“Once a Stag, Always a Stag”: the Student Alumni Association
Four years at Fairfield go by quickly, and before they know it students are suddenly “alumni.” With more than 50 students participating in the organization, Fairfield’s Student Alumni Association (SAA) helps bridge that gap with networking opportunities, social events, and philanthropic activities—all of which strengthen connections between Fairfield alumni and current students.
SAA also works closely with “Stags Give Back,” the Student Philanthropy organization on campus. Together, these two groups help show current students the importance of giving back with time, talent, and monetary donations so that future Stags can have the same great experiences that current students are having now.
Here’s a recap of SAA’s fall activities from SAA Director of Alumni Relations, Nicole Rossignol ’14:
The Student Alumni Association has had a very strong semester with successful events in a variety of areas! In early fall, our SAA President Katherine Black ’14 represented SAA as one of the speakers at the “Fairfield on the Move” alumni “meet-up” event in Stamford, Conn. She spoke to more than 100 alumni about her Fairfield experience and how SAA has helped shape undergraduate experience and made her aware of the importance of giving back. The event was hosted by University Trustee Patti Glassford ’85 and her husband John Glassford ’85 (pictured below with Katherine and other SAA members).
Seniors and SAA members met a panel of eight young alumni and participated in an open discussion about life after graduation at Backpack to Briefcase, which took place on campus in November. The event was coordinated with the Career Planning Center and FUSA.
SAA members have also had the opportunity to reach out to alumni online through Fairfield’s Alumni Network (FAN), generating several student-alumni discussions. So far, we have featured three past SAA presidents, finding out what they’ve been up to since graduation. These conversations have been posted on the SAA Facebook page as “Alumni Profiles,” where other members can see what their peers have been talking about with alumni and encourage them to reach out to alumni as well. SAA is working with the Office of Alumni Relations to let current students know about all the amazing alumni resources available and how to take advantage of them.
Serving Others and Giving Back
A large part of the Student Alumni Association is the desire to give back to the community. This semester, the club has supported DeleteBloodCancer.org by hosting a Bone Marrow Registry drive on campus that brought in 100 new potential donors, and organized an event for the American Red Cross’s Holiday Mail for Heroes, where students, faculty, and staff signed Christmas cards to service members, veterans, and their families, giving thanks and appreciation to them during the holiday season.
To round out the service events this semester, SAA is in the midst of collecting hundreds of teddy bears from students, faculty and alumni for their 14th annual Teddy Bears with Love drive. The bears will be delivered to children who are stuck in hospitals through the holidays this year all across the country. Anyone interested in donating can do so by dropping off a bear at Alumni House on campus by Friday, December 13. We’ve collected over 15,000 bears and stuffed animals since the drive started in 1999 and we’re hoping to bring as many “bear hugs” to children over the holidays as possible!
SAA has continued to build awareness about the organization and all its work, with a dedicated marketing initiative this year. We planned a number of social events that drew in large crowds of new members, including a Pizza Social at The Levee and a Pumpkin Picking Social at Silverman’s Farm. There has also been a big push for an online presence for the club, backed up by an increase in our Facebook, Twitter (@FairfieldSAA), and Instagram (@FairfieldSAA) activity. Other events such as SAA Tweet Days, held on Fairfield Fridays, promote Stag spirit by asking students to “tweet” to SAA based on a timely hashtag such as “#FALLinlovewithFairfield” and “#ILoveFairfield”. (Our next Tweet Day is tomorrow—be sure to use #AllIWant4Christmas!)
Upcoming events for the club include a “meet and greet” for the Executive Committee with University trustees and Stags Give Back, a basketball game with a teddy bear donation as an entry fee, a reception with Santa for alumni families, and a Holiday Social for club members. The Executive Committee looks forward to an even busier spring semester with more alumni networking events and service opportunities.
To find out more about SAA, please e-mail FairfieldSAA@gmail.com or use any of our social media accounts listed above.