The Princeton Review recently recognized the outstanding work of the St. Lawrence University alumni by honoring them with a No. 3 ranking in the category of Best Alumni Network – an annual list of institutions in the nation with strong alumni networks. This distinction is a reflection of the dedication of the alumni network as a whole to the success of all Laurentians, through programs such as Shadow-A-Saint, LINC Mentoring, Laurentians in Residence, Internship Fellowship, Sophomore Bootcamp, SLU Connect, Business Case Study Course, and many more. As a senior and student who has benefited from many of these programs, I know that these opportunities wouldn’t be possible, nor yield the same success, without the hard work of the Career Services and Advancement offices, Alumni Executive Council, the Board of Trustees, and other committed alumni.
This past year, I was selected to serve as one of the Student Delegates to the Alumni Executive Council (AEC), the liaison between all alumni and the University, and have been able to witness firsthand the dedication of the Council to the success of St. Lawrence students. The AEC directly supports many signature programs at the University, yet a lot of their work oftentimes goes unnoticed by the students they’re supporting. Here are just a few of the services and programs that wouldn’t be possible without the Council's contributions.
Saints Bells and Alumni Association Pins
One of my first memories of St. Lawrence was arriving at school for Orientation and receiving a Class of 2018 bell on one of the first nights. This welcome gift sponsored by the Council is so overwhelmingly symbolic that almost everyone I know still has their bells today, four years later. In addition, the Council also gives out pins after seniors cross the stage at Commencement to welcome them into the Alumni Association, which is composed of all St. Lawrence alumni.
Connecting Students with Alumni
There are several programs the AEC plays a critical role in the success of, including:
- The Sophomore Bootcamp, which is held a few days prior to the spring semester of sophomore year, during which students have the opportunity to return to campus for career preparation workshops. The bootcamp helps students network with alumni in different fields and introduces them to skills necessary for professional development. When I attended the Sophomore Bootcamp, I learned how to set up a LinkedIn profile, how to network with alumni, and attended multiple panels of alumni and parents who worked in industries I was interested in.
- SLU Connect Programs, which brings students and alumni together in different cities throughout the U.S. to attend career and industry seminars, network with alumni and attend site visits. SLU Connect first began in 2015 with the SLU Connect-D.C. program but has since expanded to include programs in Albany, New York; Boston, Massachusetts; and the Mountain States region. Additionally, the first SLU Connect-San Francisco program is set to take place this spring!
- The Laurentians in Residence and LINC mentoring programs.
The Alumni Council also plays a role in internship reimbursement of students, Homecoming events, mocktail networking events, and many other unique programs offered to current and prospective students. Although the Council is only made up of about 50 members, the group has been making a tremendous impact in the lives of students. The 2018 ranking of St. Lawrence University as No. 3 in the category of Best Alumni Network is a direct reflection of the outstanding work done by the Council, as well as the contributions made by other Laurentians. This achievement helps affirm what it means to be a Laurentian for Life.