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The Case for the Regional Alumni Chapter

/The Case for the Regional Alumni Chapter
The Case for the Regional Alumni Chapter2018-06-19T19:52:31+00:00

Boston’s gotone. Isn’t it time an alumni chapter opened near you?

By MichaelBolanz ’00
Photo by Sean Pavone

The 2013launch of the College’s first regional alumni chapter was a welcoming momentfor the College and its growing community of alumni. This inaugural chapter,located in Boston, Massachusetts, has set the tone for a great number of newprojects for the College community, including greater outreach and a newvariety of alumni events. But its launch also begs the question, isn’t it timewe created more regional chapters?

Alumni chaptersare volunteer-driven organizations that reflect the pride of Saint Joseph’salumni—no matter where they live. Through the activities of chapters, we areable to engage and connect with a higher number of alumni than the office ofAlumni Relations and the Alumni Association Board could do through itsindividual efforts.

Alumnichapters serve alumni by providing opportunities to socialize and networkthrough organized socials, service events, and activities in their localcommunities. They also help alumni stay connected with their alma mater bykeeping them informed about major events at the College or by providing theopportunity for alumni to share memories of their years at Saint Joseph’sCollege. They can also serve as a resource for recent grads as well as currentstudents by offering mentorships, internships, and even career opportunitiesthrough the bond we all share as being part of the Saint Joseph’s Collegecommunity.

So, thereare a lot of positives to the existence of a regional chapter, but how can weactually create more? Here’s the history of the Boston Chapter.

GettingOrganized

The BostonChapter’s success came directly from the volunteer work of our alumni in theBoston area. RJ Turner ’98, who is a current member of the Alumni AssociationBoard, took on the role as chair of the Boston Chapter. Establishing a leaderis important.

“Having analumni chapter in Boston allows us to extend the reach even farther from our‘home base’ in Standish,” says Turner. “The success we’ve come to find theselast three years has allowed for this to happen, and it’s only going to getbetter. I am just glad I can be a part of it.”

In additionto Turner, the Boston Chapter is spearheaded by a group of dedicated alumni allserving vital roles in its organization and continuing success. There’s JenTaylor ’03,’09, who is the acting vice chair; Jesse Beer ’01, who serves as theevents coordinator; Laura Conti ’04, communications coordinator; and KellyBedard ’06, the chapter’s secretary. Of course, there are more volunteers whoare making this happen: Matt Cotreau ’10, Dan Giusti ’03, Patrick Murphy ’05,and Erin Scanlon ’98.

“The BostonChapter is good for the area,” says Beer, “as it allows alumni to generatefriendships and create a closer bond to the College. As we grow the BostonChapter, I hope we can find ways to continually add to the number of involvedalumni.”

ALUMNI BYSTATE

The Kick-Off

Afterdetermining leadership positions and formalizing the chapter’s intention toexist, thrive, and expand, there must be a kick-off event. After all, you haveto give your chapter’s members what they’re asking for. The Boston Chapter,seeking to connect alumni with each other and the College, did not disappoint.

The BostonChapter was launched at a December 2013 Christmas party at The Whiskey Priestin Boston’s Seaport District. The event brought nearly 50 alumni together tocelebrate the holidays and raise money and canned food items for Catherine’sCupboard Food Pantry.

Boston’snext event, on February 22, featured a “Home-Away-From-Home” social at theCherry Tree Bar and Grille in West Newton, prior to attending a Monks men’sbasketball match at Lasell College.

Boston’sthird event took place on March 15 at TD Garden, for a game between the BostonBruins and the Carolina Hurricanes.

Theselocations allowed alumni to connect with each other and to simply enjoy theperks of having a group of people who all share a common bond: Saint Joseph’sCollege.

The FinePrint

So, that’sthe “who” and the “how” of creating a regional alumni chapter. But there mustbe some fine print to all of this, right?

Actually,there isn’t.

All SaintJoseph’s College alumni are members of the Alumni Association, anon-dues-paying organization. When alumni in a specific region initiate achapter, all alumni within that geographic area are considered members of thechapter and are welcomed to attend all chapter events.

On the heelsof such a successful launch of the College’s first chapter, the Alumni Officeis looking to expand the network of regional chapters to serve all areas wherealumni live. And where, exactly, do they live? The Association’s reach includesall 50 states. (Yes, Alaska and Hawaii, we’ve got you covered.) Whether you’reone of the 902 alumni living in Florida or one of the 134 in Washington, thereare plenty of grads in your state to organize a regional chapter.

If you are interested in starting a chapter inyour area, contact Michael Bolanz ’00 in the Alumni Office at 207-893-7894or mbolanz@sjcme.edu for more information.