The Last Word

The Last Word

I am very pleased to announce some of the exciting changes happening in alumni relations at Niagara. We’ve got a new name — Office of Alumni Engagement –– new ideas, and new staff to help make your alumni experience even better!

As a two-time graduate of Niagara University — I received my bachelor of science degree in hospitality management in 1988 and my master of science degree in education, administration and supervision in 2006 — I know well and am fully committed to Niagara University and all that it offers. In addition, many of my family members have studied at and/or graduated from Niagara, beginning with my dad, Donald J. O’Hara. He was a 1950 graduate and would be incredibly proud that I have been given the opportunity to serve the university that contributed to the person he was. The most recent member of the family to attend Niagara, one of dad’s great nephews, will graduate in 2015. The legacy continues!

I began working at Niagara in 2002 in the grants office. After a year and a half, I moved into the Office of Annual Giving as its director. Over these past 10 years, I have had the privilege of being a part of the evolution that has been taking place at Niagara. The new Office of Alumni Engagement is an important part of this evolution, as it will enable us to offer additional opportunities for you to connect with and support your alma mater while strengthening the fellowship among alumni, students, faculty, and the entire Niagara community.

I am excited about the many new initiatives that we are working on, including developing additional chapter events, exploring international travel opportunities, and inviting our alumni to take on leadership roles within their chapters and their communities. My vision for the new office is to engage, involve and connect with as many people as we can. I want our alumni, and the entire NU community, to know that they have a lifelong bond –– Niagara. And while this is a common bond, we are aware that our alumni have very different interests and needs, so we will be offering events and services that are designed for specific groups.

Another important change will come about through the Niagara University Alumni Association, under the leadership of the NUAA board of directors. The NUAA will become a volunteer-driven organization, where members are encouraged and empowered to build and manage their own chapter programs. Niagara presently has 12 alumni chapters around the country and will be adding several more –– including two in Canada. These alumni chapters will offer athletic-focused activities, travel programs, networking, volunteer service opportunities, educational workshops, and more. In addition, Niagara has developed a new parent group that will be working in various volunteer capacities, including recruitment and ambassador programs. I envision our volunteer base, made up of parents, friends and alumni, to assist in the connection that is so important.

Working with offices across campus is vital in the effort to connect, involve and engage our Niagara community. We have already started partnering with the offices of Career Development and Admissions to involve alumni from across the country in recruitment and career services efforts, and our new office will allow us to coordinate our activities to an even greater extent. Communication is key to all of these efforts, so we will be connecting with you in a variety of ways, including direct mail, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. We’ll keep you informed about what is happening on campus, and we invite you to share with us what is happening in your lives. We look forward to the conversation!

The foundation for all these new ideas is the relationship between Niagara University and its alumni. As we move forward in the Office of Alumni Engagement, we will continue to build on these relationships so that we can make your alumni experience an engaging one!