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The e-newsletter of Chestnut Hill College

Harry Potter Weekend Brings Thousands to Campus

Harry Potter Weekend Brings Thousands to Campus

CHC wins the Brotherly Love Cup!

CHC's 2014 Quidditch team nabbed the trophy in the fifth annual Philadelphia Brotherly Love Cup Tournament.
Photo by Linda Johnson

Congratulations to CHC’s Quidditch team on bringing home the trophy in the fifth annual Philadelphia Brotherly LoveQuidditch Cup Tournament held at the College October 18. The team beat out seven other teams — Shippensburg and Salisbury universities, Lafayette and Vassar colleges, the New Jersey Nargles and Philadelphia Honey Badgers — on a sunny fall afternoon that brought thousands of Harry Potter fans to campus.

According to Cristina Diaz ’15, team captain for three years and chair of the six-member Quidditch Board (the student group that organizes the tournament) the team is open to everyone who wants to play.

“It gets pretty competitive during the tournament, but otherwise, it’s mostly for fun,” she says.

The Harry Potter Weekend is a collaborative event developed between CHC and the Chestnut Hill West Business Association with activities happening in both places and connected by CHC shuttles and school buses.  In addition, other student clubs and organizations offer food and other items for sale throughout the day.

This year's Harry Potter Conference attracted a record number of participants.
Photo by Ryan Morton

The Alumni Relations Office had a booth this year, where Harry Potter scarves were sold. Raffle prizes and pins were free to alums who checked in throughout the day. “This was a great way for alums to connect and bring their kids and introduce them to the campus as well,” said Fran Vorsky ’05, ’07 SGS,  associate director of alumni relations.

The weekend actually kicked off on Friday, with the Harry Potter Conference, at which papers are presented reflecting on the major themes in the Harry Potter series of books. The conference has its origins in an interdisciplinary Honors course developed by Patrick McCauley, Ph.D., assistant professor of religious studies and philosophy, and Karen Wendling, Ph.D., assistant professor of chemistry, who are conference co-coordinators.

According to McCauley, the 221 registrants broke the 3-year-old conference record, as did the number of accepted papers presented — 25 papers and two 45-minute plenary speeches from two experts in the field of Harry Potter studies, John Granger and Gregory Bassham, Ph.D. For the first time, submissions from high school students were also accepted.

“We had seven excellent high school papers offered, from which two were selected to receive $10,000 CHC scholarships,” says McCauley. “This was clearly one of the highlights of the day.”

Friday night, Sorgenti Arena rocked to the sounds of Harry and the Potters, hosted by the student organization, the Harry Potter Alliance.

The event keeps growing each year, according to Emily Schademan ’13 SGS, director of student activities. “We had about 4,000 on campus throughout the day, making it our biggest event yet.” She added that she and the Quidditch Board welcome additional volunteers for next year’s event — to set up and clean up, as well as to referee the games.

View more pictures here.