Winterfest a Time to Skate, Sculpt
800 alumni and guests flock to campus for weekend event
Alums Marissa and Jesse Keppley were ardent BU hockey fans as undergraduates, attending all Terrier home games—even naming their son Colin Parker, after longtime men’s hockey head coach Jack Parker (SMG’68, Hon.’97).
But the Florida natives have never had much ice time themselves. That changed at Winterfest, held this past weekend on the Charles River Campus. On Saturday, Marissa (CAS’09), Jesse (CAS’08, GRS’12), and three-year-old Colin laced up for a turn around the outdoor ice rink set up on Marsh Plaza. “We were excited about skating,” Marissa Keppley said. “Marsh is my favorite place on campus. I used to study behind it when the weather was nice.”
Sponsored by the BU Alumni Association, Winterfest was scheduled for February 8 to 10, but was postponed in anticipation of the blizzard that dumped two feet on the region and closed the University. All but one of the activities were rescheduled for this weekend, which drew approximately 800 alumni and other guests to campus. The exception, a cooking demonstration, will take place on Saturday, March 16.
The outdoor skating rink was a first for Winterfest, now in its eighth year. Sandy Miller of Watertown learned to skate as a child, but she eyed the artificial ice skeptically. “I put my insurance card in here just in case,” said Miller, patting her coat pocket, “as a good luck charm.” Miller (GSM’77, SED’07) had been to the men’s ice hockey game on Friday night (the Terriers fell to UMass Lowell, 3-0) and attends other BU events now and then throughout the year. “I got a good education here,” she said. “It’s close by, and there’s fun stuff to do.”
On Saturday, Marsh Plaza was swirling with activity. As alumni and their families and guests glided—or in many cases, picked—their way across the ice, others lined up to have their photos taken in a giant inflatable snow globe (500 filed through during the day) after sipping cocoa and eating doughnuts.
Eight teams competed in the ice-sculpting competition. They started by sketching on tracing paper in a College of Arts & Science classroom. First-time participants Xuemei Zhong and her seven-year-old daughter, Danielle Gao, were collaborating on a drawing of the Earth, with a dove and a puppy (Danielle’s idea) at the top and the words “Peace on Earth” at the bottom. “An adventure,” said Zhong (MED’02), as she surveyed their progress.
Outside on the plaza, the teams chiseled, chipped, and scraped large blocks of ice into a dragon, a polar bear, and R2-D2. The winners: Derrick Kwan (CAS’14) and Meera Ganesan (CAS’13), for their sculpture, “Baby Patrick,” based on the starfish in SpongeBob SquarePants. The two hadn’t planned on participating, but they were on their way to study at Mugar when they stopped by for hot chocolate. “We saw free stuff,” Kwan said.
Elsewhere, alums and their families tested their skills on the rock-climbing wall at the Fitness & Recreation Center—Ellen Mak (MET’99) snapped pictures of her children, Audrey 11, and Andrew, 8, as they ascended—and worked off the doughnuts at a zumba class.
On Friday evening, teams made up of students and alumni faced off in the second annual broomball tournament. The championship match took place after the men’s hockey game, and for the second year, an alumni team came out on top—3-0. The women’s hockey Terriers had similar success on Saturday, coming from behind to beat Connecticut 7-5 at Walter Brown Arena.
Marc DeCastro of Maynard, his wife, Wanda, and their two children made their way to Winterfest for the first time this year. Noah, 10, was interested in the arts and cultural activities, and 13-year-old Nicholas was curious about college life and “the campus Daddy used to hang out on,” said DeCastro (SMG’90), as he watched the boys skate on Saturday. The family also had tickets to see the women’s hockey game.
The one thing DeCastro wasn’t about to do: join his sons on the ice. “I like my ankles too much today.”2 Comments