Alumni return for catfish, conversation at Fish Fry

Cierra Scott, general business sophomore, gets food in the line at the Fish Fry at Sikes Center, Friday Oct. 20, 2017. Photo by Rachel Johnson

Alumni Association members organized the Fish Fry on Oct. 20 where alumni enjoyed fried whitefish and catfish as hamburgers and fries. The meal was $9 for alumni and guests and any student who has a meal plan could use their meal cards.

“It’s an event where students, alumni and community members can all get together and just visit and catch up with each other,” Leslee Ponder, alumni engagement liaison, said.

Ponder said the goal of Fish Fry is to connect the students with the alumni. She said she was also impressed with the high turnout among both students and alumni.

“For students and alumni, it’s a great time to make connections,” Ponder said. “It’s really our big event where our students can meet our alumni. Eight hundred to 900 people came today.”

Students also saw Fish Fry as a way for students to organize socialize with friends and enjoy good food.

“I had nothing better else to do,” Nadine Clegg, radiologic technology freshman, said. “Plus it’s a way to have some quality time with friends since we both have such busy schedules.”

The fish made students, including Kevin Oney, geoscience freshman, feel at home since they have once gone fishing with their families.

“I’ve fished a lot back in my hometown,” Oney said. “I love how quiet it is and my favorite fish is catfish because it tastes delicious.”

Patti Perry Massey, alumni, said her favorite part of MSU was the family environment. She was in the Panhellenic sorority Sigma Kappa, band and an education sorority.

“Midwestern was like a family,” Massey said. “I was involved in the sorority and the extra activities that come with being in a sorority. It brought us closer together. Even though I have a degree from another university, I always come back to Midwestern.”

After leaving MSU, Massey graduated from Texas State University, which was Southwest Texas State University at the time, and became a teacher.

“I’ve also done supervising of teachers at the University of San Antonio,” Massey said. “It’s teaching from the little ones to the big ones.”

The Fish Fry took place next to Sikes Lake, a location Matthew Jones, political science senior and Chartwells employee, said offers a peaceful environment for their friends and families.

“We’re serving seafood and we have a lake here so people could bring out their friends and family,” Jones said. “Sikes Lake is a nice area to see and a good place to have a quiet time with your friends and family.”

Jones’s favorite part of Fish Fry is the food and seeing the alumni and students gather with their friends and families.

“There’s different friends and family here,” Jones said. “It’s fun to see different college students. Homecoming week is one of my favorite weeks on campus.”

Ponder said her favorite parts of this event were the the food and seeing the alumni return to MSU.

“People coming back year after year. The camaraderie and it’s just a great time,” Ponder said.

Roy Horn, alumni, shared a few stories he had from his time at MSU. One of his favorite activities on campus was western week.

“I enjoyed that I was a sheriff for a couple of weeks,” Horn said. “And the rodeo we had. It was pretty interesting.”

Kiowa Kooks — alumni who offer scholarships — prepared the food.

“It’s a favorite event for them every year,” Ponder said. “They are an extension of our alumni group. Of course they raise their funds to go back to scholarships.”

MSU graduates said they were impressed with how the school has changed since they have graduated.

“This morning we had our graduate comeback for their class of ’67 reunion,” Ponder said. “Some hadn’t been here in 20 to 30 years. So seeing their faces light up was my favorite experience.”

Massey said she enjoyed the rapid growth of MSU after returning as well as home presentable the campus looks.

“When I was here in the ’70s, there wasn’t a fine arts building,” Massey said. “It’s just really grown. I’ve always been impressed with the architecture of the campus.”

Many alumni students were also impressed with the larger increase in students.

“It’s not even the same place,” Allen Birdwell, alumni, said, “There were about 1,500 students when I was here. Now it’s 6,000.”

Ponder has worked at MSU since she graduated in 1986.

“I’ve never left here,” Ponder said. “I’ve always worked at the university — I graduated in ‘86 and I have different jobs here. I’ve always worked here.”

