A Walk Down Alumni Alley

Alumni return to campus for homecoming and reconnect while tailgating on Alumni Alley


A walk down Alumni Alley greets you with familiar groups, like the President’s Leadership Program, the Marching Captains, and Greek Life organizations. After grabbing free swag, including a foam finger, a Christopher Newport University bottle opener, and car magnets, you are all decked out to tailgate and celebrate Homecoming with students, faculty, and alumni.

Alumni Alley is organized by the Office of Alumni Relations. Baxter Vendrick, the Senior Director of Alumni Engagement, listed the organizations with a spot on Alumni Alley, “This row is designated for the Office of Alumni Relations, our Alumni Anchor Society, Alumni Chapters, academic departments who are inviting alumni back home to tailgate with them, and various organized groups of alumni, some Greek Organizations, some University Fellows, et cetera.”

For alumni of the Marching Captains, Homecoming is a time to show support and share stories. Kyriakos Mossaides, ‘20, appreciated the bond he felt with past and current Marching Captains: “I feel a strong connection to the Marching Captains. Coming out to support the band…coming back, it feels like home.”

Meagan Brown, ‘06, returned to share and listen to stories with other Marching Captains: “As a charter member, it’s fun to see the younger generations that have continued the traditions that we started almost 20 years ago. They’re all so much younger than me…but it’s fun to share stories and talk to them about what’s changed and what it was like back then.” 

Homecoming also brought together members of various Greek Organizations. Sisters of Alpha Phi and Phi Mu shared their appreciation for Greek Life in their college experience. Ruthanne Reed, ‘00, Alpha Phi, expressed her gratitude for the small Greek community that she experienced during her time at CNU: “When we were in school, [the Greek Community] was a lot smaller…we got to know each other across Greek lines. I’m standing here as an Alpha Phi with Phi Mus and Gamma Phi Betas, and I can say some of my best friends are Phi Mus and Gamma Phi Betas and Alpha Phis.”

Kasi Logan, ‘03, Phi Mu, agreed with Reed: “We’re looking at 20 something years since we’ve been in college…no matter how many days or months go by that we haven’t talked, we still pick right back up where we left off.”

Nikki Winkler, ‘01, Phi Mu, became emotional when speaking of her friend that passed away, expressing that their friendship formed a bond between Phi Mu and Alpha Phi: “One of the best pieces, for me, was that my best friend went Alpha Phi. At the time, I was heartbroken over it, but what it did was it built bridges between the two organizations that could never be replaced. We lost her last October and we still remember everyday…She’s with us all every day and Angie Archer was a phenomenal sister and Greek. But the legacy remains and the more I talk about her the more it keeps her alive.”

“No matter the letters on your chest, we’re all sisters together,” Logan said, emphasizing the strength of the bonds that Greek Life creates. 

Socializing at the President’s Leadership Program Alumni tent was Chirs Inzirillo, ‘09. Along with being a former PLP student, Inzirillo was engaged on campus as a Residential Advisor, a PLP Leadership Adventure Facilitator, a member of CNU tonight, and a staff writer for the Captain’s Log. Despite all of his campus engagements, Inzirillo felt that it was the relationships formed through PLP that encouraged him to return for Homecoming: “I feel like a lot of my core CNU relationships happened to be with other Leadership Program participants. When I think about PLP specifically, the relationships really made it special.” 

Christopher Newport University created an atmosphere for its students to find lifelong relationships and establish a connection with campus. While all alumni had a different experience on campus, the sentiment seemed to be the same: Captains are family. Marching Captain, Kymberley Brown, ‘06, confirmed this statement, “It’s the community, the family feel that CNU has that makes us want to come back and be a part of it.”