Cabrini College community gathers to celebrate during Family Weekend.

By Ariel Crawford
September 27, 2010

Members of the Cabrini community, their family and friends gathered together this past weekend to celebrate with games, honors, special events and fun activities for three straight days during Cabrini’s annual family weekend.

Festivities began Friday night when former men’s basketball coach and Driector of Athletics John Dzik was inducted into the hall of fame at the Nerney Field House in the Dixon center.

Dzik is truly a legend at Cabrini. He led his Cavaliers to eight PAC titles, three Keystone Athletic Conference titles, four NAIA District 19 championships and helped his team advance into the NCAA tournament for nine years of the span of his career. During his 25 years as a coach his team made post-season appearances 24 times.

In addition to being inducted into the Philadelphia Area Small College Coaches Hall of Fame and Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame in 1999 and 2000 respectively. Dzik has also been named NAIA District 19 Coach of the Year as well as PAC Coach of the Year.

Being the only inductee the hall of fame this year was also a way of specially honored Dzik. He is the 23rd person to be inducted over five years.  Speakers at the ceremony included professor Joseph Romano and Dzik’s son.

Children of all ages enjoyed the ice cream social held in Jazzman’s café that Friday night.  Among the chocolate syrup and sundaes there was plenty of laughter, chatter and activities as many families were just arriving on campus and excited with what they were seeing.

“Jaime is only 8, but she is so thrilled with Cabrini that she says she’d like to come here when she is old enough,” Bonnie Skelton, mother of freshmen Kelse Skelton, said.  She also said that Jaime and Kelse’s three other younger sisters were really excited to see their big sister’s dorm room.

Saturday marked the busiest day of the weekend with seven events and three sports games. The semi-annual honors convocation was held, honoring students for the academic achievement during the spring 2010 semester.

The convocation was held in front of a packed crowd in the Grace Hall atrium from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. President’s list, Dean’s list, Pierce scholarship recipient and the Academic Achievement Award for Athletics were all presented by professor James Hedtke, Dean Jeff Gingerich, professor Paul Wright and Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs Anne Skleder respectively.

After the seriousness of the Honors Convocation students and their families were invited to unwind at the family picnic on the commons. Tasty barbeque fare was served and families got very involved in the entertainment and activities.

Featured acts were the Greater Kensington String Band, a caricaturist and a magician. The famous “big chair” was also available for photos.

Nine year-old Katie Sundermier, younger sister of sophomore elementary education major Carol Lynn Porter, said she really love spending time with her sister but liked it even better when she was pulled up out of her seat to dance with the Kensington String Band.

The representatives from the Cabrini Mission Corps also had a great time Saturday. They all said they were enjoying eating and Sister Grace Waters said that Cabrini is so special to her because, “this is my home away from home. I entered here when it was just an orphanage.”

Later on in the day President George gave her annual State of the College Address at 1:30 p.m., which was followed by a presidential and faculty meet and greet in the Iadarola Science Building.

The evening events featured two Cabrini favorites. First, there was the Clue Mystery Dinner Theatre show in the Mansion. The mystery dinner is an interactive drama where guests try to solve a murder mystery. It is $10 and includes a buffet. The event fills up every year.

“ I am so upset we missed the mystery dinner,” Linda Gannon, mother of freshman Danielle Gannon, said.

A game of big prize bingo was held in Jazzman’s Café at 8 p.m. that night. It was no surprise there was a bingo event at family weekend as regular bingo events on campus draw such crowds.

The family friendly fare continued on Sunday with a day full of activities, which seemed specially tailored for those less than four feet tall. Mass was held in the chapel at 11 a.m. followed by brunch in the market place.

Later, the kite festival was held. Entertainment featured a balloon animal making clown, kite flying, a moon bounce and face painting just to name a few. Unfortunately, the kite festival had to be moved in doors to the Grace Hall atrium because of rain.   The youth soccer clinics, where Cabrini’s Men’s and Women’s soccer teams teach children basic soccer skills such as shooting, blocking and defending, also had to be moved inside to the Dixon Center gymnasium.

That didn’t stop children and their parents from enjoying the festival and clinics though as both events had a huge turn out. It seemed as if campus had been transformed into a kind of fairytale land as children bounded all over dressed in their finest clothes with balloons, prizes and brand new soccer balls.

It also helped that the students and parents of the Cabrini Children’s school were invited to the activities on Sunday. Some of the small children were relatives of college students and faculty members but many were students at the children’s school. Parents of the tiniest Cabrini students seemed very touched at being invited to the festivities.

Child psychologist and mother to children’s school student Bridget Fahey, 3, Jeanette Fahey, was enthusiastic about her daughter’s experience at the Children’s school. “It’s one of the only schools in the area that’s accredited and it’s been great for my daughter whose shy. It’s just nice to see the environment my children are being educated in.”

Everyone was excited over at the soccer clinic as well. Sophomore business major and soccer player Morgan Hudson said she really enjoys conducting the clinics. “I like how the big kids can bond with the little kids. It gives us big kids a chance to be little kids again,” she said.

Rounding out the day was a performance in the mansion by flutist Mimi Stillman and pianist Charles Abramovic.  Overall family weekend seemed to be a great success and enjoyed by everyone who attended.

President George described the purpose of family weekend as “building the college community, welcoming members and making them feel a part of the Cabrini experience.”

Ariel Crawford

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