Tre’vonne Brandford, exercise physiology junior and student ambassador, said the event was successful; however, she would have preferred that they made an extra line for food.

“We had a good turnout,” Brandford said, “We had over 800 people to attend today and there’s still people showing up. Instead of one line, I would have had two. But overall it was pretty good and people were really satisfied.”

Ponder said it is important for students to connect with the alumni because of the legacy they leave behind. Employment and career opportunities for students as they graduate can come from alumni.

“Our alumni are the backbone of this university,” Ponder said. “Our alumni make us who we are. They set the traditions. The set the barometer high for us to achieve higher levels.”

Teresa Pontius, alumni, said she was impressed with the adoption of new traditions. As student activities coordinator, Pontius was able to help re-introduce the football team back in 1985 as well as start the bonfire tradition.

“The traditions just keep getting stronger,” Pontius said. “I was a student activities coordinator, as a student, and we started the bonfire in 1985. I was in the class that helped President [Louis J.] Rodriguez do the research on bringing the football team back to Midwestern. So I was really excited to see that happen. That is why we were able to keep all of those traditions and make homecoming a lot more meaningful.”

RELATED STORIES

boat race 2017

Students line their boats up along the edge of the water of Sikes Lake for the 2017 Homecoming Boat Race, Friday Oct. 20, 2017. Photo by Rachel Johnson
Students line their boats up along the edge of the water of Sikes Lake for the 2017 Homecoming Boat Race, Friday Oct. 20, 2017. Photo by Rachel Johnson
Javier Suarez, mass communication sophomore, and MIa Heck, mass communication sophomore, rest on their sinking boat for Chi Omega and Sigma Alpha Epsilon during the Homecoming Boat Race Friday Oct. 20, 2017. Photo by Rachel Johnson
Javier Suarez, mass communication sophomore, and MIa Heck, mass communication sophomore, rest on their sinking boat for Chi Omega and Sigma Alpha Epsilon during the Homecoming Boat Race Friday Oct. 20, 2017. Photo by Rachel Johnson
Casey Albrikes, radiology freshman, Zander Leary, math freshman, and Josh Gribble, biology sophomore, paddle the Residence Hall Association boat at the homecoming cardboard boat race on Sikes Lake Oct. 20, 2017. Photo by Bradley Wilson
Casey Albrikes, radiology freshman, Zander Leary, math freshman, and Josh Gribble, biology sophomore, paddle the Residence Hall Association boat at the homecoming cardboard boat race on Sikes Lake Oct. 20, 2017. Photo by Bradley Wilson
Nicole Smalls, theater sophomre, and Shay Dorsman, theater junior, at the homecoming cardboard boat race on Sikes Lake Oct. 20, 2017. Photo by Bradley Wilson
Nicole Smalls, theater sophomre, and Shay Dorsman, theater junior, at the homecoming cardboard boat race on Sikes Lake Oct. 20, 2017. Photo by Bradley Wilson
Mia Heck, mass communication sophomore, and Javier Suarez, mass communication sophomore, try to cross Sikes Like in their boat for Chi Omega and Sigma Alpha Epsilon. Their boat failed about 50 feet from the starting line. Photo by Bradley Wilson
Mia Heck, mass communication sophomore, and Javier Suarez, mass communication sophomore, try to cross Sikes Like in their boat for Chi Omega and Sigma Alpha Epsilon. Their boat failed about 50 feet from the starting line. Photo by Bradley Wilson
Tarrah Miller, biology senior, at the homecoming cardboard boat race on Sikes Lake Oct. 20, 2017. Photo by Bradley Wilson
