Alumnae Council Partners with Students, Celebrates First Five Years
“Many wonderful things can be accomplished for St. Kate’s students when the University gives caring women the opportunity to do so,” said a member of the St. Catherine University Alumnae Council. And the University did!
In 2011, alumnae leaders created the Alumnae Council, a group of 160 dedicated St. Kate’s graduates committed to raising alumnae engagement with their alma mater to new heights.
Council members determined that the best way to do this was to focus on current students. They launched a wave of academic support and mentoring programs — offering everything from career advice to public speaking tips — and, by 2016, over 2,600 students benefited from the initiative. “I’m grateful for the council’s ongoing commitment to engage in meaningful ways with us,” says one participant, who found the confidence she needed to present at a national undergraduate research conference.
Alumnae engagement also exceeded expectations. By 2014, the number of council members increased by 30 percent, and by last year, more than 85 percent of the members committed to another term. Council committees are high energy and produce strong results. Each reflects the varied goals and values of St. Kate’s. The Student Hospitality Committee, for example, welcomes nearly 350 first-year students each fall and helps them move into their residence halls; the
Young Alumnae Committee offers “Katie Smarts,” expert-led sessions on finance, careers and housing; and the Volunteer Services Committee enables students and alumnae to join forces in “Citizen Katie.” As part of “The Reflective Woman” course, students interview alums for the “Composing a Life” project.
According to one member, “the council shows our re-commitment to St. Kate’s and appreciation for the University.” Another notes that “we have a real sense of responsibility to continue the success of a St. Catherine education for women.”
— Writer Helen Wagner is the former chair (October 2013–2016) of the Alumnae Council