On Friday, Oct. 4 and Saturday, Oct. 5, St. Mary’s College of Maryland (SMCM) began the fall tradition of Hawktoberfest: a weekend for family members to come down to visit with their students and enjoy the many fun activities as well as an opportunity for alumni to return to see their old home. Over 1,000 parents, alumni and students participated in the various events throughout the weekend and enjoyed the first weekend of the year which truly felt like fall.
Sponsored by the Student Government Association’s (SGA) Programs Board, Hawktoberfest requires much planning and preparation in order to be as successful as it always is. Activities began on Friday at 12 p.m. with the Future Seahawks Lunch, Class & Tour, which provided siblings of current and former SMCM students with the opportunity to get to know the campus better, potentially sparking interest in becoming a Seahawk themselves. This was followed by the Volleyball Homecoming Game at 4 p.m. against Gallaudet University, which they won 3-1. Then students, family members and alumni enjoyed the “Taste of Southern Maryland” at the Great Hall, eating all local food.
Finally, the day ended with the Seahawks Got Talent Showcase in the Montgomery Hall Bruce Davis Theater. This included eleven acts of extremely talented individuals and groups, such as SMCMen, The Swinging Seahawks, TNA, Interchorus and many others. Grace Morin (‘22) attended the Seahawks Got Talent Showcase with her parents and younger siblings, and mentioned that it was her favorite part of the whole weekend. She continued, “I love seeing how much amazing talent there is on this campus and cheering on my friends is so much fun!”
Saturday was kicked off with the 20th Annual Petruccelli 5K at 8 a.m. which took runners through the scenic trails of Historic St. Mary’s City. This 5K is held in memory of former SMCM student John R. Petruccelli who was tragically struck and killed by a drunk driver while riding his bike on a road near the college. After this was the Hawktoberfest Welcome and Community Receptions, which included the Alumni-Student Reception and the Seahawk Family Social. This was hosted by the SMCM leadership team and allowed students, alumni and family members to meet and mingle with each other and other members of the college community.
The Alumni Reunion Games began at various locations and times and allowed Seahawk athletes of the past to reconnect with their former teammates. Women’s Lacrosse, Men’s Lacrosse, Women’s Soccer, Men’s Soccer, Baseball, Rowing, St. Mary’s Ultimate Team, Men’s Rugby, Volleyball, Field Hockey and Swimming all participated in the Alumni Reunion Games. At 12 p.m., President Tuajuanda Jordan was joined by Public Safety officers, Dean of Students Leonard Brown and others to provide information regarding an update on the public safety of the campus. The Great Bamboo Race Construction also began at 12 p.m. with the race following at 4 p.m. Teams of up to six people constructed and raced boats entirely constructed of bamboo and raced them, with monetary prizes going to the top three finishing teams. The Hawktoberfest festivities wrapped up at 5 p.m. on Saturday with the Hawktoberfest Crab Feast and Picnic. Students, family members and alumni were able to enjoy a delicious meal of either delicious local Maryland blue crabs, or a picnic dinner of fried chicken and pulled pork sandwiches.
Running continually throughout the day on Saturday were various events, such as the Boyden Gallery Exhibit in Montgomery Hall titled “Environmental Justice as Civil Right” which addressed the acute crisis of climate change and its dangerous effects on the small island nation of Antigua and Barbuda.
Hawktoberfest is a great opportunity for family members to visit with their current Seahawks and witness the beauty of the campus in the fall, as well as for alumni to return and visit with their former friends. Morin remarked that she and her family will definitely be participating in the Hawktoberfest activities again next year, stating: “I think it is my dad’s favorite part of St. Mary’s, he gets so excited.”
Once again, the turnout for Hawktoberfest 2019 was great and parents, students, and alumni really enjoyed their time on the beautiful campus. The fall tradition of Hawktoberfest will remain one of SMCM’s most popular campus events for years to come.