Tarrah Miller, biology senior, at the homecoming cardboard boat race on Sikes Lake Oct. 20, 2017. Photo by Bradley Wilson
Racing for Sigma Nu and Sigma Kappa, Braxton Urioste, nursing freshman, Reece Crosby, sociology freshman, at the homecoming cardboard boat race on Sikes Lake Oct. 20, 2017. Photo by Bradley Wilson
Racing for Sigma Nu and Sigma Kappa, Braxton Urioste, nursing freshman, Reece Crosby, sociology freshman, at the homecoming cardboard boat race on Sikes Lake Oct. 20, 2017. Photo by Bradley Wilson
Racing for Sigma Nu and Sigma Kappa, Braxton Urioste, nursing freshman, Reece Crosby, sociology freshman, at the homecoming cardboard boat race on Sikes Lake Oct. 20, 2017. Photo by Bradley Wilson
Racing for Sigma Nu and Sigma Kappa, Braxton Urioste, nursing freshman, Reece Crosby, sociology freshman, at the homecoming cardboard boat race on Sikes Lake Oct. 20, 2017. Photo by Bradley Wilson
Julia Lucas, education junior, and her friends cheer at the homecoming cardboard boat race on Sikes Lake Oct. 20, 2017. Photo by Bradley Wilson
Julia Lucas, education junior, and her friends cheer at the homecoming cardboard boat race on Sikes Lake Oct. 20, 2017. Photo by Bradley Wilson
Racing for Sigma Nu and Sigma Kappa, Braxton Urioste, nursing freshman, Reece Crosby, sociology freshman, at the homecoming cardboard boat race on Sikes Lake Oct. 20, 2017. Photo by Bradley Wilson
Racing for Sigma Nu and Sigma Kappa, Braxton Urioste, nursing freshman, Reece Crosby, sociology freshman, at the homecoming cardboard boat race on Sikes Lake Oct. 20, 2017. Photo by Bradley Wilson
Julia Lucas, education junior, and her friends cheer at the homecoming cardboard boat race on Sikes Lake Oct. 20, 2017. Photo by Bradley Wilson
Julia Lucas, education junior, and her friends cheer at the homecoming cardboard boat race on Sikes Lake Oct. 20, 2017. Photo by Bradley Wilson
Mia Heck, mass communication sophomore, and Javier Suarez, mass communication sophomore, try to cross Sikes Like in their boat for Chi Omega and Sigma Alpha Epsilon. Their boat failed about 50 feet from the starting line. Photo by Bradley Wilson
Mia Heck, mass communication sophomore, and Javier Suarez, mass communication sophomore, try to cross Sikes Like in their boat for Chi Omega and Sigma Alpha Epsilon. Their boat failed about 50 feet from the starting line. Photo by Bradley Wilson
Racing for Sigma Nu and Sigma Kappa, Braxton Urioste, nursing freshman, Reece Crosby, sociology freshman, at the homecoming cardboard boat race on Sikes Lake Oct. 20, 2017. Photo by Bradley Wilson
Racing for Sigma Nu and Sigma Kappa, Braxton Urioste, nursing freshman, Reece Crosby, sociology freshman, at the homecoming cardboard boat race on Sikes Lake Oct. 20, 2017. Photo by Bradley Wilson
Casey Albrikes, radiology freshman, Zander Leary, math freshman, and Josh Gribble, biology sophomore, paddle the Residence Hall Association boat at the homecoming cardboard boat race on Sikes Lake Oct. 20, 2017. Photo by Bradley Wilson
Casey Albrikes, radiology freshman, Zander Leary, math freshman, and Josh Gribble, biology sophomore, paddle the Residence Hall Association boat at the homecoming cardboard boat race on Sikes Lake Oct. 20, 2017. Photo by Bradley Wilson
Racing for Sigma Nu and Sigma Kappa, Braxton Urioste, nursing freshman, Reece Crosby, sociology freshman, at the homecoming cardboard boat race on Sikes Lake Oct. 20, 2017. Photo by Bradley Wilson
Racing for Sigma Nu and Sigma Kappa, Braxton Urioste, nursing freshman, Reece Crosby, sociology freshman, at the homecoming cardboard boat race on Sikes Lake Oct. 20, 2017. Photo by Bradley Wilson
and her friends cheer at the homecoming cardboard boat race on Sikes Lake Oct. 20, 2017. Photo by Bradley Wilson
