Participation – The act of sharing in the action of a group; sharing something in common with others.
One of the great pleasures I have enjoyed over my two years with the Curry School Foundation is meeting Curry alumni while traveling throughout Virginia and across the country. No matter where their career paths or personal interests have taken them, our alumni are excellent representatives of Curry values. Our alumni also share a common pride in their Curry education and an appreciation for the opportunities made possible by their Curry experiences. Recently, the Foundation has turned its attention to providing new ways for alumni to maintain their participation with the school and with fellow Curry alumni.
Curry Engagement Committee
Last year, the Foundation board of directors established a Curry Engagement Committee to address this issue of participation. The committee is made up of alumni from across Curry’s program areas, as well as parents of current and former students. Based on the committee’s recommendations, we have created a number of new ways for alumni to participate. The Curry Alumni Portal was created as the gateway to our new opportunities, which include the following:
- Online Class Notes (More than 400 class notes have been submitted through the online system since it was set up 10 months ago.)
- Semi-Annual Alumni Writing Contest
- Curry Facebook Fan Page
- Curry Blog, which includes monthly guest posts by alumni
- A growing slate of professional development and workshop opportunities.
We invite alumni to participate with Curry in every way they can and to send us ideas about other opportunities we can provide. Currently, the committee is considering the possibility of a new reunion format that will engage more Curry alumni.
In Your Hometown
Several alumni have participated in Curry events in their hometown, as Dean Pianta and I have traveled to talk about education issues and the school’s current initiatives. Over the past 12 months, we have visited Atlanta, Boston, and Winston-Salem. We were just in Richmond, Fairfax, and Houston and also sponsored a reception for reading educators at the Virginia State Reading Association conference in Richmond. Dean Pianta will make a presentation to the U.Va. Club of Middle Tennessee in Nashville on April 25, and the Curry School Foundation is sponsoring a reception for Curry alumni at the AERA conference in Vancouver, BC, on April 15. In the coming months, we are coming to Englewood, NJ, Palm Beach, FL, and Washington, DC.
Alumni participation in giving to the Curry School is important because in the national rankings it indicates alumni satisfaction with the school. During the month of April, we are inviting alumni to join together to make a significant contribution to the Curry Annual Fund. This fund provides extra support to Curry students, people, and programs during an extended period of state budget cutting.
Alumni and friends are invited to honor an educator who made a notable impact in their life or the life of a family member. During this “Thank a Teacher” campaign, you can make a gift of any size to the Curry School Foundation in honor of any education professional. Between April 1 and April 30, the first $7,500 in gifts we receive toward this campaign will be matched dollar for dollar by an anonymous challenge donor, so that you may leverage your gift to make an even larger contribution. A special Thank-a-Teacher web page will provide a public space for highlighting each educator who has been honored. LEARN MORE OR DONATE NOW
For alumni who are able to participate with a donation of five figures or more, naming opportunities are still available in Bavaro Hall. Although we moved into the building over a year ago, we have several post-completion needs for updated technology and furnishings that will enable Bavaro Hall to be utilized at its greatest potential. I welcome your call or email to discuss the possibilities.
We see our role at the Foundation as helping the Curry School to maintain relevance to the personal and professional lives of our alumni. We are here to serve you, and our focus is on helping alumni stay engaged with the Curry School. While we made significant progress this year, we plan to continue increasing our outreach in the year ahead.
Margaret Ann Bollmeier
Curry School of Education Foundation