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Behind the Scenes of the Alumni Society Advisory Board

Behind the Scenes of the Alumni Society Advisory Board
Several alumni board members gathered at the Presidential Christmas Reception in Washington D.C. Pictured, from left to right, are: Donald Castellucci ’14, P.J. Tabit ’10, Alumni Society President Martina Martin ’80, University President Kevin P. Quinn, S.J., Alumni Society president-elect Col. Rich Breen, USA Ret. ’77, University Trustee Teresa Schafer ’81 and John Cardone, M.D. ’82.

The Alumni Society Advisory Board (ASAB), made up of 24 dedicated men and women, sets direction, reviews progress and suggests a future course for the Alumni Society as a whole.

The Advisory Board has incorporated recent changes, including a name change that is more descriptive of the board’s mission and function, according to outgoing president Martina Martin ’80.

“We were called The University of Scranton Alumni Society Board of Governors but we really didn’t govern – we have a very capable Board of Governors at the University to do that,” she explained. “I would instead define the alumni board as the engine, if you will, supporting the University with a mission of engagement and philanthropy.”

The changes better represent the Society’s membership and reflect the group’s focus to more directly align with the goals and strategic plan of the University. This includes following the same yearly calendar and providing support for important action items while remaining Scranton ambassadors and encouraging participation within the Alumni Society.

“The greatest successes of both the board and the school are to be co-aligned with the strategic plan,” said Col. Richard H. Breen Jr. ’77, who will take on the role of president this year when Martin’s term ends in May 2016. “We would have a bunch of ideas, but as a volunteer organization, we can’t always make things happen. By being aligned with the strategic plan, we, the alumni and parent engagement office and the University can all move on the same path with greater synergy.”

Alumni Board member and president-elect David Blake, Ph.D., J.D. ’69 had nothing but praise for Martin and how she shepherded everyone involved through the changes. “Martina has been brilliant in pursuing her vision, with attention to how everyone felt during the process.”

Increased participation at events, both on and off campus, service and alumni giving are focuses of the ASAB. It is important that alumni recognize and perceive the value of a continued connection with Scranton. And a 100 percent giving participation from all members of the board has shown its commitment to the effort.

“The leadership of the Alumni Society is a critical component of our overall plan to strengthen engagement of our alumni, parents and friends,” said Gary Olsen, vice president of Institutional Advancement. “These extraordinary individuals are among the University’s best ambassadors and work closely with our University Advancement staff.”

Martin said the diversity of the board, with differences in age, background and experience, makes an effective combination.

 “I treasure the board we have and feel so blessed to be working with them. The magic is putting the right people in the room. And frankly, we also stand on shoulders of really amazing past board members. We couldn’t have done it without them.”

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