Update from Student Trustee Alex Walls

Dear St. Mary’s Community,

As the Feb. 23 Board of Trustee Meeting quietly approaches, I would like to take the time to talk about what will be happening this weekend. Among other conversations regarding Master Planning and Strategic Planning, the Board will be setting tuition, room, and board rates for the next academic year. The scheduled rate increases that will be discussed and voted on are 4%, 3%, and 2% respectively.

For many, these annual increases are unacceptable. Every year, we pay more in tuition while we are promised that next year will be better. Yes, prices do increase. However, tuition has been increasing faster than inflation since I have started attending. And every year, it gets harder for our students and their families to pay the cost of attendance. How many students have missed out on experiencing St. Mary’s because of the ever increasing price tag? How many friends and peers have we lost because of their inability to pay to stay? I don’t know; no one does!

For the past four years, I have been vocal about my disdain for these increases. However, as Student Trustee, I will be voting “aye” on this issue at the next meeting. Why the change of heart? Currently in Annapolis, Senate Bill 828, also known as An Act Concerning St. Mary’s College of Maryland – Tuition Freeze and DeSousa-Brent Scholars Completion Grant, is poised to be voted on and approved by the General Assembly this session. This bill, among other things, would increase our state-funded block grant by an additional $800,000 each year for the next four years and mandate a tuition freeze on all in-state students. This freeze would be similar to the tuition freeze that the rest of the University System enjoyed a few years ago.

Even though this bill mandates a tuition freeze, the school will not know the outcome until April and after the budget process is completed. If it passes, the Board of Trustees will retroactively decrease the tuition for in-state students for next fall. But to demonstrate to the state that we need the funds, we must continue going through the motions of raising tuition. If we don’t, the College may miss out on the additional funding offered. Therefore, it would be advantageous for the Board to vote on raising tuition now and bringing it down later after we receive the appropriations from the state.

But mark my words, I will continue to advocate for the students of St. Mary’s. On Saturday, I will let the Board know that I am voting for the increase for the sole reason to demonstrate to the State that we need the buy down. I believe that the Board should vote to decrease tuition at the next Board meeting, even if we don’t receive the additional funds. We have suffered too many increases over the past few years and at some point we must say enough is enough. If we cannot control our costs, what does that say about our financial model or about the public-private relationship we have developed here? Should we continue on the path of becoming a high price, quasi-private liberal arts college hidden behind a public name?

The SGA and Office of Student Activities are organizing vans to take students to the meeting this Saturday in Annapolis. More details will be coming out as the week progresses so stay tuned. Also, if you want to talk to me about the Board meeting, please contact me at atwalls@smcm.edu.

Info for Those Interested in Being Student Trustee

Ciao Tutti!

St Mary’s has begun its yearly search for a new Student Trustee.  I was chosen last year to replace Maurielle Stewart at the end of her term this May.  In preparation for this change, we are now looking for a qualified and dependable student to replace me as Student Trustee for the 2013-14 school year.  It is time for someone new to step up and assume this unique but important role.

What does a Student Trustee do? They represent the students! Our college, unlike other public colleges and universities in Maryland, is governed by an independent Board of Trustees.  As Student Trustee, you will be given the opportunity to speak on behalf of your classmates while adding a new perspective to the Board. This representation, unique in higher education, allows students to have access to the highest levels of school governance.

As Trustee, you are required to attend the quarterly Board Meetings so that you can continue to inform the Board Members about the happenings on campus. If problems and crises cause disruptions within the student body, your job is to gather information and report back to college administrators and other trustees so that the interests of the students are not overlooked.

Student Trustees can also influence college policy through their work on the Enrollment and Student Life Committee.  Here, you can voice problems and concerns that students may have about the conditions on campus.  Since you serve with other board members, you have direct access to people who can bring about positive change for our community.

Before becoming Student Trustee, you must first go through a yearlong training process as Student Trustee-in-Training.  You are required to attend both Buildings and Grounds Committee meetings and the quarterly Board Meetings.  Here, you will learn more about the inner workings of the College and how committees are run and organized.  You will also be introduced to your future colleagues, the board members.

