The St. Michael’s College School (SMCS) Alumni Association executive and directors gathered via Zoom on September 15, 2020, for their first meeting of the 2020-21 academic year. The focus of the meeting was to finalize goals and plans for the year.
John P. O’Neill ’86, Alumni Association President, led the attendees through the 90-minute meeting. The jam-packed agenda included topics such as the upcoming yellow desk fundraising campaign, how to cultivate life-long giving, and how to connect virtually. All topics circled back to what is important – SMCS students, past, present, and future.
Work is already underway on building strategies to share the importance of giving, whether it be through time, energy, talents, or through donations. The Alumni Association would like to build on the Basilian tradition of service and in particular, how one can give back to SMCS. The school’s Alumni Office is very fortunate to have an alumni database of over 11,000 graduates with a wide variety of expertise and experience.
“It doesn't have to be money,” Dominic Montemurro ’78, Alumni Association Director added during the meeting. “I look at all the guys joining us tonight - we're giving our time for the betterment of others.”
Plans are underway for the association to connect with alumni to share their wealth of knowledge and experience to grow the already popular virtual events.
“The Alumni Association hopes to continue to provide a bridge between alumni and the school. With our new COVID reality, we have some very exciting events planned that will connect alumni like never before,” says Matt Montemurro ’05, Alumni Association Vice President. “We will be leveraging technology to bring alumni together, across the globe – something that has been a struggle for our association in the past. From social gatherings to educational discussions, we hope that this year will be the start of something special.”
The Alumni Association is also working closely with the school’s Advancement Office to launch a fundraiser to sell many of the beloved yellow desks, a staple of classrooms at the school since the Bathurst Street campus opened in September 1950. As discussions continue to evolve, the plan for this fundraiser will not only benefit the SMCS bursary and other programmes, but also the greater SMCS community at large.
With most people feeling much more familiar and comfortable with virtual technology, the association agreed there would be more focus and outreach to alumni using digital communication platforms. This will be accomplished by working with the SMCS administration, faculty, and staff on opportunities to virtually bring alumni into the classroom, including participating in the morning announcements with a one-minute message that ties into the theme or activity that is taking place at SMCS.
The goal is to constantly remind students that they are connected to the Alumni Association outside the walls of SMCS. During Spirit Week at SMCS (September 21-25), Brandon Sousa ’07, current Alumni Association Director and former student government president, will speak to the students over the morning announcements to offer encouragement for the upcoming year and address the importance of maintaining connections even as we are physically separated.
In addition to growing the successful Alumni Information Series, the association will be looking at different ways to host virtual events, which may include a virtual Turkey Roll & Reunion, and even a book club.“We have a unique opportunity through these virtual events to connect with alumni who may not have participated in past in-person/traditional gatherings,” explains O’Neill.
“I am grateful for the time and dedication of our Alumni Association,” says Stephanie Nicholls, Alumni and Special Events Officer. “We have a lot of hard work ahead of us, but we are all looking forward to seeing everything unfold and come together.”