The Alumni Council: St. Lawrence’s “Permanent
By Ken Polk ’91 and Megan Bernier ’07, with Lisa Cania M’82,
Since the late 19th century, when visionary alumni started its earliest
incarnation, St. Lawrence University’s Alumni Executive Council has
played a large role in building, creating and preserving the
relationships among alumni and with the students, faculty and administrators.
informing prospective students about St. Lawrence and helping
the career services staff find internships and job opportunities for current
students, to working with alumni and raising money for the University,
there is not an aspect of St. Lawrence that the 36-member council does
not help. “Active
service on the Alumni Council brings one into a close working relationship
with faculty, staff and students and gives a sense of genuine involvement
in the life of the University,” confirms
Doug Brown ’63, who served as president of the council 1998-2000.
It functions, as President Daniel F. Sullivan often says, as “one
of the best Alumni Councils in the nation, providing ‘loving criticism’ while
serving as a permanent focus group.”
The Power of “Loving Criticism”
Brown understands the concept of “loving criticism” and has
seen its power in action. “The University needs to know what alumni
think and welcome their input,” he says “The council provides
a forum for exactly that and gives alumni everywhere a representative voice
in the St. Lawrence enterprise.”
In the everyday work of a council member, service to current
students and alumni is a priority. “The council is helping to produce
applicants, students, internships, successful alumni programs
and dollars for St. Lawrence,” says Brown.
|Lennelle McKinnon '58, right, probably
hugged every senior at the Alumni Council Brunch for the
Class of 2005. The brunch is just one event the council
sponsors for students or alumni.
St. Lawrence has become increasingly well known for how active
alumni are in helping students with internships and careers after they
graduate, and that initiative started with the example the Alumni Council
provided to the rest of the St. Lawrence community so many years ago.
What They Do
The council has its own budget, using resources generated by
the MBNA affinity credit card program, to fund scholarships,
internships, special or pilot projects that benefit alumni, and events
on campus for seniors and alumni.
Jeffrey D. Honeywell ’80, president
of the council, says, “What
most amazes me about the council is that there are so many
different classes and eras represented, people with different backgrounds
from all areas of the country and various professional lives, yet there
is an immediate commonality when we’re all together--which reminds
me of what St. Lawrence was when I was there, and what it is today.”