When we started to think about creating an Alumni Center here at Jefferson, we put together a document outlining its purpose. The paper states, “The proposed Alumni Center will serve three basic functions: to provide a home for alumni visiting campus, to provide a space for the five alumni association boards to meet and to house the Alumni Relations offices.”
It’s a rather dry and practical statement of purpose—correct as far as it goes—but the word “home” jumped out at me and tugged a little at my heart. The new Alumni Center we are planning will be more than a meeting space and an office space: it’s a home. It’s friends and family. It’s memories. It’s triumphs and setbacks and lessons learned. It’s where you got your start in life. It’s where you’re always welcomed back, no matter how far away you go or for how long.
The new space Jefferson has set aside for our 33,000-plus living alumni from all six colleges comprises 5,000 square feet on the second floor of Alumni Hall. We already have a floor plan. The Alumni Center will include a reception area, large conference room, a library lounge, a business center, displays of Jefferson archival materials like photos and yearbooks and, of course, Alumni Relations offices. It will be a friendly and versatile environment where alumni can gather for catching up, reminiscing about their professors, learning about the new Jefferson, networking with colleagues, mentoring students, conducting official alumni business, attending on-campus alumni events and accessing alumni services. The Alumni Center will be completely dedicated to serving our alumni. In other words, it will be, as our plan put it, your campus home.
The new Alumni Center is all about our Jefferson family. That’s why Jefferson is investing in more resources, more programming and more services for alumni. Even though you’ve graduated, even though you’ve gone off to make a life and built a career, you’re still one of us—and we depend on you. Alumni are not just our past: you’re our future. We love to hear your stories, and we need to hear your voice. Your involvement and passion help Jefferson to govern better and plan for a brighter future, and the close connection helps you to tell better Jefferson stories to those who don’t know us.
There are many ways alumni can give back by giving forward to secure a better Jefferson. We welcome your comments and queries at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dorothy, in The Wizard of Oz, is more than right when she says, “There’s no place like home.” Find out for yourself. I hope you come and visit soon.
Elizabeth A. Dale, EdD
Executive Vice President