, Ph.D. ’61. SXU’s National Alumni Association also honored three accomplished alumni at an awards luncheon on Sept. 25 – Illinois State Police Director Hiram Grau, MBA ’03, John Naisbitt ’91 and Laura LeCompte ’06.

National Alumni Association members hosted a reunion party at Gilhooley’s Grande Saloon on Sept. 23. Guests enjoyed visiting with fellow alumni and listening to the band “Happy Hour,” whose lead singer SXU alumna Lily Djurakov is a proud 2010 SXU alumna. A portion of ticket prices supported SXU student scholarships.

The celebration culminated on Sept. 25, with more than 50 people attending an Alumni Mass in McDonough Chapel.