By Lily Kalczewski
Two huge white tents were set up on the field in front of Kendall Hall this past Saturday, Oct. 18, hosting local organizations, groups and vendors that were all gathered to participate in the annual Ewing Township Community Fest.
Community Fest abounded with a variety of organizations and plenty of entertainment flourishes. The Ewing Green Team set up a table to promote recycling and environmental sustainability. Even the Ewing High School Robotics team made an appearance. For entertainment, there was live music, inflatable slides and bounce houses, accompanied by face painting and George the Magician. More importantly for foodies everywhere, food trucks lined the festival, providing attendees with a number of dining options.
From the College community, students and parents visited the College and Community Fest as a part of Parent’s Weekend. Several visiting parents had once been students themselves and explored the College and reminisced about its path over the years.
The turnout at Community Fest showed that although the College has undergone many changes since it was established, it still maintains a larger sense of community. After contacting alumni who currently have children attending the school, it was clear that their favorite attribute of their alma mater was the close community feel.
As Michele Prescavage, class of ’91, observed when she was a student, the College “always had a small town feel,” and she believes that this remains the same even now. Having such a close community allowed the Alumni to meet lifelong friends and even spouses, as with the case of Susan and John Infosino, class of ’79 and ’77, and Michele Prescavage and her spouse, Jim, ’93.
“The enduring friendships I’ve kept up are no doubt the best thing from the past,” Ken Baumann, ’82, said.
“What my child likes most about TCNJ is the tight knit community,” Susan Duthie Warwick, ’89, said about her daughter’s experience so far at the College. “She can walk on campus at any point and see multiple friends, and the tight-knit community definitely rolls over onto the professors and staff.”
The Prescavages’ daughter agreed adding that the school offers “a very welcoming campus.”
Nonetheless, the alumni noticed that along with the name, the College has undergone many alterations, specifically to the buildings which have changed in both amount and appearance. Warwick remembered the diversity of the buildings and how some “were very old with a lot of character while others sported what was considered a more modern look.”
“Today the campus is redesigned with many new buildings in the Georgian Architecture style,” she said.
Alumni are also relieved when it comes to parking. According to both Warwick and Susan Infosino, parking has definitely become a lot easier since they’ve attended.
Furthermore, recognizing the quality education they received, many alumni agree that the education at the College has since been enhanced. Comparing their education to their children’s now, some alumni believe that the curriculum is more challenging, and that even getting accepted to the College is harder. As the Prescavages observed, “The reputation of the College has improved since our time.” This can be attested to the recent ranking by U.S. News and World Report listing the College as the top public school in the northern region.
Overall, the alumni look back on their college days with happiness, gratitude and pride. Due to the education they received at the College, all the alumni have been successful in their careers. Infosino credits her time at the College for discovering her passion in life, which is “serving young children.” She says it’s where she “learned about persistence, patience and not giving up.”
The alumni have all had fantastic experiences at the College, and now, it’s their children’s turn to make some memories. Warwick and the Prescavages each currently have one daughter attending the school. The Infosinos’ son just graduated from the school, and their daughter is currently a freshman. Lastly, Baumann has two sons currently enrolled. Despite the alumni’s children having family ties to the school, it’s not the only reason they chose the College.
“TCNJ would have been on our son’s short list of schools even if both of their parents hadn’t attended here,” Baumann said. “You cannot dispute the well-deserved national rankings the College has received.”
Furthermore, with the construction of Campus Town, the coming renovation of the Brower Student Center and the introduction of the STEM Complex, the College is continuing to change physically as well. But as both the alumni and their children would agree, the campus remains ever beautiful.