Beyond the Limestone Walls: Increasing Our Impact

Michael Donnelly

by Michael Donnelly '02, Alumni Council President

As we come full circle, one year after my initial inquiry as to your involvement—your Dickinson story—I find myself reflecting on what awesome connections I have made. Throughout this year, I have had the great fortune of meeting alumni from many decades, I have received a multitude of emails from alumni of many ages, and I have spoken at numerous alumni events. Without fail, I’ve observed great love for our alma mater. Dickinson holds a special place in the hearts and minds of so many, including me.

One alumna reached out to me after reading my spring column. While the region in which she lives does not support a club structure as robust as others, I was able to connect her with the Office of Alumni Relations to discuss potential programming for alumni in her region. A few other alumni reached out to me to voice their concerns with the campus climate, specifically about a perceived over-liberalization. I trust that they found my response time to their concerns to be efficient, as well as my working to share their concerns with strategic members of the college’s staff. No matter the inquiry, I value the time each Dickinsonian takes to think about and to act upon Dickinson. I encourage you to continue to send your thoughts my way!

At the spring meeting of the Alumni Council, there was much discussion of what the council members have done to increase our impact. From attending college fairs and participating in panel discussions to meeting with prospective and new students, as well as financially supporting the college, council members have been quite busy. I encourage you to visit the Alumni Council page to learn more about its members, to reach outand ask a question, to provide a suggestion or just to say hello!

I would like to take this opportunity to thank Coco Minardi, assistant vice president of engagement and the Dickinson Fund, and her entire team for the work that they have been doing, are doing and will be doing on behalf of alumni, parents, current students and prospective students. Celebrating the many successes of our alma mater is easy, as there is so much of which to be proud. To engage and to motivate can be more challenging, and that is the work of the college advancement team, as well as the charge of each Alumni Council member.

I want to thank each and every one of you for being part of the Dickinson family. Our ties run deep and strong. Our commitment to ensuring that the institution that became our home will continue to be just as amazing tomorrow as it was yesterday is a collective charge. Thank you for the volunteer hours you commit to spreading the word about Dickinson. Thank you for the effort you make in sharing your story. Thank you for the dollars you donate to help ensure access for future Dickinsonians.

My previous column closed in a similar fashion and put out the charge for you to contact me if you would like to do so. The Dickinson alumni network is only as strong as each of its individual members. I welcome the opportunity to hear your story and how you engage others on behalf of the college. If you would like to learn about ways you can expand (y)our network, please contact me at 

Until next time, be well!

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Published July 12, 2016