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June Message from the Alumni Association President

We will reunite soon! 

Just as we were experiencing a glimmer of hope on our COVID-19 horizon, flattening the curve, regaining our economy and trying to put the pain and loss in the past, our country faces another seemingly insurmountable challenge – Racism in America.  Daily reports and images tell a sad commentary of our continued battle against the tolls of racial injustice.

As President Hanycz and her Executive Cabinet wrote in a letter to the University Community: “Right now, we are struggling to make sense of the world around us. The fact and manner of Mr. Floyd’s death are amply tragic in and of themselves; it is, however, what this death reveals about ourselves, as a community that should prompt the greatest reflection and concern.”

“What unites us as Lasallians” they wrote, “is the need to support one another and to come together as a community in ways that allow our voices to be heard as we speak for those who are unable to do so.”

In spite of and because of this, our Lasallian community can be the role model for unification, support and justice.  Here are a few proof points for your consideration…

Proof of our Resilience–On Saturday, May 9 the university held a virtual celebration for the class of 2020 as an acknowledgement of their amazing accomplishments, until an in-person commencement ceremony can be rescheduled.  What an exciting day it was for our community.  Yours truly got my “Five minutes of Fame” when the local news picked up a segment of my message and there was a formal degree conferral from President Hanycz. The students, led by speaker Taylor Kauffman, as well as the touching video messages highlighted the celebration.  I welcome each of you to the Alumni Association and remain committed to my promise of celebrating with you (and my “hunk of ice”) when we can.

The Alumni Association is partnering with Career Services on a June 16 alumni panel for the Class of 2020 as part of their “Career Readiness from the Couch Series”.  I encourage all of our newest Explorer alumni to register for the panel and to complete the First Destination Survey so we know what your plans are for life after La Salle.

Our commitment to giving back–After tabulating a record number of votes in this year’s Alumni Board election, I want to extend my congratulations and welcome to our new Board Members Joe Bulsak, ’70, Leslie Davila, ’97, Victoria Haines, ’17, Dr. Timothy Kummerling, ’08, Joe Rogers, ’18, Mike Ryan, MBA, ’17, Mike Trainer, Esq. ’04, and Ryan Wall, ’18. Let’s welcome them and pray for their support and leadership as they help drive our future for Alumni.

With this new class of leaders also comes the end of term for several veteran board members (many who served multiple terms).  Like the class of 2020, their final meeting lacked the pomp and circumstance of a face-to-face tribute but heartfelt thanks remain in all our hearts – especially mine.  Thank you to Alexis Abate, ’04, Greg Bruce, MBA ’81, Frank DeLaurentis,’76, Dan DeStefano ’93, M.A., ’99, Melissa Glenn-Fleming M.A.,’01, Sean Hughes ’92, M.A.’96, TJ McCarrick Esq.,’12, and Joe Ryan, ’69.  For these leaders, it’s never goodbye as they remain connected ambassadors of La Salle always ready to act in support of the university and community of fellow alumni that they serve. We will reunite soon!

Our commitment to student scholarship–For this year’s Day of Giving, despite a date change and numerous competing philanthropic causes, the  La Salle community stepped up with a record breaking effort. More than 1,500 donations accounting for more than $700,000 in gifts to La Salle.  It’s never too late to donate and show our support to our Explorers Day of Giving 2020.

Here’s a few other proof-points of our ability to unite and stay connected and engaged:

La Salle Alumni Virtual Book Club kicked off its first great read of the summer with Educated by Tara Westover.   More than 230 alumni have signed up to participate in this online community, to share their passion and support of literature, psychology, and social issue education. There is no cost to participate – you just have to get a copy of the book to enjoy.  Stay tuned for the next book in the series.

COVID-19 Archive Project. How will we remember COVID-19?  University Archives invites the La Salle community to contribute their personal experiences, photos, videos, and more, documenting how this pandemic has affected you. The project received coverage in the Philadelphia Inquirer. Please share your items to the site and help us build a legacy and tribute to this unprecedented moment.

Upcoming Virtual Engagement  Events. Throughout this summer we are committed to bring you more education, fun, and a little escape from that other world but we need your help and feedback.  Have an idea for a great webinar topic or online event?  Want to share your talent, your story or your expertiseContact the Alumni Association and let’s make each session a success.

Become an Alumni Ambassador.  The Alumni Association is looking for members of the La Salle Community who would like to serve on the Alumni Ambassador team.  The at-home model has made many of us social media junkies over the last few months.  Be a La Salle influencer to drive positive messaging around the University and our community in our efforts to create stronger connections between fellow alumni and the University through targeted communications (via social media), University events and external events.

Loving life when I’m hopeful and building bigger circles, tighter connections and greater engagement. 

Mike Hallowell, ’86 
La Salle Alumni Association President