Why One ’71 Alumnus Likes Returning to the Hawks’ Nest

By Quincy Fuehne

The Office of Advancement is bringing back events for local alumni.

“It’s a really great way for them to contact other alumni in the area and be in touch with school. It gets them more involved and engages them,” Coordinator of Annual Giving & Alumni Services Pilar Brumbaugh said.

The first event was a Quincy Area Alumni Happy Hour held in the Hawks’ Nest on October 18.

There are currently over 3,000 QU alumni living within 45 miles of the university, including Chuck Fitch.

Fitch has lived in Quincy his entire life and was told by his parents that he would be going to Quincy College, where he received his degree in education in 1971. The university was always in Fitch’s life, so this was perfect to him.

His family lived a few blocks away from the campus. He would go to all of the basketball and baseball games. His father was involved in the Mart Heinen Athletic Booster Club.

Fitch followed in his father’s footsteps. He is now on the Mart Heinen board and works in the concession stand. If you’ve ever had a hamburger or hotdog at a QU game, chances are Fitch grilled it.

While Fitch is still active at the university with his volunteer work, he and his wife, who also graduated from QU, like to come to these alumni events and catch up with others.

“We like to come to see some people that we know in town that have been graduates just to talk over old times about the school and what it was like and renew old friendships,” Fitch said.

The event was held in the Hawks’ Nest, which has a special meaning to Fitch.

“I like coming here, because when they opened this they started selling beer, and I bought the third beer out of here,” Fitch expressed.

The main thing that kept Fitch in Quincy? His wife.

“My wife graduated a year after I did, so she was a big reason why I wanted to stay in Quincy. Then when I graduated I got a job teaching in Quincy Public Schools and when she graduated she got a job teaching in Quincy Public Schools, and we just stayed,” Fitch said.

Roughly 25 people showed up to the event, including one from the class of 1950 and one from the class of 2017.

Brumbaugh wants students to realize that no matter where they end up, they will get the chance to be a part of events like this as well.

“I think it’s really important for students to understand that we do these local alumni events all around the country throughout the year. This is something that when students graduate they get to be a part of it,” Brumbaugh said.

Of the more than 3,000 alumni live within 45 miles of QU, 2,430 have a Quincy ZIP code. Thirty-three percent of full-time employees at QU are also alumni.

The faculty is the main reason why Fitch suggests students check out the university.

“The faculty were great, they made you feel like you were important. I always felt like I could go talk to the faculty. Being involved here, I still kind of get that feeling,” Fitch said.

While these events aim to reconnect alumni, they also allow the alumni to remember what the university gave to them.

“It’s kind of like family, and I don’t think it has changed since I got out in 1971,” Fitch concluded.

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