What makes the infectious Xaverian connection
T'was the night before homecoming, when all throughout Antigonish, not a student was stirring not even the crows. It’s everyone’s favourite time of year folks, it’s homecoming season. The alumni are all pouring out of the buses, taking tours throughout campus and reminiscing the days when they were once students. The weekend of September 29th to the 30th 2017, is packed full of spectacular events. The events range from the welcoming dinner, alumni mass, the football game and many more events. It is an exciting time on campus. Meeting people that made their memories and glory days at St. Francis Xavier University is an experience that anyone at this school can connect with.
Homecoming, it means many different things for everyone. Depending on if you played on a varsity team, or were apart of different committees. Speaking with alumnus Walter Chambers who was in the graduating class of 1968 this is what he had to share about homecoming:
“I always look forward to homecoming weekend as we meet old friends again that we do not see often. I find that even though all of us have gone on different paths in life, when we get together at ‘X’ we are still the same people as we were when we were at ‘X’. There are no pretenses. We share the memories at ‘X’ and where our lives have taken us...It is an extremely fulfilling weekend and one I hate to see end as it brings all the good memories back that we shared at ‘X’.”
I also had the pleasure of speaking with alumnus Yahia Dalloul. Dalloul was in the undergraduate class of 2009, and again in 2011 for his education degree. Dalloul played defense for the StFX X-men for five years, this was what he had to say about homecoming:
“It was an honour to put on the blue and white for five years with the X-men football team. Homecoming games are always one of the first games you highlight when the schedule comes out. Family, friends, past and future X-Men Players, professors, students and loyal StFX alumni are all there to watch us play. You wake up with an exciting feeling that runs through your body all day. Team prayer at the chapel, breakfast with my team, walking from meal hall to the Oland Center, walking out from the looker room, having amazing fans line up and shake your hand, taping you on the helmet, wishing you luck and after the game when you meet and chat with great alumni and fans. Playing the game of football, watching our coaches coach, watching my teammates make plays. Hearing our fans cheer after a touchdown, and hearing my name being called after a tackle or sack; some of the best times of my life.”
Throughout the entire day of homecoming I chatted with various fellow students and they virtually all had the same thing to say about what homecoming meant to them. It came down to how much they loved talking with alumni and sharing stories about their experiences at StFX, and how much they felt and continue to feel, apart of the Xaverian family spirit.
Some people may say that throughout the years homecoming has changed and isn’t what it used to be. There is some truth to this, as the generations move forward here at StFX new traditions are born and some older traditions are left in the past. There is one thing for sure that remains the same, and that when homecoming weekend starts it reminds all the past and present students of how much they are at home when they are here. StFX is like no other school, it's unique. Walter Chambers and Yahia Dalloul both had very different experiences during the time in which they studied here, but they still share something in common, their love for all the alumni of the school and how much they hold homecoming dear to their hearts. StFX has changed throughout the years but one thing for sure is that homecoming is one tradition that won’t be changing anytime soon.