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The Student News Site of Loyola University Maryland

The Greyhound

Seniors and Alumni Celebrate the 74th Bull & Oyster

Rory Durso

Past and present Loyola students exchanged handshakes and hugs as alumni and seniors gathered for Bull & Oyster, a night to commemorate the class of 2024’s impending graduation and network with alumni. Over 1,500 seniors and alumni reconnected in the transformed Reitz Arena. Highlights of the event included a live band and stage, carving station, oyster station, and open bars at both ends. 

Bull & Oyster is one of Loyola’s longest and most popular traditions. A Maryland specialty, Loyola’s Bull Roast originally started as an alumni event for men of Loyola College. Assistant Vice President for Alumni & Constituent Engagement Colleen Riopko ‘02 explained how the event became a staple in the Loyola community. 

The event lost its flair in the early ’90s when alumni were more widespread, and it was harder to get to campus. The great decision was made to include seniors as a way to include them in Alumni Association activities. It has become a terrific opportunity for alumni and seniors to gather and celebrate one of our best and longest traditions,” she said.

This year, Bull & Oyster was scheduled to align with other traditions at Loyola, such as the Battle of Charles Street and the Valentine’s Vow Renewal Mass. Maria D’Agostino ‘23 reflected on the experience of attending Bull & Oyster as an alumna rather than as a student.

Rory Durso

“As a student, [Bull & Oyster] was fun, of course, but it felt like a very normal night. Going as an alum allowed me to break the routine I’ve been in at home and make a vacation out of going to Loyola again. It was the first time I’d returned to the campus since graduating, and I was looking forward to it so much. All of the fellow alums in my grade were so excited to see each other again and catch up… It was the perfect atmosphere to catch up with people I haven’t seen in a long time,” she said. 

Riopko echoed this sentiment by highlighting the value of the event to alumni.

“This event is a reminder of the great experience they had as an undergraduate student or an incredible tradition that instills a sense of pride in our alumni. One of our favorite things is seeing the faces of our alums light up when they reconnect with classmates they have not seen for a while. [It’s] a great opportunity for alums to come back and relieve their student experiences,” she said.

For seniors like Evelyn Williams ‘24, the event serves as a reminder that graduation is less than 100 days away, which she says is scary to think about. However, the event provides opportunities for seniors to reconnect with their senior and alumni friends.

“I loved being able to see all my friends who had graduated and my friends in the class of 2024 and be able to hang out and catch up with them,” she said.

Rory Durso

Elena Johnston ’24, who graduated in December, explained why it is important for alumni to continue to give back to Loyola after graduation.

“Loyola [was] a huge part of all of our lives for four years. We all have so many memories at Loyola and are emotionally invested, and since Loyola gave us our degree, we are also financially invested, too. We should keep up with the people and also the university as a whole,” she said. 

Riopko added some final advice for Loyola students who are not yet seniors but are looking forward to their Bull & Oyster event. 

Bull Roast is really a magical event. Reitz Arena and McGuire Hall are completely transformed with decor and lighting; we have multiple bands and amazing food. There is truly something for everyone. This event typically sells out, so our best advice to students is to get your tickets early!” she said.

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