Fall 2007 Cover
SCAN"College of St. Catherine The College of St. Catherine

February 2009
 
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Mission Driven

Counting Time

Young alumnae honor their education by donating hours and ideas as well as money.

Dew Drop Dash
Participants check out T-shirts and other event items after the first annual Dew Drop Dash, a 5K walk/run on the grounds of the College of St. Catherine during last summer's alumnae/i reunion.


BY MARY BETH LEONE-GETTEN

WHEN Rita Pomroy graduated from the College of St. Catherine in 2005 with a major in accounting and a minor in American Sign Language, she already had been hired by a prestigious Big 4 accounting firm. Yet she wondered how she'd fill the void she felt after leaving the place she'd called home for the past four years, where she'd been an orientation guide and captain of the softball team, held office in the Student Senate and managed the campus information center.

"My professors, coaches and supervisors engaged me in discussions, empowered me to take an active role in my studies and gave me meaningful work, all of which shaped who I am today," Pomroy says. So how do you maintain a link to the place that took you from a wide-eyed teen to a self-assured young woman?

Simple. You get involved.

During graduation practice, Pomroy received a postcard from the Alumnae Association, inviting all new graduates to stay connected to the College. She filled it out and quickly got a call from the association's executive director, Ruth Brombach '60, inviting her to serve as a class representative on the Alumnae Board. Pomroy jumped at the chance.

Three years later, Pomroy happily juggles her life's responsibilities — working as an internal auditor for Deluxe Corp., studying for the CPA exam and coaching high school softball — with her volunteer duties at St. Kate's. She gives roughly 200 hours to the college each year: as treasurer of the Alumnae Council, organizer of the first 5K walk/run at last year's reunion and a participant in many other campus events.

She also donates financially to the College and encourages others to donate as well.

Pomroy doesn't have to look far to see one of St. Kate's amazing alumnae in action. Her grandmother, Therese Marie Bailey '50, was only the third African-American woman to graduate from the College. "My grandmother credits St. Kate's for opening doors to her that would definitely have been closed in most other places at that time in history," Pomroy explains.

To help reach out to young alums, Pomroy and Sarah Berger '00, director of the Annual Fund, recently assembled a focus group from the classes of 2003 to 2007. "It was inspiring to hear these articulate, motivated women talk about their deep devotion to the College that gave them a world-class education," Berger says.

Together we can

But another message came across loud and clear: The recent graduates — amid new jobs, student loans and graduate school — felt they couldn't give enough money to St. Kate's to make a difference. Many were embarrassed to give the $25 they could afford now to the College that gave them so much. Any donation is important to Berger.

"When we all pool our resources, together they become a powerful gift that will positively change someone's educational future."
— Sarah Berger '00
"The beauty of the Annual Fund is that when we all pool our resources — no matter how small — together they become a powerful gift that will positively change someone's educational future," she says. She cites the recent presidential election as an example of what can happen when you pool $5 and $10 donations from a great many people. "I want our young alums to see that the ripple effect is extraordinary — and believe that together, anything is possible."

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Rita Pomroy '05

Rita Pomroy '05