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Alma Matters

Parental Interest: Like a Good Neighbor When Michelle Broestl enrolled at Xavier, she wasn’t aware that somebody else from her hometown of Enon, Ohio, just north of Dayton, was also going to be a freshman that fall. It’s a small town, but one went to a private school and the other to a public school, and they never met. Then her parents brought home the freshman parent directory, and she not only knew about her neighboring classmate, but the names, addresses and phone numbers of the rest of the freshman class as well.

The office of parent relations began publishing the directory last year as a way to help parents feel closer to the University, their students and each other.

“We’re really striving to make parents feel more connected to the University and other parents,” says Dianne Fisk, director for parent relations, “and we felt this was a great tool to accomplish that.”

“It’s a good resource for parents and students,” says Jim Broestl, a 1972 graduate and Michelle’s father. “When my daughter came home on break, she used it to make contact with people from her dorm and classes. And it gave us the tool to meet other freshman parents in our area.”

The directory is given out to parents at orientation over the summer. For more information about the directory or to receive a copy, contact the office of parent relations at 513 745-4266 or 800 344-4698, ext. 4266.

Guided Tours David Bird and his wife, Mary, traveled throughout Europe on their own. But when they decided to go back again, they wanted something different. They found it in the guided alumni trips offered each year by the national alumni association.

“The price was even better than if we had gone on our own,” says David Bird. “It’s also a nice change of pace to have a vacation where you’re catered to.”

The Birds went to Greece and Spain on the college trips, which provide educational programs along with guided tours.

“There were lots of things I was informed about that I never would have learned on my own,” says the 1967 graduate. “It’s a minicourse.”

The trips for 2003 include: St. Petersburg, Russia, which offers stops at St. Isaac’s Cathedral and the royal residences of Czar Nicholas II and Catherine the Great. Dates: Feb. 22-March 1. Cost: $1,995 per person.

Land on the D-Day invasion site at Omaha Beach, visit Monet’s house, Mont St. Michel and picturesque Lisieux while on this trip to Normandy. Dates: April 7-15. Cost: $2,395 per person.

Cruise Germany’s legendary Rhine River, stopping at the Gutenberg Museum, Beethoven’s house, the Heidelberg castle and the Black Forest. Dates: Sept. 30-Oct. 8. Cost: $2,495 per person.

Sample Italy’s famous Chianti wine district, as well as the Leaning Tower of Pisa and more. Dates: Oct. 12-20. Cost: $2,395 per person. For more information or to make reservations, call the alumni association at 513 745-3337 or 800 344-4698, ext. 5. You can also visit Alumni Holidays’ web site at www.ahitravel.com.

 

Communion Camaraderie Last year, 16 alumni chapters across the nation participated in the Xavier Communion Sunday—a day when alumni gathered together for fellowship and partaking of the Eucharist, knowing that others around the country were doing the same. Originally called Universal Communion Sundays, the event was mainly for alumni from the Cincinnati chapter to gather together to honor the winner of the St. Francis Xavier medal on the Sunday closest to the saint’s feast day. Today the event includes chapters from across the nation, ranging from California to Florida, from Minnesota to Maryland. Even though the medal recipient is now honored at a separate event, Communion Sunday is still celebrated near the saint’s feast day. (This year, Communion Sunday is on Dec. 8 to avoid falling on Thanksgiving weekend.) The national alumni association is interested in having as many chapters participate in Communion Sunday as possible. For more information about the event, call 800 344-4698, ext. 5.

Chapter Spotlight: San Francisco Bob Brock’s love affair with opera began in the middle of monkeys, giraffes and zebras. When he was a teenager, he was invited by a friend to attend the summer opera program, which was held at the Cincinnati Zoo.

“I loved the music, the pageantry, the color and the grandness of it,” says the 1957 graduate. “Opera is the one place where all the arts come together because it has music, voice, ballet and drama.”

Brock now shares his lifelong passion with others by organizing annual opera outings for the San Francisco alumni chapter. The next opera event is Turandot by Puccini at the San Francisco opera house on Sunday, Sept. 22. Set in Peking, Turandot is a story of passion and cruelty, slavery and intrigue.

Princess Turandot is being sung by soprano Jane Eaglen, who recently appeared on PBS’s “Live from the Met.” Artist Dave Hockney created the stage design.

“I’m hoping that people will perhaps catch the spark and be as excited about opera and enjoy it as much as I do,” Brock says.

Event of the Quarter: Pops Goes the Chapter The most popular summer event for the Cincinnati alumni chapter had everyone singing along to hits by The Beatles and Elton John at the “Pops Goes British” event at Riverbend Music Center on July 13.

The Cincinnati Pops performed the modern songs alongside numbers from musicals such as Phantom of the Opera, Sunset Boulevard, The Mikado, Jesus Christ Superstar and Evita.

“We’re always exploring new possibilities for events, and we decided to try this one,” says Mary Ann Schomaker, assistant director of alumni programs. “The alumni loved it. It was great music in a great atmosphere.”

Before the show, 360 alumni gathered under a tent—a large tent—for a Polynesian chicken dinner and a chance to mingle with other graduates. They then watched the show from seats under a pavilion at the outdoor amphitheater. With so many people at one event, it was like a minihomecoming.

“We liked it very much,” says Bob Driehaus, a 1950 graduate. “My wife and I thought the dinner was good and the concert was excellent. There was a multitude of Xavier people and friends there. It was a nice social affair.” Contact the Cincinnati chapter for future events through the national alumni association at 513 745-3333.

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