University News

Homecoming Celebrates Charger Connection and Community

A diverse group of alumni returned to the University of New Haven to reconnect with each other and with the University as part of Homecoming, where they explored the campus and cheered on the Chargers on the gridiron.

December 5, 2022

By Renee Chmiel, Office of Marketing and Communications

Chargers celebrate at Homecoming
Chargers celebrate at Homecoming.

As a graduate student at the University of New Haven, Kathleen Gonzalez ’22 M.S. worked in the Office of Alumni Relations, helping to organize a variety of fun and engaging events for alumni, including Homecoming. Now an alum herself, it was important for her to attend this year’s Homecoming 2022: #TheBlueout.

Gonzalez, who earned a master’s degree in forensic science, enjoyed connecting with her fellow alumni, as well as with several of the staff members she used to work with. It was a chance for her to show them her support while celebrating being a Charger.

“I know firsthand the hard work that goes into preparing and fulfilling these events,” said Gonzalez, a forensic scientist in the DNA Unit of the Massachusetts State Police Crime Laboratory. “Not only was attending Homecoming a fun activity to relive my time at the University, but it was a sign of appreciation for all the great things this University offers its alumni.”

‘Homecoming was extra special’

Homecoming is an exciting way for the University’s alumni to return to campus each fall to catch up with old friends and reminisce about their favorite moments as Chargers. Homecoming 2022: #TheBlueout drew a diverse group of students, faculty, staff, and alumni in their Chargers gear to connect with each other, as well as with the affinity groups and clubs they were part of.

When he was a student, Edward Horehlad ’68, ’83 MBA worked full-time and served as president of the Graduate Student Council. A former president of the Alumni Association, Horehlad has great memories of his time as a student. He and his wife Gada regularly attend Chargers’ home games, where they connect with students, staff, and other alumni. They were excited to connect with even more members of the University community at Homecoming.

“Homecoming was extra special, and it was great to truly see how much the school has grown and how proud everyone was wearing the school colors,” he said. “The faculty who greeted us at Homecoming are a very dedicated group of people who shared our excitement for the day's events. Did I mention that the band, color guard, and cheering squad are the best? And when I speak about the best, how about the Chargers football team?”

The University’s football team charges onto the field.
The University’s football team charges onto the field.
‘Giving back to the University’

Fans cheered on the University’s football team, which faced Franklin Pierce on the gridiron as part of Homecoming. The Chargers triumphed, 50-6. Members of the University community also got charged up watching performances by the Chargers Marching Band and the dance team.

Bruce Barber, general manager of WNHU.
Bruce Barber, general manager of WNHU, enjoys Homecoming. WNHU hosted an open house as part of the event.

Homecoming was also an opportunity for visitors to tour the University’s growing campus, to learn more about the important work taking place, and the many exciting opportunities available to current students. WNHU, the University’s award-winning radio station; the David A. Beckerman Recreation Center; and the Myatt Center for Diversity and Inclusion hosted open houses.

As part of her Homecoming visit, Gonzalez, the forensic science grad, enjoyed learning about the impactful research taking place at the University’s Center for Wildlife Forensic Research. She was excited to return to her alma mater and to catch up with her fellow Chargers.

“Events such as Homecoming offer alumni insight into the continuous enhancements taking place around the University,” she said. “Many of them are funded by generous donors, who in turn may influence alumni to consider giving back to the University, whether through volunteering for panel discussions, offering shadowing opportunities to current students, or donations.”

Chargers celebrate at Homecoming
Homecoming was a celebration of Charger pride.