A brand-new initiative at St. Michael’s College School (SMCS) will help connect recent graduates with fellow alumni at select universities in 2021.
As the Alumni Association continues to focus on new opportunities to support each other, the University Chapters initiative will provide recent SMCS graduates with the benefit of additional academic resources, university-specific advice, and broadened on-campus social networks as they transition to university.
“This concept of brotherhood and mentorship outside the walls of SMCS and on university campuses has existed for years (albeit informally) and it was time to add a new community pillar to the ever-popular Turkey Roll and Homecoming,” shares Gianluca Mazzanti ’09, chair of the University Chapters committee. “As a first-year student at Western, I relied heavily on upper-year alumni who took me under their wing. This idea of enduring brotherhood is one of the fundamental differences between SMCS and any other high school. It was time for us to formalize this torch-passing process to make sure our recent graduates had every advantage, no matter where in the world they chose to continue their studies.”
The pilot programme will begin at the University of Toronto, York University, Western University, Queen’s University, and McGill University. Student representatives will serve as mentors for university students while assisting the Alumni Association with potential alumni-focused initiatives and recommendations on how to best engage younger alumni.
“As an upper-year student at Western, I’ve gained many connections with students in a variety of programmes,” says Keon Edwards ’18, a student representative at Western University studying Media, Information and Technoculture. “One thing I wish to do with this initiative is connect graduates with other upper-year students in their respective programmes to mentor and gain advice. I also plan to assist students by answering their questions and directing them to resources that can help them succeed academically.”
Over the summer, the university chapters committee worked tirelessly to establish the programme and recruit third and fourth-year university volunteers to serve as student representatives. From there, the representatives connected with younger SMCS alumni entering their first or second year of university to offer support.
“When approached with the opportunity, I believed in what the initiative stood for and felt that it was important to develop SMCS alumni communities that continued our traditions of brotherhood, and actively helped one another through our university journeys,” says Anthony Ierulli ’18, a student representative at the University of Toronto working towards a degree in Kinesiology and Physical Education.
Student representatives have made themselves available for a minimum of one Zoom meeting per semester for a general Q&A as well as a check-in following the Christmas break to see if any new students need additional support.
“What I am looking forward to the most with this initiative is connecting with new students who I did not have the opportunity to meet when I attended SMCS, and helping them navigate their undergraduate studies,” says Ierulli. “Ultimately, I am excited to bring people together and build a community that supports each other.”
The university chapters initiative aligns with the school’s extensive mentorship programme that connects current students and alumni with fellow graduates from a wide range of industries and education. Not only do mentorship opportunities like this foster these connections, it also gives students and alumni access to real-world knowledge and experiences so they can prepare and plan for their future.
“I am looking forward to reconnecting with St. Mike’s alumni and fostering a small part of the SMCS brotherhood on the McGill campus,” shares Julian Mirijello ’19, a student representative at McGill University studying Management. “I am also looking forward to mentoring younger St. Mike’s alumni as they make the transition from St. Mike’s to McGill University.”
The Alumni Association looks forward to expanding this initiative to other universities, both within Canada and abroad. For more information or to volunteer at your university, please contact email@example.com.