Connecticut Valley Chapter
This spring alumni groups not only hosted social events, but they also cheered on and supported Penn State athletics on their home turf. Check out how the Connecticut Valley Chapter and the Hampton Roads Chapter in Virginia welcomed Penn State teams to their hometowns.
About 75 alumni from the Connecticut Valley Chapter cheered on the Penn State men’s volleyball team as they beat Springfield College 3 to 1 on March 5 in Springfield, Mass. After the game, the chapter invited the team and coaching staff to join them for dinner—about 50 people attended the dinner to celebrate the victory and talk about the volleyball season.
“The volleyball event was great because of the personal interaction with the team,” said Greg Malone ’95, president of the Connecticut Valley Chapter. This is the second year that the chapter has held this event. Last year, they had about 60 alumni attending the dinner and 100 Penn Staters cheering on the players.
“Our goals are to coordinate events that bring together the alumni in our area and to benefit Penn State students,” said Malone. “The fact that we were able to do both in one event and support a Penn State athletic team in the process was great. The student-athletes said the match almost felt like a home match with our yelling and hanging our chapter banner in the opposing team’s area.”
The team also autographed a volleyball for the chapter’s upcoming raffle at its spring banquet, which raises funds for the scholarship endowment. The endowment just recently passed $100,000.
The Connecticut Valley Chapter has approximately 130 active members and plans several events throughout the year, including a freshmen sendoff, TV tailgates and community service events.
For more information visit Connecticut Valley Chapter's website.
Farther south in Virginia, the Hampton Roads Chapter hosted a picnic for the Penn State baseball team between a doubleheader against Norfolk State University on March 12. The games were scheduled at the end of Penn State’s weeklong spring break trip, when the baseball team competed in a series of games against two universities—Norfolk State University and North Carolina State University.
“Knowing the baseball team would be in town for a week competing against two universities offered a unique opportunity for us to do something special for the players since they were on the road for so long,” said Andrew Ronemus ’95, Hampton Roads Chapter member and chairman of the event.
The Baseball Booster Club contacted the chapter earlier in the year to provide them with the details of the visit, and the two groups collaborated to plan this special event for the team.
"Since the team was here for a week, we had the chance to give them a taste of home and the picnic was a great opportunity for alumni to mix and mingle with current students right here,” said Kathryn Barrett ’79, president of the Hampton Roads Chapter.
The picnic, attended by more than 100 chapter members, player’s family members, players, coaches and team staff, was held behind the dugout between games. Because the picnic was between games, chapter members worked with team nutritionist Cathy Raugh to create a lunch that would be nutritious and easily eaten in the 20–to–30 minutes the players had available. Subs with a variety of meats and cheeses, bananas, sliced oranges and granola bars were on the menu along with energy drinks.
Hampton Roads Chapter
Players also posed for photographs, chatted with the crowd and autographed a media guide that will be auctioned to benefit the chapter’s scholarship fund.
“Some of our alumni looked forward to the baseball part of their visit and by the end of the picnic, we realized what a rare opportunity we had to connect with the student-athletes on a personal level,” Ronemus said. “It was awesome!”
The Nittany Lions were dominant in both games, winning 5–1 and 12–1. During the series in Virginia, Penn State won five of its six games against Norfolk State University. They also took two of the three against North Caroline State University during the beginning of the spring break series.
In addition to cheering on Penn State teams, the chapter hosts a picnic and freshmen sendoff every August at historic Fort Monroe, a dinner meeting and spring fling, a Big Ten kickoff party and TV tailgates throughout the football season. The Hampton Roads Chapter also participates in the Penn State Homecoming Parade as the surfing lions, and members volunteer at the Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia. Twice a year, members send care packages to approximately 60 local undergraduates attending Penn State campuses to help them get through finals week. The chapter awards two $1,000 scholarships to undergraduates from the Hampton Roads area.
For more information on the chapter, visit the Hampton Roads Chapter’s website.