The Parish Alumni Office brought a little bit of Panther Pride to some college towns recently. Diane Webber, Alumni Director, Lauren Ware ‘07 and Alumni Relations Coordinator, and our one and only Pete Panther headed for their second annual road trip to visit former Parish students at college. The trio hit the road with plans to meet large groups of Parish alumni in Fort Worth, Austin, College Station, Waco and Norman.
This year, the team visited Parish alums from Texas Christian University, Texas Tech, Texas A&M, University of Texas, Austin, Baylor University and The University of Oklahoma.
The Parish Alumni Tour brings old and new friends together and helps to strengthen the relationship between Parish, the Parish Alumni Association and alumni, future alumni, parents of alumni and friends. Webber, Ware and Pete began the Parish Alumni Tour on Saturday, October 25 at Amon Carter Stadium in Fort Worth at a tailgate spot that would soon be overrun by Parish Raiders, Parish Horned Frogs and Parish Alumni Parents. Parish alumni dad and current TCU dad Duwayne Miller, dad of Cody Miller ’11 and Courtney Miller ’07, graciously hosted the tailgate. Miller and Parish Alumni dad and current Texas Tech dad, Allen Sparks, dad of Luke Sparks ’11 and Hallie Sparks ’12, provided every piece of meat you could imagine to get the tailgate party started. Sparks provided his tandem smoker and went through 110 lbs. of ribs, 20 lbs. of smoked salmon and 15 lbs. of sausages for the Tech/TCU showdown. The Parish Alumni Office brought 100 Raising Canes chicken tenders. The alumni couldn’t have been any happier! We were thrilled to see Parish Horned Frog and Parish Raider freshman through seniors at the tailgate and we couldn’t have done this without our Parish Alumni Parents!
The Alumni Tour commenced the following week on Wednesday October 29. Pete and friends made their first college visit to Austin, TX to meet up with a group of Parish alumni at an infamous Austin eatery located in the heart of Austin – Banger’s. The Alumni Office treated our Parish Longhorns to bratwursts of any kind – from traditional beef and pork brats to exotic brats of venison and duck. Parish alumni Ryan Pearlman ’11 showed up in his 2010 Parish Football State Champion t-shirt. The Alumni team was delighted to see Pearlman still has his enthusiasm for Parish! Coach Scott Nady would have been so proud to see that in person.
The crew then headed on to College Station where they said “Howdy!” to Parish Aggies at Napa Flats Restaurant, a wood-fired kitchen favorite among the Parish Aggies. They were all thrilled to top their dinner off with some tasty gelato. Fact: that evening at dinner several of our Parish Aggies stated that this was the best meal they had been treated to in a while. Prior to the Parish Aggies departing dinner to return to their studies, Webber opened up the dinner discussion to have our alumni think of one thing that Parish prepared them for in college. Tanner Pochmann ’12 shared that the small classes at Parish enabled him to build up the courage to interact on a regular basis with his teachers. Parish made talking to teachers such a common occurrence that he immediately felt comfortable to do the same entering his college career at A&M.
On October 31, with what was supposed to be a brief stop in Waco ahead of the Baylor Homecoming weekend, Lauren Ware was caught off guard by a surprise marriage proposal from boyfriend Jesse Henderson. Henderson staged the coupe with a host of family and friends, including Webber, in front of the Judge Baylor statue on campus. A tour stop sure to be remembered!
The Alumni Office made their last college stop on Saturday, November 11 in Norman, OK for the OU vs. Baylor football game. Parish Sooners and Parish Bears were invited to make a pit stop at the Parish Alumni tailgate on the South end zone of the Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium. The tailgate was prepped and ready to go for the early Saturday football game, complete with kolaches and donuts. The event made for a great ending to the trip.
The Parish Alumni Office is already looking forward to next year. It is our hope to continue to gain traction with the Alumni Tour to contribute to the satisfaction of our alumni’s connection with Parish. The word is out to our Alumni– who knows where else Pete, Diane and Lauren will show up. Thanks for following our tour!