Though this is a two year commitment, you are still allowed to Study Abroad during this training period.  Currently, I am studying in Alba, Italy (hence the Italian at the beginning.)  If you wish to still experience life abroad, you will not be discounted during the application process.  In my opinion, a Student Trustee who has studied abroad is in a better position to represent all students, even those who have chosen to leave campus to study elsewhere.  However, if selected, you may only study abroad during the fall semester of your training period.

Starting on Monday, December 5th, applications for the position of Student Trustee-in-Training will be available at the Information Desk inside the Campus Center.  Applications must be completed and submitted by Friday, February 10th.  All applicants are required to attend an open forum where they can introduce themselves and their ideas to the campus community. Two or three finalists are then selected to be interviewed by the Enrollment and Student Life Committee. If selected, you will be presented to the entire Board.

The position of Student Trustee is a great opportunity for someone who wants to give back to the campus community. It allows you a chance to help solve problems that face our school.  Your accomplishments will affect generations of students to come, so no pressure. If selected, you will be the 27th student to hold both this honor and responsibility.

If you are a first-year or sophomore student with a 2.5 GPA or higher you are eligible for selection. If you would like more information please contact either myself, Alexander Walls, at atwalls@smcm.edu or Maurielle Stewart, at mhstewart@smcm.edu.

We will also host several question times next semester on January 18th, 25th, and 27th for any students who are interested in learning more about this position and its responsibilities.

Good luck with your final papers and tests and I look forward to seeing you all again next semester.

College Plans Several Renovations, Projects for Summer 2011

As the semester is coming to a close and students plan their summers, the Office of Planning and Facilities are making plans for their own projects.  According to Chip Jackson, associate vice president of planning and facilities, it is going to be a busy summer.

The major project planned for this summer will be Margaret Brent Hall.  After several years of talks and excavations,  Margaret Brent will be moved from its present location behind Anne Arundel Hall to the parking lot next to the Campus Center.  Margaret Brent will be the future home of the Departments of Philosophy and Religious Studies.  The move is thought to be a more economically sound choice since it will cost less to move the building then building a new one.

Jackson could not elaborate on a date other than by saying that the move will take place in June or July.  “Once [the date is] known we will publicized [it]” said Jackson, “be sure to check the website during the summer.”

Lewis Quad will also be the focus of a lot of attention. First, the LQ Eatery will open officially in its new renovated form. There has been a lot of discussions about what the space will look like.  “[It] will be very different,” Jackson commented.

Planning and Facilities has also been considering a redesign of the LQ courtyard.  “No one seems to like the gravel” said Jackson as he discussed how it might be removed.  At this time, Jackson could not expand on what form the courtyard will take since several more meetings still have to take place.  “This is a goal” remarked Jackson.

Two other projects on campus will be the renovating of the Townhouse Greens’ bathrooms and new sidewalks in several location around campus. Jackson alluded that the bathrooms in the Greens are long overdue for renovating.

In several locations, the sidewalks will be remodeled as well. This includes between Glendenning, Montgomery, and Schaefer Halls and between Goodpaster Hall and the Michael P O’Brien Athletic and Recreation Center.  These projects include putting more brick paths down while removing the concrete sidewalks that already exist. According to Jackson, the funds for these changes are coming from the state, not the College’s budget.

The sidewalk between St. John’s Pond and the Library will also be expanded to take account of the high levels of traffic along the path.  This will also help solve the problem of the muddy space that can be found along the entire path up to the Library. This project will be using College funding.

The last major task of the summer will be redesigns for Route 5.  Officially called the “Route 5 Safety and Traffic Calming Project,” this project is planned to make the crossings safer for students. “There will be a lot of community interest in this project,” said Jackson, “we want the students, who are also members of the community, to engage with us during this project.”

The project, which will be federally funded, is suppose to slow traffic that are driving along the bend in Route 5. According to Jackson, the designing will begin in the fall. The plans for this project are still in the air and Planning and Facilities are looking for student input.

“We need students,” said Jackson, “so please voice your opinions.” There will be several public meetings planned in the fall that students will be able to attend.

