Meeting some UD alumni back at home base
This past weekend was a big one for the University of Dallas, competing in importance with Groundhog week and Charity week: –Alumni and Family Weekend. UD alumni from one to forty years graduated were back on campus, attending lectures and seeing old friends.
Father Edward Bresnahan, class of 2003, returned to UD this weekend for the first time in twenty years. He fondly reflected on the transformative and informative nature of the core classes, and how they prepared him for his future.
“When I graduated, I was a little bit worried that God was calling me to be a priest,” Fr. Bresnahan shared. “And so I did a mission instead. I took a year and I ran away.” Although he was reluctant to respond to his vocation, Fr. Bresnahan said he could feel God shaping his heart, even during his years and classes at UD.
Fr. Bresnahan was ordained a priest in 2010, and coming back this weekend, he was able to celebrate Mass as a priest at his alma mater for the first time. It was a joyful time for Fr. Bresnahan to see his old classmates, including the ones who became priests, as well.
“It was cool to be up on the altar with Father Joseph Van House,” Fr. Bresnahan said. “It was kind of neat to be able to concelebrate with a classmate.”
In general, Fr. Bresnahan loved getting to see his old friends and campus again, even though the campus was different from what he remembered. “I hope the students who are here today really appreciate how much of a treasure the place is,” Bresnahan said. He even remarked on the beauty of the shady trees that were much smaller twenty years ago.
After seeing his old UD friends, Fr. Bresnahan reflected gratefully on the unifying and bonding UD experience. “We’ve got all kinds of different backgrounds, and we live in all different parts of the country, but there’s just such a joy that brings all of us together here today,” Fr. Bresnahan said.
Mary Malone, class of 2014, came to UD undeclared, but very aware of their ceramics program. “I’ve always had the dream to be a stay at home mom and a stay at home potter,” Malone said. This is a dream that came to fruition when she majored in ceramics at UD and had three kids after getting married.
Malone now runs a small business selling her ceramics which she makes from home. “I have a studio in my garage, my wheel, my kiln, and I just throw and make pottery when I can with the kids,” Malone shared.
One of the greatest learning experiences for Malone after graduating was learning how to manage her ceramic business. “What do I have to do? How do I do my bookkeeping? How do I have to do my taxes?” she asked herself. Malone was used to doing the artistic work, but she had to learn how to manage her art alongside being a mother.
“It’s constantly a balance of giving time to your family and making sure they’re a priority, but then also pursuing something on the side,” Malone remarked. She doesn’t feel pressured to sell her ceramics, so the art retains its pleasure and Malone has carried her love for ceramics even after graduating from UD.
Walking down the Mall, you could feel the nostalgia and excitement in the crowds of this weekend. Alumni from every class and age who returned seemed overjoyed to see their friends again and to reflect on their UD experience. As undergraduates, let’s appreciate these upcoming years and make them happy ones, too!