The Charger Blog

Homecoming Celebrates Charger Community

Homecoming 2023: #TheBlueout was about friends, food, and football – and so much more. It was a fun and meaningful way for Chargers to reconnect with former classmates, make new friends, and celebrate what brings them all together: a shared sense of pride for being a Charger.

October 19, 2023

By Renee Chmiel, Office of Marketing and Communications

The University community cheered on the Chargers on the gridiron.
The University community cheered on the Chargers on the gridiron.

Maria Richardson ’98 M.S. had lots to celebrate when she arrived at Homecoming. She couldn’t wait to experience the sense of community she feels at the University, and she was also celebrating a milestone: the 25th anniversary of graduating with her master’s degree.

Richardson endeavors to be a part of the Homecoming festivities every year. She enjoys being connected to her alma mater – she attended the University’s Centennial celebration in Boca Raton, Florida – and she showed her Charger spirit at a football game last month. She was excited to cheer the team on again at Homecoming, and to reconnect with her fellow Chargers.

“I’ve seen such a phenomenal change at the University in the past 25 years since I earned my master’s degree,” said Richardson. “I see such a sense of community at the University of New Haven, and I haven’t seen this kind of community at other schools. I love it here.”

                        Chargers Marching Band
The rain didn’t dampen the enthusiasm of the Chargers Marching Band.
‘We have so much pride in this school’

The rain didn’t dampen the enthusiasm of alumni such as Richardson who came from near and far to be a part of Homecoming 2023: #TheBlueout. They were joined by current students, as well as faculty and staff, who were looking forward to reconnecting with old friends, making new ones, and having a good time.

Reece Gleadle ’14 made the trip from the Seattle area to attend Homecoming. She says she prioritizes Homecoming – she’s been to each one she could attend since graduating, and she says it’s always a great time. Many of her friends are from the East Coast, and she looks forward to the annual opportunity to connect with them. And, as the president of the University’s Alumni Association Board of Directors, she was excited to connect with her fellow board members.

“I’ve rediscovered how extraverted I am!” she said with a laugh as she chatted with a friend and former classmate. “I buzz on this energy. My uncle is an alum too, and when we entered the tent, he saw his former teammates, and he was so excited. That’s the vibe here – you see people and catch up. We have so much pride in this school.”

‘Being part of this tight-knit University community’

The Charger family includes many Charger families – those that include several Chargers and, even, several generations of Chargers. Lynne Resnick ’94, ’96 M.S. is a proud member of a family that includes three generations of Chargers. Her late father was an alum, she earned two degrees at the University, and her daughters are now students.

                        Chargers enjoyed connecting with each other during Homecoming.
Chargers enjoyed connecting with each other during Homecoming.

Resnick is a program coordinator for the Provost’s Office, and she’s been working at the University for more than a decade. She celebrated her Charger Pride with a variety of familiar faces – colleagues, students, and, even, the members of the football team she was friends with when she was a student. But she was especially excited to share Homecoming with one Charger in particular: her daughter Paige Resnick ’24, a health sciences major.

“I’m excited to be here and that Paige is a part of the University I love,” said Resnick. “I love it here, and I feel supported in my role at the University and as an alum,” she said. “People are willing to help, and I see people who remember my father (David Hennessey ’77 MBA, ’98 M.S.). He lives on because I’m here, and I’m proud of that. I’m representing my dad, too.”

For Resnick, connecting with her fellow Chargers at Homecoming was a fun and meaningful way for her to feel like she was a part of something bigger than her. It enabled her to solidify the connections she already has and cherishes, while making new ones.

“I feel that being part of this tight-knit University community has given me such a true sense of belonging and a strong connection with both colleagues and students,” she said. “It's about feeling like you're not just a number but a valued member of this community where people know and support each other.

“An alum told me that my enthusiasm is contagious and that people like me are what contribute to the greatness of our campus,” Resnick continued. “I had a fantastic time reconnecting with former classmates, celebrating with my current colleagues and meeting new alumni, all while sharing this wonderful experience with my daughter.”

The Chargers faced St. Anselm on the gridiron.
The Chargers faced St. Anselm on the gridiron.
‘Alumni help current students’

In addition to food and friends, Homecoming was an event focused on football. The University community cheered on the Chargers football team on the gridiron as they faced St. Anselm. It was also an exciting opportunity for alumni to explore the University and see firsthand how it has grown.

This Homecoming was the fourth that Alexandra Krinickas ’15 has attended. She traveled to the University from Boston, and she was impressed by how much the University has expanded since she earned her bachelor’s degrees in chemical engineering and forensic science.

“There are so many more buildings,” she said. “The Bergami Center for Science, Technology, and Innovation is impressive, and the Peterson Performance Center looks amazing. It’s always a good vibe with the energy that our alumni have. Sometimes, I wish I could go back to my time as a Charger. I loved it at the University.”

For Richardson, who was celebrating the 25th anniversary of earning her master’s degree, it was the sense of connection she experienced that made Homecoming – and the other opportunities she’s had to connect with her fellow Chargers – particularly rewarding. Those connections, she discovered, could be important in a variety of ways.

“My sister and niece are Chargers as well, and I met someone who can help connect my niece with a possible position,” she said. “Alumni help current students at the University, and that’s a wonderful thing. They help them find jobs, and they connect them with likeminded people. The alumni programs at the University are great.”