Virtual 5K, coloring contest, playlists, and trivia nights are just a few of the ways the Lafayette community has maintained its closeness during the pandemic Twitter
By Shannon Sigafoos
Over the past several months—as the coronavirus took over our lives and we slowly adapted, turning to the virtual world as a substitute for holding meetings in person—we’ve been forced to get creative. For some of us, that’s meant Zoom parties or lots of extra FaceTime with friends and family. For others, it’s meant literally getting creative and picking up markers, crayons, pen and paper, and expressing ourselves through art. And yes, some of us have turned to the great outdoors, looking to connect [running] miles with memories.
When we think of active engagement, it’s not surprising that alumni come to mind. Lafayette alums have always been an instrumental part of our campus community, from advocacy to helping students with their careers. As we’ve all spent time looking to reach out beyond four walls, some of our longtime Pards have certainly shown that we, as humans, are resourceful creatures.
With physical distancing rules still in place and races around the region canceled, on hold, or up in the air, a new kind of event has gained traction: virtual runs (or walks). And really—why not? The Marquis de Lafayette’s motto “Cur Non” (meaning, “Why Not?”) are words that hold up during these challenging times, and it was with this spirit in mind that Amy Frantz Gross, associate director of Alumni Relations, organized a virtual 5K to benefit the James F. and Donna L. Krivoski Student Assistance Fund.
The event, which raised $3,650, ran throughout the month of April (participants had to complete their 5K before 4/30), and attracted 212 participants spread out across 23 states, Washington, D.C., the Netherlands, Switzerland, United Kingdom, and Germany.
Check out photos and learn more on The Finish Line.
“For our first ever virtual 5K, Alumni Relations was excited to bring together participants representing the entire Lafayette community including students, alumni, faculty, staff, and their family members,” says Gross. We are so grateful for the generosity of our participants in their support of the Krivoski Student Emergency Fund.
Giving a Leopard New Spots
We all know that coloring can prove to be a calming activity that people of all ages can enjoy—and who doesn’t tend to have a pack of crayons and some blank paper sitting around at home? The Lafayette Leopard Coloring Contest, which was shared on the Lafayette Alumni Facebook page, asked participants to download and print a Leopard coloring sheet, color it and include their name and class year, and then share photos of their creations online. The winner was hooked up with some proper Pard paraphernalia.
We all know that music has a way of taking us back to a particular time and place in our lives. Mackey Hughes ’76 recently reached out to fellow Pards and shared a Spotify playlist of songs that played on the jukebox during his college years. Among the classic songs that made the cut: “How Long” by Ace; “Red Rubber Ball” by The Cyrkle; “You Can Do Magic” by America; “Love Train” by The O’Jays; “Superstition” by Stevie Wonder; “I Can’t Help Myself” by Four Tops; “My Girl” by The Temptations; “Bad Moon Rising” by Creedence Clearwater Revival; “I Got You (I Feel Good)” by James Brown; and “Sittin’ On the Dock of the Bay” by Otis Redding.
Pandemic Pard Party
What do you get when you take members of the Class of ’79, ’80, ’81, and ’87, add in a Friday night, several time zones, Pard trivia, and some mystery guests? The “Pandemic Pard Party”! The weekly events were the brainchild of Denise Zevas MacIvor ’81, who played hostess for the first meeting, and also included Nancy Stewart McCarthy ’81, Lisa Kassel ’79, Kathy Rosen Finneran ’79, Regina Z. Hansen ’80, Marie Ciccone-Biry ’80, Kristin Winkler Snow ’80, and Betsy Savacool Adey ’79.
“We’ve mostly just chatted and talked about life during quarantine, but we often have a theme. The first one was trivia, and Denise came up with that idea. She came up with the questions, which were directed at us in groups of two to figure out,” says Kassel. “Since then, others have pitched in with the theme. One week, we had to share a line of a song from our college days, and the rest of us had to recall the song and artist … and it almost always led to some good memories. We also shared memories and photos of our moms and grandmothers in honor of Mother’s Day.”
Connect, Get Involved, Stay Involved
Friendships and connections in the age of COVID-19 have been strengthened and challenged by conditions that simultaneously facilitate closeness while keeping us distanced. Understanding how to explore and engage in conversations and activities during a global pandemic has been a lesson in creativity for many. We invite you to get involved and stay involved with your fellow Leopards.