College years are a cherished memory for many Anselmians. As time goes by, they keep in touch with friends who became family during their four years together, and even return to the Hilltop for Reunions to spend time with monks and faculty members.
However, in those first years post-graduation, young alumni lead busy lives building careers and families, which sometimes makes it tough to get back to the campus they love. And entry level salaries can make giving back to their alma mater appear equally challenging.
In the past, the Saint Anselm College President’s Society may have seemed out of reach for recent graduates. The Society was founded in 1992, and represents the college's most generous donors, who give $1,000 or more each fiscal year (membership is renewable each year). President's Society donors include the entire Anselmian community: alumni, parents, trustees, faculty, staff and friends of the college.
Alumni 6-10 years after graduation may give $500 a year for membership; but now, graduates 2-5 years out may give $250, and a year after graduation, alumni can give $100 to become members (see chart for a class year breakdown). Payments may be made monthly or quarterly, and can be as little as $8.64. Members receive President’s updates on the state of the college, as well as invitations to events throughout the year, including a special reception at Reunion and the Corporate Partners Breakfast (held semiannually). They are also listed in the President’s Society Honor Roll of Donors.
Jim Hauser ’91, chair of the President's Society Council and a member of the college Board of Trustees, believes engaging young alumni in the Society is important to Saint Anselm’s future development. “Young alumni are such an essential part of the Anselmian community. As we look forward to future growth for the college, their active and energetic participation is key to our success.”
As one of the first members of her class to join the Society and the Council, Maire Lynch ’13 feels that she’s continuing a tradition. That’s something she knows a lot about, as one of thirteen Saint Anselm graduates in her family, including her parents, Denis and Ellen ’81, both of whom also worked in the Office of Alumni Relations at different times during her childhood.
“I’m still close with my friends from Freshman Orientation, and I was an Orientation Leader as a senior because I had such a great time doing it,” says the former history major and Latin minor. She was also active in the Elizabeth Seton Society and did two Spring Break Alternative Service and Solidarity Mission trips during her time at Saint Anselm.
Maire now lives in Boston and works for Sirios Capital Management. “I’m not far away, and like a lot of my friends, I wanted to come back to campus after graduation for events like big games and Reunions. But, I also remember being an underclassman and seeing young alumni come back for the President’s Society dinner, and feeling that it was something special to attend. So, I think that being in the Society is showing Saint Anselm that you still want to help out and be an active part of the community on a higher level.”
The Saint Anselm Network
Staying involved in the college’s tight-knit network of alumni by becoming a member can also help younger graduates to build professional networks. Timothy and Stephanie Hubbard, both Class of 2008, met at Saint Anselm and have now been married almost five years. The couple live in Pembroke, Mass., with their one year-old baby. Life is both good and extremely busy, with two successful careers and a family to manage. Stephanie (a former biology major) is a project manager on clinical trials for United Biosource and Tim, who majored in business, does sales management for Rapid7, a network security software company. As young professionals, they feel that the education they received at Saint Anselm helped them significantly in the workforce.
“Comparatively I’ve realized how much better my presentation and communications skills are because of it, and how valuable that foundation is,” says Stephanie. The Hubbards appreciate that membership in the President’s Society can help them form important relationships with other alums by attending the various events held by the Society.
“This benefits both the college and us,” says Tim. “It’s a chance to network with alumni with amazing professional achievements, and hopefully someday we’ll be successful enough to pass that same benefit along to younger alumni.”
Paying It Forward
Many young alumni members of the President’s Society belong in part because they, like Maire and Brian Samble ’09, were scholarship recipients. Their experiences at Saint Anselm are still fresh in their minds, and they want to make sure that current students have the same opportunities.
“Faculty were really invested in me—a Saint Anselm education is one of a kind. I want to see the college be able to help others the way I was helped,” says Brian. “It’s on the alumni to make sure those students have a positive experience as much as we did, and that they make it through.”
As a higher ed administrator himself, he knows what he’s talking about. Brian completed his Ph.D. in higher education administration at the University of Tennessee in 2014, and did his dissertation on what makes a world-class university. He is now Assistant Director for Academic Initiatives and Assessment at UT in Knoxville, TN.
“I really want to see Saint Anselm get even greater and be more respected nationally and internationally, and since part of my dissertation was on rankings, I know that we need alumni giving participation to do better in that area.”
Joining the President’s Society is definitely one way for younger alums be more involved in the future of the college. Brian believes that “being a member of the Society allows me to have a voice with leadership, from a young alumni perspective.”
As a former president of the Student Government Association, Stephanie feels the same. Her perspective was broadened by her participation in SGA during her time at the college, and her commitment has only increased now that she’s in a position to participate as an alum. “We met with Board members and discussed their strategic plans and future hopes. Being part of that as a student gave me insight into areas where Saint Anselm wants to improve, and the resources needed to make those plans happen. Now, in the President’s Society, we want to give to that, to help Saint A’s stay competitive and grow.”
For more information, contact Kathy Flynn, Director for Annual Giving (603) 641-7555, email@example.com