By Joe Hettinger ’87
Saint Mary’s University Alumni Board President
What an amazing time to be an alum of Saint Mary’s University! Since we launched our Centennial Celebration last June, thousands of Saint Mary’s alumni have gathered in 10 states and at more than 20 events to share stories, connect with classmates and friends, and reconnect with our university. It has been a fantastic year of celebration thus far.
Just this past March, we celebrated and honored alumni from our Schools of Graduate and Professional Programs and presented five alumni who are true leaders making a difference and impact in the world with our distinguished alumni awards. The SGPP, with more than 25,000 graduates, has an amazing reputation in the educational community, producing leaders in the areas of business and technology, education, and health and human services. These areas align perfectly with our Lasallian heritage, culture, and traditions, which, in turn, align with the university’s strategic vision as we start our next 100 years as a nationally recognized leader in education.
The Alumni Board of Directors, comprised of 19 members (with representation of both undergraduate and graduate alumni), are in the process of establishing professional networking groups with the Saint Mary’s community. Under the umbrella of “Cardinals Helping Cardinals,” our vision is to enhance the connection between our alumni — regardless of the year they graduated or type of degree they received. Our goal is to give all of us who are connected to Saint Mary’s a way to come together
on a professional basis in an organized and accessible manner with fellow alumni as well as faculty, staff and students of the university. (Did you know that SMU has more than 450 undergraduate alums who hold law degrees?)
In many ways, these professional groups already exist among alumni. But we can take these connections to a new and exciting level. If you haven’t done so already, I invite you to join us on Facebook and LinkedIn. Hundreds of alumni have been able to reconnect with others through these two outlets. To make sure you are receiving information about the groups as they are developed, I ask that you visit the alumni website and update your personal and professional information. The alumni board members are here to serve you and enthusiastically represent the nearly 40,000 alumni in making your degree from Saint Mary’s the best in the nation.
Lastly, as we started our Centennial celebration last June, we will culminate the celebration of our first century with the All-School Reunion this June in Winona. With hundreds of alumni already registered to attend the Centennial Red Carpet Gala event on June 22, I personally invite you to also attend. I promise it will be like nothing the campus has ever seen in its history, and that’s saying something. So if you graduated in 1950s or just this past May, if you hold an undergraduate or graduate degree, if you spent time on the Winona, Twin Cities, Rochester, Kenya, Jamaica, or other off-site Saint Mary’s location, we’d love to have you come to Winona to help us usher in our second century of creating leaders for our world. Go Cardinals! Go SMU!
Upcoming Alumni Events
13 Young Alumni Gathering, Chicago, Ill.
20 Young Alumni Gathering, Twin Cities
10 Alumni Gathering, Milwaukee, Wis.
17 Minnesota Twins Alumni Outing, Twin Cities
26 Lasallian Day of Service, various locations