Students and alumni mingled under the pavilion at the University of Missouri Bradford Research Center. Behind them, students competed on a full obstacle course while live country music hummed in the background. To the side of the pavilion, a fire crackled under roasting marshmallows.
CAFNR Week came to close with s’mores, live music and activities that brought together students and alumni at the 2019 CAFNR Bonfire.
“A good way to celebrate the end of the week,” said Kaleigh Summers, CAFNR alumni relations and lead annual giving officer. “The alumni are super proud to be a part of CAFNR Week,” Summers said. “It’s exciting for the alumni to be able to contribute.”
Each CAFNR Week event is sponsored by a different club. The CAFNR True Tigers network collaborated with the CAFNR alumni association to organize the bonfire for students at the end of the week.
Katie St. Pierre, a senior agribusiness management major and CAFNR alumni intern, helped to plan the bonfire. She worked with other interns and the CAFNR student council co-chairs. St.Pierre helped design the t-shirts and shopped for the food. Students were able to make s’mores, roast hotdogs and enjoy other drinks and foods.
For St. Pierre, the CAFNR alumni association has great meaning for students because of the support they provide.
“The alumni association gives out over $60,000 a year in the form of scholarships and grants, and we work incredibly hard for CAFNR students because we believe in all the amazing things that CAFNR students can do,” St. Pierre said. “By having the alumni involved in the bonfire, it shows students what a degree from CAFNR can do for you.”
In the past, the bonfire has been a come-and-go event. Students dropped in to pick up a t-shirt, roast a marshmallow or two and then left. This year, the CAFNR True Tigers decided to take a different approach.
“The live music has kept a lot of people around despite the weather,” said Caleb Quinlan, the president of CAFNR True Tigers.
Towards the end of the night, the music seemed to bring the dwindling crowd together as they danced to Copper Head Road. Nick Schneider and Connor Templeton make up the two-man band.
“Connor and I played football together in high school, and Nick Schneider is in Independent Aggies. He always has a guitar and is ready to play it anywhere he is,” Quinlan said. “Through events like the bonfire, friendships can be made and harbored for life. You only get one chance at college and its events like these that create memories that last a lifetime.”