The long-longed weekend finally arrived. Students, parents, alumni, trustees, the President of Franklin University Switzerland and former colleagues all came together and interacted in a meaningful way during the 4-day reunion in May.  A lot was posted on social media, the press gave relevance to the Graduation Ceremony, and to the Honorary degree recipients.


Now, two months following the events, we would like to recap here the major gatherings, of what was more than 150 alumni and nearly 250 people who reunited, reconnected, and reminisced during Franklin's 2022 Alumni Weekend in Lugano, from May 12 to 15, 2022. 

Alumni and friends had a chance to tour the New Building, enjoy a beautiful Alumni Cruise on Lake Lugano, sample the amazing food at Franklin during the Alumni BBQ, tour the current Campus with current students, hike to the top of Mount San Salvatore, celebrate our newest alumni at Commencement, and so much more.

It was an exciting and busy weekend, as the program included a total of 14 events, specifically:

Aperitivo Alumni Boat Cruise with the Alumni Classes of 1960s - 2010 and the Young Alumni and Graduates Aperitivo Alumni Boat Cruise (Classes of 2011 - 2021) sponsored by the Alumni Council and the Office of Advancement.

Alumni and graduates were thrilled to see this time-honored tradition of a cruise around Lake Lugano celebrating the new grads revived for this year after being canceled two years in a row due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Alumni, Board members, faculty, staff, graduates, and friends all enjoyed a beautiful cruise around the lake with near-perfect weather and toasted to Franklin.

Exploring Lugano: Hike on Monte San Salvatore

Alumni joined Franklin’s Coordinator of Recreational Sports & Student Engagement, Aniello De Lucia for a rousing hike up to the top of San Salvatore. Many stopped for photos and a snack at the top before making the trek down. The beauty of Lugano was in full force for the group that participated in this hike.

Exploring Lugano: Lake Muzzano

Lake Muzzano is a pristine small pond with pure waters and one-of-a-kind vegetation bordering it, despite being surrounded by the homes of Greater Lugano. It symbolizes the possibility of peaceful coexistence between urbanization and nature. It thus embodies many of our values and is represented by the newly created Green Office. For this reason, the walk around this lake was not just a stroll but interesting experiential learning.

Student Panel

Alumni heard from current students including incoming Student Government Association (SGA) President Spencer Landry and past President Jonathan Bystrowski.

Benjamin Franklin Society Apero

Celebrated the alumni who have generously made an estate gift to Franklin.

Taste of Switzerland

Alumni gathered in the Grotto to sample the delicacies of Switzerland while reconnecting with former classmates and friends. 

New Building Celebration and State of the University

The Celebration of the New Building, dubbed "Phase 3", marked one of the most spectacular events of the weekend. On the morning of Saturday, May 14, more than 100 alumni, staff, students, professors and donors gathered within the Angela Fowler Atrium at Franklin University Switzerland’s third campus to celebrate the successful completion of the university’s first capital campaign. Raising more than $8 million, retiring President Greg Warden spoke about the importance of this building for the future of Franklin.

Founders and former Presidents Pat Tone and Theo Brenner were there to witness a historic moment in the school's history. Among many of the state-of-the-art spaces, the new Tone Athletic Center will permanently have a home on the top floor, with spectacular views of Lake Lugano. The students will be able to work out on brand new equipment generously funded by Pat Tone. 

Nora McNeely Hurley ‘81 had not been back to Lugano since leaving as a student. She was inspired to support Franklin in this campaign because of the life-changing experience she had while studying in Lugano. Nora and her husband Michael have donated for the creation of a garden, the “Garden of Light”, to provide relaxation and reflection.

“With this new space, we are confident that our students will experience an even better quality of life on campus” said McNeely-Hurley. 

President Warden also unveiled the donor wall. With every gift of $10,000 or more, names will be permanently placed in the entryway of the new structure. This wall is a reminder of the importance of each gift and the generosity of our alumni. Finally, President Greg Warden was also honored to have the student center named after him and received the surprise during the celebration, with a specific plate with his name engraved on it. The dedication ended with a light brunch at the Grotto on Kaletsch campus.

Franklin officially broke ground on the building in May of 2019 – read more here – and will finally host the first students in August 2022. 

Student-Led Campus Tours  

Alumni from all eras of Franklin had a chance to tour our current campuses to learn about the innovation first-hand from current students. 

2022 Commencement Ceremony

The Franklin community celebrated our newest 2022 alumni, our Golden Falcons, who attended Franklin 50+ years ago and lead the 2022 Commencement procession – learn more here – and our 2020 alumni.  

Class Dinners held throughout Lugano  

Alumni volunteers helped coordinate dinners for their classes at restaurants throughout Lugano.  

Sustainable Garden Dedication for Professor Ann Gardiner  

A toast was held in honor of Professor Ann Gardiner as former Franklin VP and Dean Sara Steinert Borella helped to dedicate the Sustainable Garden on North Campus – learn more here.  

Franklin Family BBQ where alumni and friends gathered for a final celebration of Franklin 

As the weekend came to a close, alumni, faculty, staff, student volunteers, and guests all enjoyed a delicious BBQ lunch in a beautiful tent by the soccer field on North Campus. One highlight of the event was the attendance of former Franklin Presidents and founders of the school Theo Brenner and Pat Tone. 

As you can see, the weekend was really full: Franklin’s 52-year-old tradition is accompanied by an ever-growing momentum of academic energy, community building, and new, out-of-the-box ideas.