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Ultimate Alumni Weekend

Hannah talks about the community around ultimate frisbee and the connection that Carleton has with its alumni.

Hannah talks about the community around ultimate frisbee and the connection that Carleton has with its alumni.

Frisbee at Carleton

Frisbee has shockingly been a large part of my life since coming to Carleton (as one could tell by looking at my previous posts about it here, here, and here.) Long story short, I quit running track and started a new sport I had never played before: Ultimate Frisbee. I now play for Syzygy, the D1 team that plays in the women’s division (we have six different teams here at Carleton).

Syzygy’s origin began in the late 80s at Carleton and has been going strong since then. Every year Syzygy has an alumni weekend (along with CUT, the men’s D1 team) where players from the past 40-something years return to our fields behind the recreation center to catch up, raise money for the current teams, and–of course–play some ultimate.

2023 Alumni Weekend

Though I am a sophomore, because I just joined the team this year, this has been my first experience at Alumni Weekend. It begins Friday (or even Thursday for some people who arrive earlier), at the end of our practice where alumni come and chat or scrimmage with the current teams. After practice, all of Syzygy went to an alum’s house for a potluck chili dinner.

people eating at a table
Syz alumni and current players eating a meal together

At the dinner, I met so many people from all different graduation years, and it was so cool to see how Syzygy has developed over the years. We compared traditions that are still alive (progressives–the Carleton version of a party–are still going strong), the origins of events like “From” aka frisbee prom, (sounds like prom but with an F instead), and what our alums are currently up to today (some examples include Ph.D. programs, writing for the Boston Globe, and creating environmental justice based policy).

Syzygy and Alumni
Current Syzygy players and alumni post-scrimmage on the Hill of Three Oaks.

Saturday was filled with scrimmages against the alumni (who are very very good), a Carleton version of the game “fricket”, mini frisbee games, and more. For dinner, we had a classic outdoor spring meal with hamburgers, hotdogs etc. I was manning the grill for most of the dinner.

Person standing by a grill holding spatula and giving a thumbs up
In my grilling era

A lot of our tournaments are out of state so we typically have to fly or drive far distances to get to them (we are headed to Cincinnati for Nationals in two weeks!). Since we are technically a club sport, the funding isn’t the same as a varsity sport and we also have to travel more. Because of this, the weekend is also a fundraiser for Syzygy and Cut, so we had merchandise tables and the famous (to frisbee players anyway) auction after dinner. The auction consists of various items, sporting a Syzygy or Cut logo and made/donated by ultimate-playing Carleton students, that the alumni then bet on. Following the auction there is a dance party and more socializing.

On Sunday things begin to wind down and there is another scrimmage but this time between Cut and its alumni. After that, some people head home or get lunch before they depart from campus.

Alumni Network

I met a couple of alum who are currently working on projects that sound like similar to something I might be interested in doing in the future. They told me to reach out at any point if I had questions or wanted to talk about it. This weekend really showed me a sliver of what life is like after Carleton. Even after you’ve graduated the potential to have that permanent community is there if you wish to participate.

Syzygy in a huddle to cheer
Syzygy + alumni finish the scrimmage with a team cheer

Besides alumni weekend I have only interacted with alumni a couple of times, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t always a great resource. When I was trying to decide what to major in, I was trying to see if I could combine geology and policy in some way to meld the worlds of political science and geology so that I could do both. I was able to connect with an alum who majored in geology and is now working in Congress for a year as an environmental advisor. We talked on the phone for about an hour and I learned a lot.

Moral of the story, alumni at Carleton are a great resource! Not only can they connect you to future things, but they are also just great people with interesting lives and stories.



Hannah is a sophomore majoring in Geology and minoring in Classics. Born and raised in Minnesota, she considers herself somewhat of an expert on MN winters. At Carleton, she fills her schedule with writing for the Admissions blog, working as a CCCE Communications Fellow, taking flute lessons, and increasing voter engagement on campus. When Hannah isn’t in class, she can be found tossing a frisbee with Syzygy, looking at rocks, reading, walking and skiing in the Arb, thrifting, and hanging out with her besties. Meet the other bloggers!