By Dylan Long ‘23
One of Chaminade High School’s pillars throughout its 90-year history has been its active alumni involvement in the school. Each year, Chaminade holds reunions for certain graduating classes, encouraging alums to rekindle cherished memories with their classmates.
When each year’s graduating class departs from Chaminade, they become part of the Chaminade’s expansive alumni association. With more than 22,000 members around the globe, the alumni association continues to cultivate the friendships and connections made during the four years at Chaminade.
The frequently-held alumni reunions are part of the association’s long-standing mission: Whether the reunions are five years, 50 years, or any time in between, each event is a great success with an outstanding turnout.
Alumni who attend these events always speak about the fun times and extraordinary opportunities to reminisce with their former classmates, teachers, and the Marianists brothers.
Last year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, in-person reunions were not able to be held on campus at Chaminade. But this year, Chaminade’s Alumni & Parent Relations Department directed an in-person combined reunion for all alumni whose graduating class year ends in 0, 1, 5, or 6.
Headed by Mrs. Deborah Kendric, Chaminade’s Director of Alumni & Parent Relations with the assistance of Ms. Carla Fernandes, the reunion was introduced through a new format as it utilized more of Chaminade’s campus and showcased the numerous advancements that the school has made since the alumni graduated. It also focused on recruiting alumni vendors for the event.
This new engaging format was received positively by the attendees, as it included more communication with other alumni from other graduating classes. As Mrs. Kendric explained, “The format lended itself to better engagement and had a very fun vibe.”
On October 16th, over 300 alumni from 28 different celebrating classes came together on Faerber Field to celebrate and remember their time at Chaminade. The Flyer Spirit was on display at FlyerFest, as evidenced by the smiles, laughter, and joy which consumed Chaminade during the event.
FlyerFest would surely not have been possible without the hard work and dedication of alumni such as Scott Regan ‘13 and Andrew Christman ‘14, who worked tirelessly for many months to ensure the event went smoothly.
“Despite the forecasted rain,” Christman stated, “Deborah and Carla redesigned the layout that best suited the band, food trucks, and alum. As fate would have it, it did not rain until the event was over and we were packing up.”
Matt Gonyon ‘11 from Cathy’s Cafe supplied the food trucks, and John Liegey ‘81, the co-founder of Greenport Harbor Brewing Co., supplied beer. Marty Hettrich ‘90 and Chris Merlo ‘90’s band, self-titled “Dee Merit and The Grey Slips,” poked fun at the infamous Chaminade punishments.
With the help of many alumni, FlyerFest was truly a successful, fun, and eventful night for all those in attendance. The enthusiasm surrounding the new style event was palpable, the food outstanding, and the Greenport craft beer a hit.
Although the alumni association faced a tough task in organizing a reunion due to the continued effects of the pandemic, with the help of everyone who contributed, the Chaminade family demonstrated that the Flyer Spirit cannot be broken.
The alumni association continues to innovate and bring Flyers together in fun and interesting ways.