 

New SGA Executive Board for 2011-2012 Officially Sworn In

Last week the results of the election were sent out by all-student email.  The winners were: Mark Snyder, President, Katherine Monahan, Vice President, Kevin Paul, Treasurer, and Francis Rodezno, Director of Campus Programming.  Even though the academic year is coming to a close, these student leaders have already been planning for SGA next year.

Snyder believes that one of the problems with the student body is it is apathetic to SGA issues.  “People don’t know what SGA is,” said Snyder, who then explained how by changing publicity methods the SGA could reach more students.

“We have great ideas but we have to access people who don’t get to come out,” said Snyder, “the SGA must become more active.”

Monahan and Rodezno both have their personal ideas about the directions of SGA in the coming year.  “Start planning bigger projects, including GMSRF and green initiatives” was one of the major desires for Monahan.

Rodezno states that he wanted to “get the name Programs Board out to the student body,” while educating students about how much Programs Board is present in their lives on campus.

When ask what the biggest problem the SGA faces in the coming year, the budget was on everyone’s mind. Even after the recent fee increase, the budget will be a major concern since the fee increase will not become official until the following academic year. “Students may be under the impression that the increase has happened” said Monahan; however, the SGA will be faced with some hard choices throughout this coming year.

Even on top of the looming budget, there is a lot of excitement building as these students prepare themselves for the responsibility of leadership.

 

Speaker Discusses Situation in Afghanistan

This past Wednesday, Malalai Joya, former member of the Afghani Parliament and an accomplished writer and activist, came to the College to give a talk about the current situation in Afghanistan.  Also the author of Woman Among Warlords: The Extraordinary Story of an Afghan Who Dared to Raise Her Voice, Joya was expelled from the Afghani Parliament after she denounced members of the assembly for being “warlords and drug smugglers.”

Her previous lecture, planned for earlier in the semester, was originally delayed by the U.S. State Department, who did not grant her a Visa until a grassroots campaign forced the government to change its decision.

Joya spent some time discussing why she thought she was not allowed to enter the country.  She said she believes that her view of the war in Afghanistan is one that the American government does not want the public to know.  “I know that billions of U.S. dollars are going to the warlords and indirectly to the Taliban,” said Joya.

There were few pleasant words towards the U.S. government and the NATO coalition that are currently fighting the decade long conflict. She described that the U.S. and NATO forces “pushed us from the frying pan and into the fire.”

According to Joya, this conflict has “not freed women” while over 8,000 civilians have been killed during the last four years of the occupation.  She continued by saying that the “10 years of occupation has doubled, tripled the miseries of women.”

Joya stated the “warmongers” within the U.S. government were doing their best to spin the story in a positive light by celebrating the fact that democracy is coming to Afghanistan.  However, Joya said that “democracy is nothing more than a thin curtain,” and even though “Western leaders and media like to talk about democracy,” it does not exist in Afghanistan.

When discussing the difference between Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama, Joya said that “Obama is a second and more dangerous Bush.”

Joya referenced the surge and how “[President Obama] brought more war and conflict” during his time in office.  She even went so far as saying that “[Defense Secretary Robert] Gates and [General David] Petraeus should be sent to court for following bad policies.”

Joya then stated what she believed U.S. and its NATO allies should do next.  The “only solution,” in her words would be “to get rid of U.S. troops.”  She later added that it would be “better today than tomorrow.”

“It won’t be heaven,” Joya said, “but it would be easier to fight two enemies [the Warlords and Taliban] if the third enemy [U.S. and NATO] left the country.” She continued by saying that if the U.S. left, “the financial backbone of the warlords would be broken.”

When answering a questions about why she  didn’t stay in the government and become rich, Joya said that “death is better than being a part of this government; death is better than silence.”

At the end of the talk, many members of the audience were left speechless by the power of Joya’s words.  Senior Allison Bailey said that the talk was “excellent and that [Joya] was very inspiring.”

Junior Danielle Doubt said, “[Joya] was a very powerful speaker, I’m honored for her to be here and [she] empowers students to make a difference.”

When she introduced Joya at the beginning of the program, Professor Sahar Shafqat said that this was the “most exciting event I’ve been associated with while at St. Mary’s.”  Shafqat continued by saying that “[Joya] has a message that we don’t hear often in the U.S.”

