National University faculty, staff and students squared off for a game of softball Wednesday evening near the Illinois campus. The friendly competition and other social events between faculty, staff and students have been a tradition at the Illinois campus for several years.
The game was held at Meadows Park in Lombard. After a string of unusually hot fall days, the weather cooled off just in time with temperatures in the mid-60s. To kick off the game, President Dr. Joe Stiefel performed the pre-game coin toss and gave a few opening remarks.
“I love when faculty, staff and students are able to get together outside of classroom,” Dr. Stiefel said. “It helps to bring the university closer together as a community.”
Faculty member Kristine Aikenhead, DC, served as umpire for the close game that went from 5:30 p.m. past sunset. Due to a loss of daylight, the game ended in a 4-4 tie.
Students, faculty and staff were joined by friends and family who also came to watch the game and provide support. Mariah Wilson, an ND student, who came just to watch the game, said these events allow her to get to know faculty she might not necessarily meet as a student. “It’s nice getting to know the faculty better and seeing them in a different light when they’re more relaxed,” she said.
Following the game, players and spectators also enjoyed pizza at Noon Whistle Brewing in Lombard.
Robert Shiel, PhD, dean of the College of Professional Studies, and Campus Coordinator Hilary Kluczynski both helped organize the event. In the past, the university has planned corn hole tournaments and trivia nights as well.
“The idea behind these events is to provide opportunities that will bring us closer together as a community by taking us out of our roles and allowing us to get to know each other better,” Dr. Shiel said.
The university has plans to add more faculty, staff and student competitions. Next trimester, there are already details for a volleyball tournament in the works.
“We had a lot of interest in the softball game this year,” Kluczynski said. “We’re looking forward to planning more tournaments in the future.”