Big Bobcat Welcome kicks off record attendance Bobcat Weekend

Quinnipiac’s Big Bobcat Welcome greeted a record number of alumni, families, and students to kick-off Bobcat Weekend.

With a touch of fall setting off changing leaves on the iconic Mount Carmel Campus, family and friends reunited on October 6 to join students for lawn games, music, snacks, giveaways and plenty of selfies with Boomer.

The positive energy was all about the beautiful buildings and big changes on campus, Bobcat Weekend’s exciting events, and reveling in the thrill of the men’s hockey 2023 NCAA championship with the season opener against Boston College at M&T Bank arena on October 7.

Quinnipiac Associate Director of University Events Charity Kuchyt said Bobcat Weekend drew the annual event’s highest attendance in school history. More than 4,000 families and students and over 600 alumni registered to attend.

“It’s exciting to have alumni and families come together with students and celebrate Bobcat Nation, and to have lots of opportunities for our Bobcats to connect. And it’s really cool to celebrate the national championship again with them and to open the season together,” said Kuchyt.

As Bella LeBlanc ’27, helped her little brother, Wes, secure a hug from Boomer, LeBlanc’s dad, George LeBlanc, said he was happy to see the great grades his daughter was earning. Meanwhile, mom Kelsey LeBlanc picked up some important merch — a Bobcat hockey jersey for her daughter to wear to the opening game where the national championship banner will be raised.

The family came down from Boston to enjoy the weekend with LeBlanc. While she’s only been on campus for a little over a month, LeBlanc said she already feels like a Bobcat.

“I definitely found my people. I joined the club softball team, so I’m getting to know those girls. Everyone’s super sweet and really nice. I’m loving it here,” said LeBlanc.

Bobcats Tracey Corn Backus ’94, Paula Schieder Rock ’94, and Tara Quinn Shore ’94, reunited for the weekend and met up at Big Bobcat Welcome.

“Paula and I were freshmen when we met at the Registrar’s office, and then we met ’Quinn’ our senior year, when we were roommates,” said Backus.

“I haven’t been back in 29 years,” said Rock. “It’s really fun to be able to get back on campus and reminisce.”

The alumni said they were impressed with the growth of Quinnipiac’s campuses and facilities. Backus, who played Bobcats women’s basketball at the Burt Kahn Court, said she couldn’t imagine what it would have been like to play at the M&T Bank Arena.

“Where I played basketball is not where they play now!” Backus said. “It’s amazing.”

Alumnus Ken Peterson ’91 arrived to reconnect with friends including his fraternity brothers during Bobcat Weekend.

“I still keep in touch with a lot of the same guys,” said Peterson. “I live out in the Chicago area, but I still have family in Connecticut, so I try to get back to when I can.”

As a “Bobcat forever,” Peterson was excited to attend the men’s hockey season opener and can recall exactly where he was when the team won the NCAA championship game on April 8.

“It was amazing. Being out in Chicago, it’s Big 10 country, so it was really pretty amazing to have people say, ‘You went there, right?’” said Peterson. “I have a really good friend who’s a big Michigan guy, and we beat Michigan in the semi-finals; and then I have friends whose kids are now at Minnesota, and we all know how that game ended! So whenever I see them, it’s a bit of pride thing.”

Members of the Buss family arrived from Florida to visit with their Bobcat, Madison Buss ’27. The family looked forward to cheering on the women’s soccer team as it took on Iona on October 7, followed by hitting Boomer’s Block Party in the lead up to the night’s hockey game.

Dad Michael Buss said the family was excited to be together at Quinnipiac.

“We love it. It’s just so beautiful, and to see the change of seasons here is awesome,” said Buss. “We are so impressed with Quinnipiac. I think my daughter is thriving. She’s loving it.”

Among the many enjoying a variety of lawn games during Big Bobcat Welcome were Liam Adams, ’27, who coached his dad, Douglas, in the finer points of Kan Jam.

Mom Jenny Adams said the family has visited the campus several times, but being a part of Bobcat Weekend was a new experience.

“We always love coming back to the campus, because it’s always very friendly and welcoming,” she said. “He’s met a lot of people since he got here, and it’s been really nice to meet some of his friends he’s connected with.”

Mom Carol Tijan challenged her Bobcat, Bella Tijan ’27, to a game of giant Jenga, and put up some stiff competition before the final tumble of the blocks. The Tijans, including dad Tedi, are from Massachusetts.

“We just had lunch, and now we’re having fun hanging out and catching up,” said Bella Tijan. “One of the things I want to show them are my classrooms and where I’m studying.”

Members of the Brewster family were looking forward to getting on the Quad for Big Bobcat Welcome with their student, Abigail Brewster, ’27.

“We’ve come to see her and do all the activities they have for the weekend,” said her dad, Rob Brewster.

The family arrived from New Hampshire for the weekend.

“We just got out of the car. It’s awesome. We can’t wait to see it all,” said mom Judith Brewster.

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