During graduation week ceremonies, graduating seniors are formally inducted into the Geneseo Alumni Association, making them eligible to participate in the alumni trip headed to Ireland for 11 days this July. This year, the study abroad department is taking a stronger publicity approach to invite current seniors to join this trip, led by professor of English Tom Greenfield and study abroad advisor Emily Froome.
“Part of the purpose is not just to have a vacation, but to keep the alumni and the faculty who lead it connected to the academic experience,” Greenfield said. “Without the pressure of graded assignments and credits, the trip becomes more enjoyable.”
The trip will involve three main locales, the first being Dublin, the capital of Ireland. The group will get the chance to tour the Abbey Theatre, the only major European national theater that came into being in the 20th century. Greenfield also said that he hopes to see an Irish play there.
After exploring Dublin in the east, the group will travel to western Ireland near Galway and Connemara.
“We are going to arrive in time for the Galway International Arts Festival which is the largest national art festival in all of Ireland and one of the major summer art festivals in all of Europe,” Greenfield said.
The third stop for the alumni group will be in Sligo, the home of poet William Butler Yeats. The group will converge with a study abroad student group from Geneseo that will be studying the poetry of Yeats.
“It’s very likely that [the groups] will share some of the academic experiences that they are involved in studying the poet,” Greenfield said. “We’re especially looking forward to have the combination of the alumni group and the active student group sharing a day [together].”
According to Greenfield, the trip will also involve using James Joyce’s short stories in the collection The Dubliners, which is basically a literary map of Dublin in the early 20th century.
“Walking through Dublin using [the] short stories, is one of the most exciting academic and teaching experiences I’ve ever had,” Greenfield said. “You can still literally walk his [Joyce’s] stories.”
Greenfield hopes that the group going on the trip next summer will be a mix of students from several graduating class years. He explained that it is a tendency of alumni groups to have classes that graduated together gather together.
“I think one of the benefits will be the opportunity to share the experience with people who [shared the experience of attending] Geneseo, [but may also be contrasted by] the passage of decades,” he said. “I’m looking forward to that dynamic."