Cardinals Come Home
September 25, 2018
Hundreds of St. John Fisher College alumni flocked to campus for Homecoming Weekend 2018. Among them were Bob Moline ’68, Kevin Kane ’88, Therese Steinhoff ’98, and Lisa Famiglietti ’08. Each had varied experiences on campus, but there was one theme that ran strong in their lives at Fisher: family.
“I was able to meet some of my best friends at college. Our lives have taken us all over the country, but that doesn’t matter. When we get together, it is like no time has passed,” said Famiglietti, who has returned for reunion weekends eight out of the 10 years she’s been an alumna.
With an impressive resume of volunteerism in the community, professional accomplishments through her position at WXXI, and service to the College, it’s no surprise Famiglietti was among those honored at the Ten Under 10 Awards.
“Not only do I love Fisher, but I love Rochester. I didn’t know how special Rochester was to me until I moved away,” she said. “Most days you just go about your business and think that no one is noticing the work you do, so to be recognized for my contribution to my workplace and community is really special.”
No stranger to campus, she remains an ever-involved alumna, attending networking events, football games, and other College activities.
“Seeing the students walking to and from class now, I sometimes wonder if they know how this place is going to change their lives and how lucky we are to have a Fisher family,” she said.
For Moline, Homecoming Weekend brought an equally momentous occasion, as he celebrated his 50th reunion. Among the activities was a reception at the President’s Residence and the Class of 1968 Dinner and Pinning Ceremony.
“Being on campus is always a great experience, but to be there with lifelong and long-lost classmates made it special,” he said. “The memories generated laughs and many sorrowful moments, as there was probably never a more tumultuous year in our country’s history than 1968.”
While Moline spent nearly a decade on campus working in the Office of Institutional Advancement, he still marvels at the changes Fisher has undergone since his days as an undergraduate.
“When we graduated, there were eight buildings in total with two small white houses,” he recalled. “To see the campus today with all the buildings and facilities in places that seem to be perfect fits gives us all a great sense of pride.”
As an adjunct professor, Kane keeps well-informed of campus happenings and is a frequent mentor to Fisher students looking to break into the communications and public relations fields. But returning as an alumnus for Homecoming was an opportunity to reflect on his time in college with peers, reminiscing about the location of the old Basil Hall pond, or pointing out spots where they would sit on the lawn for classes on particularly warm days.
“The best part was attending mass in the new chapel with two of the priests who helped shape us as better people who hopefully are making a difference today: Fr. Joe Trovato and Fr. Paul English,” he said. “Fr. Joe’s sermons especially resonated with today’s students ... and us older folks, too!”
Steinhoff, a resident of St. Paul, Minnesota, returned to Fisher for the first time in a decade.
“Walking up the stairs at Haffey brought back so many great memories,” said Steinhoff, who lived in the building all four years of her college career. “Even though a lot of the campus has changed, the residence hall retained the same look and feel of when I lived there. I am still close with a lot of the people I lived with. It was where we met, lived, and learned together.”
Steinhoff said it was nice to take a break from life’s busy activities to catch up with her friends and meet their families over food and drinks at Shooters and during the Alumni Brunch in Cleary Auditorium.
“We did not have cell phones and the internet was in its infancy when we were in college, so hanging out was our ‘FaceTime,’” she said. “Even today there is no replacement for lounging around and talking face to face with your friends. I like that we were able to pick up where we left off. The dynamics of the group hadn’t changed at all.”
Calling Fisher her “happy place,” she believes the opportunities Fisher afforded her and her classmates have served them well in life, personally and professionally.
“For me, it was the people that I learned and lived alongside that made my Fisher experience the great one it was,” she said.
That’s a feeling Kane experienced a decade earlier.
“Once a Fisher person, always one in spirit and service (and maybe a little bit in humor too),” he said. “Though most of the alums I keep in contact with are distant in location, they remain close in heart and are family...always.”