and her friends cheer at the homecoming cardboard boat race on Sikes Lake Oct. 20, 2017. Photo by Bradley Wilson
In the ASME boat, Clayton Masters, engineering junior, and Kyndall Diehm, engineering sophomore, placed first at the homecoming cardboard boat race on Sikes Lake Oct. 20, 2017. Photo by Bradley Wilson
In the ASME boat, Clayton Masters, engineering junior, and Kyndall Diehm, engineering sophomore, placed first at the homecoming cardboard boat race on Sikes Lake Oct. 20, 2017. Photo by Bradley Wilson
Casey Albrikes, radiology freshman, Zander Leary, math freshman, and Josh Gribble, biology sophomore, paddle the Residence Hall Association boat at the homecoming cardboard boat race on Sikes Lake Oct. 20, 2017. Photo by Bradley Wilson
Casey Albrikes, radiology freshman, Zander Leary, math freshman, and Josh Gribble, biology sophomore, paddle the Residence Hall Association boat at the homecoming cardboard boat race on Sikes Lake Oct. 20, 2017. Photo by Bradley Wilson
Shay Dorsman, theater junior, at the homecoming cardboard boat race on Sikes Lake Oct. 20, 2017. Photo by Bradley Wilson
Shay Dorsman, theater junior, at the homecoming cardboard boat race on Sikes Lake Oct. 20, 2017. Photo by Bradley Wilson
in the ASME boat, Clayton Masters, engineering junior, and Kyndall Diehm, engineering sophomore, placed first at the homecoming cardboard boat race on Sikes Lake Oct. 20, 2017. Photo by Bradley Wilson
in the ASME boat, Clayton Masters, engineering junior, and Kyndall Diehm, engineering sophomore, placed first at the homecoming cardboard boat race on Sikes Lake Oct. 20, 2017. Photo by Bradley Wilson
Luke Sanders, psychology senior, and Aaron Devaul, psychology senior, pull their boat from the water after the homecoming cardboard boat race on Sikes Lake Oct. 20, 2017. Photo by Bradley Wilson
Luke Sanders, psychology senior, and Aaron Devaul, psychology senior, pull their boat from the water after the homecoming cardboard boat race on Sikes Lake Oct. 20, 2017. Photo by Bradley Wilson
Luke Sanders, psychology senior, and Aaron Devaul, psychology senior, pull their boat from the water after the homecoming cardboard boat race on Sikes Lake Oct. 20, 2017. Photo by Bradley Wilson
Luke Sanders, psychology senior, and Aaron Devaul, psychology senior, pull their boat from the water after the homecoming cardboard boat race on Sikes Lake Oct. 20, 2017. Photo by Bradley Wilson
Nicole Smalls, theater sophomore, and Shae Dorsman, theater junior, freak out as they get closer to the shore and their boat begins to become submerged into Sikes Lake during the Homecoming Boat Race, Friday Oct. 20. Photo by Rachel Johnson
Nicole Smalls, theater sophomore, and Shae Dorsman, theater junior, freak out as they get closer to the shore and their boat begins to become submerged into Sikes Lake during the Homecoming Boat Race, Friday Oct. 20. Photo by Rachel Johnson
Austin Prater, mechanical engineer, gets saved by three other students as he was the alst person to make his way back to shore since his boat sunk at the very beginning of the race, Friday Oct. 20, 2017. Photo by Rachel Johnson
Austin Prater, mechanical engineer, gets saved by three other students as he was the alst person to make his way back to shore since his boat sunk at the very beginning of the race, Friday Oct. 20, 2017. Photo by Rachel Johnson
Kale Hutchins, general business freshman, and Andrea Mirasol, undecided freshman, swim their way back to shore with their sunken boat after only getting about 20 feet out before their ship collapsed on them during the Homecoming Boat Race 2017. Photo by Rachel Johnson
