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Commitment to Current Students Strengthened

By Deborah How ’89


Above: The Alumni Council at the fall meeting. Right: Alumni in 33 locations welcomed recent graduates and new residents to their cities (including New Haven, Conn., pictured) during the annual Welcome to the City event Sept. 28. Photo by Alden Dirks ’16

Swarthmore’s Alumni Council focused its attention on students and student-alumni interaction during itssemiannual meeting on campus this fall. Student-alumni connection opportunities were abundant and included mock interviews conducted by council members, a Liberal Arts Live mixer in Parrish Parlors, a career-networking dinner, an informal Sunday brunch in Sharples, and a concert featuring the works of student and alumni composers, performed by student and alumni musicians. These events spurred honest discussions of the role of alumni in current students’ Swarthmore experiences.

The Alumni Council is working closely with Student Council and Career Services to offer experiences that will help students prepare for life after Swarthmore. Council members bring firsthand experience of how to turn a Swarthmore liberal arts education into professional success and hope to share their collective wisdom with students.

To foster a discussion on how to make student-alumni engagement more meaningful and mindful, the Alumni Council welcomed several guest speakers, including President Rebecca Chopp, Vice President Maurice Eldridge ’61, Dean of Students Liz Braun, Student Council Co-President Lanie Schlessinger ’15, and Student Outreach Coordinator Aya Ibrahim ’15. The speakers addressed current campus issues, including Title IX compliance and sesquicentennial celebration planning.

By the weekend’s conclusion, inspired by enthusiastic student participation and positive feedback, the Alumni Council decided to deepen its ties to the student body more formally. Under the leadership of President David Ko ’92, the council will consider establishing a student-alumni mentoring program.

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