Warm hugs, catching up with old friends, spending time at a favourite adda in your college and wondering how quickly time passed by and of course, shaking a leg with buddies. This was the order of the day at the St. Francis Degree College for Women, which had its alumni meet on Saturday.
The mood was lively, energetic and filled with enthusiasm as students and staff of the college indulged in endless conversations.
For Annapurna, who retired as a botany lecturer from the college in 1999, apart from meeting the students whom she taught, the alumni meet was a chance to observe how women have been progressing over the years. ‘’Earlier students would attend college in sarees, then in salwar kameez and now its the age of jeans. The way the present generation of students speak is different, they are confident about themselves and outspoken,” she said.
Some students were busy meeting their long lost friends and lecturers while some others were networking with the college alumni.
However, the alumni meet was not limited to reliving the bygone years as the students and retired staff had varied reasons to attend the meet.
‘’We were a notorious batch of students, we used to bunk college regularly and our lecturers used to ask us not to attend classes. When we met them now, they said classes are not the same after we passed out,” quipped Pooja Jaiswal of the 2012 batch.
The old students of the college across the country made sure not to give the alumni meet a miss. For Sneha, from Delhi who passed out of the college in 2008, the place holds a lot of significance. “I have come here from Delhi only to attend the reunion. I have a lot of memories attached to the college. This place has transformed me into a strong woman, helped me in realising my strengths,” she said. Sneha also happens to be a gold medalist.
Shalini Deendayal, who is the president of the college’s alumni association, says the meet is a chance for students to network with each other. “This will help in enhancing their careers,” she pointed out. True to the objective, the college provided space for the college pass-outs to exhibit their work in stalls.
For Chalin, from the 2011 batch, an ads integrity specialist, watching women who graduated from the college 40 years ago amazes her. “Bonds formed at college last for a lifetime. We might take different paths, but we make sure to meet each other regularly,” says Chalin.
The alumni committee also organsies guest lectures and counselling sessions. “Alumni working in different fields were called in to give subject-based lectures,” said sister Alphonsa Vattoly, principal of the college. “We also have a outreach programme where the alumni visit backward areas and contributes for its betterment,” she said.