The strength of this bond—through meaningful relationships with faculty and staff, through laughter and tears with strangers-turned-best-friends, through hours of dedicated studies in the classroom and practice on the fields and in the theaters and studios—is unique, and it allows graduates of the last decade (GOLDs) an opportunity to continue making a significant impact on campus, even after our diploma is in hand. This year, GOLDs have retraced their steps and contributed to the Ursinus community academically by visiting classes, developmentally through career advice and philanthropically during #Giving2UCDay. The variety of ways we have given back to campus shows that some of our most valuable alumni are also our most recent.
GOLDs Volunteering Their Time
While many GOLDs are still building their savings, a multitude are still willing and able to give back their time to Ursinus. Our presence demonstrates a sense of pride for current students, and further creates the opportunities to offer a lot of great advice. This year, GOLDs like Janel Melnick ’13, Keith Larkin ’16 and many others returned to campus to share their experiences in the business world with current students, showing how their degree and time at Ursinus prepared them for success in their early professional lives. Other GOLDs, such as Zac Klock ’13 and Jackie Kimmel ’13, came back to RA meetings and provided insights on how to get the most out of the position. Ultimately, some of the biggest GOLD involvements came from the UC Greek population, as alumnae in Tau Sig reunited in Collegeville for Big Gun Weekend with other friends to share memories of their time at UC. Each of these actions, while small, helped bridge the gap between students and alumni; each helped to make the Ursinus connection more permanent.
GOLDs Helping UC Students Get Jobs
Ursinus GOLDs were also integral in providing job opportunities for current students. GOLDs like Megan Maccaroni ’14 and Erica Schnebel ’13 hosted current students like Katrina O’Donnell ’18 and Victoria Javes ’18 for externships, bringing meaningful hands-on experience to current Bears during the winter break. Similarly, Latifah Waddy ’12, another GOLD, helped UC students prepare for their job searches by participating in the career fair. All of them, in addition to many other GOLDs, have provided mentorship and guidance for current students as they begin to consider their post-graduate options. GOLDs are typically the most well-connected alumni and are the most aware of entry-level positions in the Greater Philadelphia area, all of which are crucial in helping their fellow Bears find confidence in their world beyond Ursinus!
GOLDs Donating Gifts
GOLDs played a vital role in the financial health of Ursinus this past fiscal year. In fact, more than 353 GOLDs (9.53% of the entire GOLD population) donated 500 gifts to Ursinus between July 1, 2016 and June 30, 2017. Most notably, GOLDs helped make this past #Giving2UCDay the greatest single day of giving in UC’s history as 151 GOLDs made gifts on Giving Tuesday! Among that generosity, GOLDs Brett Felgoise ’17, Jake Kohler ’13, Kate Lechleitner ’12, Sabir Peele ’08 and Kevin Zufelt ’11 all served as match challengers to incentivize greater giving; the total donations on that day exceeded $6,457 from GOLDs! While GOLD gifts tend to be a bit smaller in value, a gift of any size communicates a sense of care and pride in our alma mater, and this participation itself helps Ursinus in so many ways.
GOLDs served as incredible ambassadors for the institution this past year. We have helped spread the word about UC through community service, accomplishments in the workplace, and mentorship of younger students. Through our support of current students and impact on the community surrounding them, GOLDs helped connect Ursinus’ present with its future.
By Tim Jordan ’13 and Jake Kohler ’13