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  Alumni / Advancement    
    Letter from the President of the General Alumni Association

By Anne Reilly Ziaja ’78

Hello from your General Alumni Association! It is always amazing to me how much time and energy the members of our board of directors dedicate to serving our Alma Mater. Without the leadership of these fine sons and daughters of Holy Cross the good work of our alumni association would not be as varied or as successful!

The winter homecoming meeting of the General Alumni Association gave me reason to pause and reflect on our varied projects for the year. The GAA awards scholarships to current fourth-year students who are children of alumni/ae. We sponsor Continuing Education Day, a Senior Reception, and our Summer Fellowship Program, run in conjunction with the regional clubs. The Summer Fellowship Program promotes the ideals of the College and, at the same time, encourages students to pursue a career in social service. We are also a presence on campus in the form of the Bishop Healy Committee, which encourages the recruitment and retention of minority students for Holy Cross.
One of our committees is in need of “field” volunteers. Under the leadership of committee chairman Brian Cashman ’77, the Alumni Admissions Program has had GAA input and assistance. Brian has worked closely with Jim Richardson, who is the alumni admissions coordinator, reporting to Ann Bowe McDermott ’79, director of admissions.

First, I’ll tell you the Good News. Throughout the 1999-2000 academic year, Jim Richardson coordinated approximately 1,000 alumni volunteers to help the Admissions Office in recruiting the Class of 2004. The alumni representatives covered over 100 college fairs or college night programs. There were over 380 interviews conducted by the Alumni Admissions volunteers, which accounted for approximately 90 percent of all alumni interviews assigned. An amazing 1,200 students were contacted to congratulate them on their acceptance to the College. In addition to these efforts, many regional alumni clubs and alumni admissions program members assisted the Admissions Office staff at more than 30 receptions hosted around the country for prospective students and their parents.

All of these efforts are essential to the goals of the Admissions Office as they recruit the best first-year class for Holy Cross. Our assistance as graduates of the College is crucial to the success of these goals. In writing about the involvement of alumni/ae in recruiting, President-elect Rev. Michael C. McFarland, S.J., has stated, “word of mouth is always one of the most important and credible influences on a student’s decision about where to go to school.” It has been noted that alumni representatives are some of our most valuable assets as families come to receptions and fairs to see and speak with an example of a Holy Cross “Success Story.”

There is a real need in some specific areas for alumni volunteers. The state of Maine has only nine volunteers for the entire state; Steve Kelleher ’71, club president from Maine, is looking for recruits. New Hampshire has 28 “active” volunteers in its database; additional alumni/ae are needed to help them meet prospective students and attend receptions. We really need volunteers in all areas of the state of Vermont. Massachusetts would benefit from some reinforcements on Cape Cod to assist the three graduates who are active there; the area west of Sturbridge is in need of people to help with the Alumni Admissions Program at all levels of activity. Rhode Island, too, has a shortage of volunteers to cover college fairs. CAN YOU HELP?

New York has some areas of concern. Suffolk County, which covers the entire eastern half of Long Island, can use more volunteers for all Alumni Admissions Program activities. Upstate New York is definitely light on coverage. One of the biggest challenges has been to meet the requests of students for alumni interviews in the Syracuse, Rochester and Buffalo areas. Other states in need of volunteers include Pennsylvania, Ohio, Virginia, Delaware, Maryland and Florida. We are also looking for help in the states of Georgia, Texas, Washington and California in assisting with the Alumni Admissions Program, and in the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico as well.

Holy Cross alumni are known for their support of their Alma Mater. I have complete faith that some of you will answer this call for help and assist us with the Alumni Admissions Program. It really is rewarding. If you are interested in finding out more about this effort, please contact Jim Richardson by e-mail at jrichardson@holycross.edu or by phone, in the Admissions Office, at (508) 793-2443. We need your help in order for the Alumni Admissions Program to continue to thrive and grow.




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