June 2010 cover SCAN"St. Catherine University St. Catherine University
February 2011
 
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Strength in Numbers

The Council of 200 will give alumnae meaningful opportunities to contribute and serve.

BY THERESA MCHUGH PALMERSHEIM '72

Educating students to lead and influence is central to the mission of St. Catherine University. And now alumnae can continue to lead and influence — and to learn and serve — in more and deeper ways through the new St. Catherine Alumnae Council of 200.

"This is a big, bold shift," says Vice President for External Relations Marjorie Mathison Hance '70. "The Alumnae Council of 200 will help alumnae engage with
St. Catherine in many areas. One will be the four schools created when we became a university. Another will be functional areas within the University such as admissions, career development and continuing education. A third will be alumnae activities such as lifelong learning and reunions.

"The Council will dramatically help us expand the number of alumnae who have ways of providing input and influencing the affairs of the University," she says.

The goal is to "explode" alumnae engagement. "But engagement is not just a buzzword," says Alumnae Relations Director Ruth Haag Brombach '60. "It describes the productive connection that is possible between the University and its graduates. The Alumnae Council of 200 will be a unique and fun experience for everyone who participates."

Work has begun to fill the 200 Council seats through appointments, nominations and self-nominations. The first meeting of the Alumnae Council of 200 will be held at St. Kate's on September 29 and 30, 2011.

Council membership

The Alumnae Council of 200 will include alumnae from each of 60 class years in the College for Women (1950 through 2010), as well as alumnae from the Weekend Program, and graduate, associate and diploma programs. Students, faculty, staff, alumnae chapter members, the Sisters of St. Joseph, past Alumnae Association presidents and former trustees also will be represented.

"The process will encourage broad representation," Haag Brombach says. "Class leadership teams, elected at their last reunion, will be asked to nominate someone from their class or to self-nominate." Alumnae from other degree programs also will be asked to submit nominations or to nominate themselves.


Among the responsibilities for Alumnae Council members:

  • Attend the annual general meeting.
  • Commit to at least one council committee and attend (in person or remotely) two or three meetings a year. Committees will include admissions, career development, fundraising, continuing learning, reunion and special events, community volunteerism, social media outreach and student connections.
  • Participate in or help to plan one class, chapter or special interest gathering annually.
  • Offer the equivalent of at least one day of service to St. Kate's through such activities as mentoring, guest speaking, advising or recruiting.
  • Make a financial contribution to the University within your means.

The board of directors of the former St. Catherine Alumnae Association is serving as the first executive committee of the Alumnae Council of 200 and has appointed seven members to an Alumnae Council nominating committee. That committee will contact potential Council members during the next several months. The first Council members will serve two- or three-year terms.

"The annual meeting will be two days of learning and planning, as well as visiting with the school deans or their representatives," Haag Brombach says. "During the rest of the year, alumnae will make an impact as ambassadors and through direct, hands-on service. For example, an alumna may mentor a student, work with admissions at a college fair or welcome prospective students from her area."

Far-reaching influence

St. Catherine leaders first learned about alumnae councils through another university's alumni council of 400. "We are incorporating best practices for alumnae from universities all over the country," says Haag Brombach. "We intend to make our Alumnae Council the best of the best. It will be a top experience — a chance to interact with other alumnae and accomplish something significant."

As alumnae become more tied into the schools of the University — the Henrietta Schmoll School of Health; the School of Business and Leadership; the School of Humanities, Arts and Sciences; and the School of Professional Studies — they will have more opportunities for educational programming, she explains.

Mathison Hance sees the Alumnae Council as a chance for alumnae to influence an institution they care deeply about and to help the University succeed.

"Council members will develop close relationships with people at the University and with distinguished alumnae of all professions," she explains. "They will have opportunities for intellectual stimulation and the chance to shape St. Kate's moving forward."

In turn, students, faculty and staff members on the council will learn more about alumnae interests and concerns.

"As St. Catherine has grown from a college to a university, we've seen more ways for alumnae to benefit from and engage with St. Kate's," Mathison Hance says. "The St. Catherine Alumnae Council of 200 is the vehicle to make that happen."

Help shape St. Catherine University!
St. Catherine University invites alumnae to nominate themselves or others for the Alumnae Council of 200. Please include your name, address, phone number, e-mail address, year of graduation, the degree that you earned and your major, and two or three sentences about why you are interested in serving on the Alumnae Council of 200 — or include that information about the person whom you are nominating. You may submit a nomination one of two ways:

  • Send an e-mail to alumnae@stkate.edu.
  • Mail a note to: Nominating Committee, Department of Alumnae Relations, St. Catherine University, 2004 Randolph Ave., St. Paul, MN 55105.

Questions? Contact Alumnae Relations Director Ruth Haag Brombach '60 at rcbrombach@stkate.edu or 651-690-6666.

 
Representatives from 60 class years, faculty members, staff and Sisters of St. Joseph will comprise the Council of 200.

What's New for Alumnae?

St. Catherine is offering many opportunities for alumnae now that the Office of Alumnae Relations is part of the University.

The Career Development office at St. Kate's is in the process of hiring a career planning and development expert to work with alumnae and students, and to facilitate those Katies collaborating with one another as well.

The alumnae career program coordinator will help alumnae launch or further their careers through career development programs, a new jobs database called "KatieClick Alumnae" and by matching alumnae mentors with other alums. Alumnae also will have the opportunity to mentor students.

"KatieClick is a particularly exciting opportunity for alumnae," says Kimberly Betz, director of the Office of Career Development. "Alumnae who create a KatieClick account will have access to thousands of job postings. Through that account, alumnae also may indicate their willingness to serve as mentors or to seek a mentor themselves."

Learn more at stkate.edu/alumcareers.

Other plans and activities include:

  • Outreach around the country and the world through podcasts of important events on campus. The first podcast for alumnae was the November 9, 2010, speech by nationally known Catholic journalist John L. Allen, Jr. The link to his presentation was sent via our monthly alumnae e-newsletter, @ St. Catherine.
  • Hiring an alumnae chapter relations manager, enabling the University to develop a system to organize and maintain chapters so alumnae can more easily reach one another.
  • Hiring an alumnae communications specialist who will refine the alumnae website, develop stronger outreach to alumnae via social media tools and continue to enhance the alumnae presence in SCAN magazine.
  • Researching the development of international travel programs and additional lifelong learning programs.
  • An Alumnae Communications survey that asks for input about how St. Kate's communicates with you. Complete the survey now »