Thursday, October 25, 2007

MVCC alumni making a difference

I frequently comment that I have an informal "alum of the day" program. As I'm out in the community meeting people, I invariably cross paths with an MVCC alumnus. More recently I had the chance to see the impact and influence of an MVCC education through our alumni. I attended a "meet the candidates" forum held in our theatre. The event was sponsored by our social sciences department and facilitated by our public policy students. Of the more than 30 candidates in attendance running for County Executive, County Legislator, Utica city Mayor, or Utica Common Council, nearly one-third made mention that they were graduates of MVCC. What a proud moment for the College to see graduates going on to serve the community in so many important ways.

In addition, I had the good fortune of attending a great event for MVCC alumni in the Rochester, New York area last weekend. Of MVCC's more than 30,000 alumni, more than 700 live in the greater Rochester area. So the 30 plus alumni and their guests who joined us for the event had a great time. I had the pleasure of meeting alums from the class of '49 when the College was housed at the Country Day School in New Hartford; and members of the class of '55 and '57 when many classes were held in the old Episcopal church on state street; alums from the '60s talked about the opening of the permanent campus in Utica; and the alumni from the 70s and 80s reminisced about many of their favorite faculty members, some who are still here and some who have since retired. I met a few married couples who met while attending MVCC and have enjoyed long and happy marriages in addition to their successful careers.

I was struck by how much success and happiness people had experienced since graduating from MV - many were still in their field of study, while others had gone on to Clarkson, Syracuse and other universities for advanced degrees to pursue even greater success. To a person, their memories of their time at MVCC were special and positive. It was a wonderfully organized event, coordinated by the creative staff in our Institutional Advancement Office and it reminded me of the power of education. In this society that is set up with so many possibilities, individuals can find themselves dealing with sometimes overwhelmingly negative situations in a spiral that is difficult to escape. However, those who have found a way to complete an education, like MVCC alumni, are well-equipped to explore and experience so many of the positive benefits that come with an education.

I look forward to working with our Institutional Advancement Office and our Alumni Association to continue reaching out to our outstanding alumni base that are experience such success and making a difference in our communities. If you have any ideas for engaging our alumni in the life of the College, let me know at presblog@mvcc.edu.