Kale Hutchins, general business freshman, and Andrea Mirasol, undecided freshman, swim their way back to shore with their sunken boat after only getting about 20 feet out before their ship collapsed on them during the Homecoming Boat Race 2017. Photo by Rachel Johnson
Clayton Masters, mechanical engineer junior, and Kyndal Diehm, mechincal engineer sophomore, take the lead, finishing first in the 2017 Homecoming Boat Race, Friday, Oct. 20. "It was a lot of man hours to get this built. It took 84 and a half hours. It feels great, but i'm going to be taking a long shower after this," Diehm said. Photo by Rachel Johnson
Clayton Masters, mechanical engineer junior, and Kyndal Diehm, mechincal engineer sophomore, take the lead, finishing first in the 2017 Homecoming Boat Race, Friday, Oct. 20. "It was a lot of man hours to get this built. It took 84 and a half hours. It feels great, but i'm going to be taking a long shower after this," Diehm said. Photo by Rachel Johnson
Kaylor Winter-Roach, theater senior, laughs as the Alpha Psi Omega, the theater fraternity, boat sinks with her friends in it during the Homecoming Boat Race, Friday, Oct. 20, 2017. Photo by Rachel Johnson
Kaylor Winter-Roach, theater senior, laughs as the Alpha Psi Omega, the theater fraternity, boat sinks with her friends in it during the Homecoming Boat Race, Friday, Oct. 20, 2017. Photo by Rachel Johnson
Mat Howard, radiology junior, and Jackie Miller, radiological sciences adjunct faculty, helps to throw the boat for the Radiology Club in the trash after the homecoming cardboard boat race on Sikes Lake Oct. 20, 2017. Photo by Bradley Wilson
Mat Howard, radiology junior, and Jackie Miller, radiological sciences adjunct faculty, helps to throw the boat for the Radiology Club in the trash after the homecoming cardboard boat race on Sikes Lake Oct. 20, 2017. Photo by Bradley Wilson
at the homecoming cardboard boat race on Sikes Lake Oct. 20, 2017. Photo by Bradley Wilson
at the homecoming cardboard boat race on Sikes Lake Oct. 20, 2017. Photo by Bradley Wilson
The the pile of cardboard boats after the end of the race at Sikes Lake Friday, Oct. 20, 2017. Photo by Rachel Johnson
The the pile of cardboard boats after the end of the race at Sikes Lake Friday, Oct. 20, 2017. Photo by Rachel Johnson
Brittni Vilandre, marketing sophomore, eats her food at Sikes Center during the Homecoming Fish Fry, Fri. OCt. 21, 2017. Photo by Rachel Johnson
Brittni Vilandre, marketing sophomore, eats her food at Sikes Center during the Homecoming Fish Fry, Fri. OCt. 21, 2017. Photo by Rachel Johnson
People sit down to enjoy their food at the Homecoming Fish Fry at Sikes Center, Friday OCt. 20, 2017. Photo by Rachel Johnson
People sit down to enjoy their food at the Homecoming Fish Fry at Sikes Center, Friday OCt. 20, 2017. Photo by Rachel Johnson
The Kiowa Cooks cook the food for the Homecoming Fish Fry at Sikes Center, Friday Oct. 20, 2017. Photo by Rachel Johnson
The Kiowa Cooks cook the food for the Homecoming Fish Fry at Sikes Center, Friday Oct. 20, 2017. Photo by Rachel Johnson
Cierra Scott, general business sophomore, gets food in the line at the Fish Fry at Sikes Center, Friday Oct. 20, 2017. Photo by Rachel Johnson
Cierra Scott, general business sophomore, gets food in the line at the Fish Fry at Sikes Center, Friday Oct. 20, 2017. Photo by Rachel Johnson
William Gibson, mechincal engineer junior, helps toss the Sigma Nu and Sigma Kappa cardboard boat at the end of the Homecoming Cardboard Boat race, Friday Oct. 20, 2017. Photo by Rachel Johnson
William Gibson, mechincal engineer junior, helps toss the Sigma Nu and Sigma Kappa cardboard boat at the end of the Homecoming Cardboard Boat race, Friday Oct. 20, 2017. Photo by Rachel Johnson