USD Hosts Catholic Schools Night Festivities on Jan. 26

The nationwide celebration of Catholic Schools Week, set for Jan. 27-Feb. 2, is getting an earlier start at the University of San Diego.

This Saturday, Jan. 26, USD’s West Coast Conference men’s basketball’s 7 p.m. home game against the University of San Francisco is a big game, but it will be just one part of the university’s inaugural Catholic Schools Night festivities.

The USD Athletics Department, the Undergraduate Admissions Office, University Ministry and USD Alumni Relations will come together to welcome students, parents, teachers and administrators from the San Diego Catholic Diocese’s 49 schools countywide (six high schools, 43 elementary/middle schools) to campus.

“This is a true partnership for us as a Catholic institution,” says Marcy Lanoue, USD Athletics’ senior associate director of athletics for external affairs and senior woman administrator. “Knowing what the university has done regarding the Torero Promise, what we can do is to use a basketball platform to provide an entertaining space for people to come out, see the campus and show them what we have to offer. This gives them a taste of a college atmosphere. We’re super excited.”

Invitations were sent to all families with a student in a K-12 Diocese-connected school for the basketball game. Tickets were $10 per person with a concession voucher for a hot dog, chips and a soft drink. All students at Diocese-affiliated high schools can attend a college-planning workshop given by USD Undergraduate Admissions representatives from 6-6:45 p.m. in Manchester Hall.

Minh-Ha Hoang, USD’s director of admissions, said Diocese-affiliated high school students can gain more insight about USD, the admissions application process, what makes for an outstanding candidate and more about the Torero Promise.

Younger kids can have fun with a bounce house, face painting, cornhole at Eagan Plaza from 6-6:45 p.m. outside the Jenny Craig Pavilion and they’ll be joined by USD scholarship student-athletes representing football, men and women’s soccer and volleyball to support them. USD’s alumni relations staff collaborated with USD Athletics to host a pre-game reception in the Warren Hospitality Suite in the JCP for San Diego Diocese teachers who are USD alumni from 6-7 p.m.

Other fun activities include picking students who will get to create a high-five line to welcome the USD basketball players onto the court, one lucky student will get to deliver the official game ball and teachers will get to compete in a free-throw shooting contest at halftime, Lanoue says.

“Catholic Schools Night at USD is a wonderful example of our commitment to being an anchor institution,” said Michael Lovette-Colyer, assistant vice president and director of University Ministry. “We are delighted to welcome families, teachers and staff members from our local schools to campus for an evening of fun and entertainment.  We hope it will be one of many times that they visit. I'm very grateful to my colleagues in Athletics and at the Diocese's Office of Schools for making the night possible.”

In all, the basketball game, the pre-game festivities and the chance to collaborate with the local Diocese education entities adds up to one great evening of connecting with the community.

“We have about 800 attendees right now we’re expecting, which is amazing, and it’s only year one. It’s a great group of people who represent this community and we think it’ll grow,” says Lanoue.

— Ryan T. Blystone

Video by USD Athletics


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