Alumni Oktoberfest didn’t get the draw it needed

By Owen Lee, Staff Writer

On October 12, the Alumni Association attempted their own Oktoberfest celebration, opening the Student Prince in Springfield, Mass., to UMass students for Oktoberfest 2017, but it was unfortunately unattended.

The party was billed as an informal networking opportunity for UMass alumni to reunite and make connections, with plenty of beer and food.

It was a part of the alumni cycle where each alumni board member, in this case Carl Sittard of the class of ‘87, proposes and hosts a networking reception. This event followed another successful Student Prince Oktoberfest celebration, one that was open to the general public as opposed to just students, running for three days from October 5.

We spoke to Katherine Pappas, UMass’s Assistant Vice Chancellor for Alumni & Donor Engagement and a collaborator on the event along with Sittard.     

“There weren’t a lot, there were about six [people],” she says. “We didn’t have the alumni that we wanted to go to it, and we haven’t really had events in the western part of the state. I thought we were going to have about thirty or forty people.”

For those unfamiliar with the Oktoberfest tradition, it is a massive public festival centralized in Munich, Germany, involving music, parades, and tons of food and alcohol of course.

It’s been celebrated since 1810, making it a time honored-tradition.

The modern Oktoberfest is a day especially for great music, great beer, and great memories.

For those unfamiliar with the Student Prince, it is a German food bar and grill located in Western Mass.

“Well, if you don’t try it, you never know,” Pappas admonished. The idea is good, at least, and there are plenty of upcoming alumni events that are likely to be as promising.

A similar networking event is taking place at the Stoneforge Grill on November 16, and a reconnection event for retired Mechanical and Engineering alumni on November 4.

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