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Saint Mary’s welcomes Alumnae Association Board

Kelly Konya | Monday, November 4, 2013

The Saint Mary’s College Alumnae Association Board of Directors met last Wednesday through Saturday for their annual fall conference.  
Senior Student Alumnae Associate Board Representative Mollie Valencia said the group, comprised of 19 alumnae and two current students, joins together twice a year to discuss new changes and ways in which the Board can better connect with their worldwide alumnae network.  
The group met on Wednesday afternoon for the first of two general sessions, Valencia said.  Saint Mary’s President Carol Mooney addressed the group, discussing the College’s initiative to cultivate a community of diversity and acceptance.
Each of the Board’s committees and task forces agreed to encompass these changes in their goals for involvement within the community, Valencia said.
“The task forces are designed to work to accomplish a specific event or movement, and the committee meetings have a larger goal of working with the College to develop certain areas like alumnae engagement, student-alumnae relations and alumnae clubs throughout the U.S.,” Valencia said.  “The meetings revolve around figuring out ways to accomplish these goals, and all were very successful.”
On Thursday evening, the members participated in the annual Success After Saint Mary’s event, which was open to all students, Valencia said.
The event began with keynote speaker Charmaine Torma ’99, who spoke to students about the importance of networking.
“Let me assure you, your Saint Mary’s degree is well worth the time and investment,” Torma said. “Professional networking will give you the edge you need. Remember that networking happens every day and anywhere. It’s much more than meeting new people. It’s about being purposeful. Make sure you take the time to remember a person’s name, because networking is all about relationship-building.”
The speech was followed by a presentation by Carla Leal ’13 and Peggy Rodgers Taylor ’78 that taught students the top 10 ways to impress when networking.
Junior Sarah Hossfeld said she learned a great amount from the various alumnae, including the members of the Board whom she was able to mingle with after the speeches concluded.
“I thought Success After Saint Mary’s was such a good opportunity for students to practice how to properly introduce themselves and network with the alumnae. All of those women are so accomplished, and I felt honored to be able to talk to them about my own goals for the future,” Hossfeld said. “It always amazes me to meet alumnae and connect immediately over our love for Saint Mary’s; they want to talk to us students just as much as we want to learn from them.”
Valencia said the weekend also included orientation for new group members, a Chemistry Show put on by the SMC Chemistry Department, Mass for All Saint’s Day and a luncheon for the members and the Alumnae Relations Committee in Stapleton Lounge.  
Junior Julia Dunford said the luncheon was a great success.
“The alumnae were very willing to connect us with their networks and help us in any way they could,” Dunford said. “After all, alumnae are some of the biggest supporters of Saint Mary’s students and it was awesome to speak with them on a personal level. Most of them were still wearing their class rings, and it connected us immediately.”
Valencia said the weekend concluded with the “Welcome Home” tailgate event at Dalloway’s Clubhouse, where alumnae and their families could mingle with students and faculty before the home football game on Saturday.