“To me, it is telling that the fact that she was denied a visa by the U.S. and expelled from Parliament makes me think there are a lot of people who want to silence her,” concluded Shafqat, “[it’s] very special and meaningful to have her here.”

 

Professor Panel Discusses Status of War

As part of the political science department’s ongoing lecture series, a panel made up SMCM’s very own political science professors Susan Grogan and Todd Eberly discuss what it means to be at war.

They said that in recent years, there has been a widening “disconnect” between what war is and is not.  The U.S. Constitution, Article 1 Section 8, gives the power to declare war to Congress.  However, the United States Congress has not declared war since World War II.  In other words, you could say that since 1945, the United States has been at peace.

Yet, in the past 65 years, the United States has been involved with many “armed conflicts” that include but are not limited to conflicts in Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq, and now Libya.  This leads to the central questions of the talk: what counts as a war and who determines what it is?

According to Grogan, who gave a brief history of war in the United States, Congress has on several occasions deferred the war-making powers to the President without declaring war. For example, Congress authorized President John Adams to use privateers against the French government, and President Thomas Jefferson had Congress authorize military actions against the Barbary Pirates.

The most impressive authorization without a declaration of war from Congress was the Civil War.  According to Grogan, the Civil War was not a legal war and that the name is actually a misnomer; a better name for the conflict would be “The Great Suppression.”  Eberly seconded this comment by saying that the Civil War should really be called the great “Civil Police Action.”

Eberly then discussed the two opposing views within political science about if the President should have the power to use the military and force without authorization of Congress.  On the one hand, it could be argued that the world has changed and that the country needs a President who can make quick decisions about the use of force without waiting for Congress to debate.  On the other hand, there is the belief that even if times have changed, one can not run around the Constitution.

“If we like the [President having more war-making powers], we have to change the Constitution,” Eberly said, “the Constitution is the law.”

Even though the Congress in the past has authorized the use of force, in the present case of Libya, President Obama has not asked for authorization from Congress, thereby skipping the branch entirely.   There is now questions whether this was the legal move.

Eberly continued by saying that he is, “hung up on if American force in Libya is legal or constitutional.”

After the discussion ended, several members of the audience asked questions. One concerned student asked, “can we fix this problem by defining what ‘war’ means?” Grogan answered by pointing to the War Powers Act.  This act was Congress’ attempt to regulate the President’s power after Vietnam; however, it did not work.  This act has opened the door to a greater increase of power, since the President is allowed to send troops for a set period of time before he must ask for re-authorization.

Grogan ended the talk by saying that in the end, if Congress wants the power, it must fight for it.  “Congress doesn’t call the President out,” concluded Grogan.

Sophomore and former student in Eberly’s American Politics class Kristen Diehl said she “found [the talk] very interesting, including the question whether its right or legal for the President to send troops into conflict without Congress’ approval.”

 

St. Mary’s Alumni Return to Serve Advancement Office

The recent staff changes in the Advancement Office have brought new faces and fresh ideas to the forefront within this important part of college administration. The reorganization spearheaded by the new Vice President for Advancement Maureen Silva has lead to the recent hiring of many new staff members but the most noticeable change has been the number of alumni who now work in the office.

The College has invited Kaitlin Hines ’10, Nezia Munezero ’08, Kelly Hernandez ’08, Michael Carver ’05, and Keisha Reynolds ’96 to work at the College in a number of different capacities throughout the Advancement Office.They also join alumni David Sushinsky ’02, Karen Raley ’94, and Nancy Abell ’73 who have also seen their titles and responsibilities shuffle around.

Some of the changes that have affected the new Advancement Office have been the creation of new positions such as the Assistant Vice President for External Relations, Senior Development Officer, and Alumni Relations Officer, along with others, as well as the movement of Web Services from the Tech Department to Advancement.

The changes have also lead to new priorities within the office.  The most pressing is the fundraising for the scholarship fund.

The creation of new positions have lead to a more effective means to delegate responsibility, thus allowing the staff to focus more on gifts and donations.

Another priority has been developing the College’s public imagine and mission out to a wider audience. A new streamlined process that flows through the office of the Assistant Vice President for External Relations will hopefully be able to produce new ideas to help the boster the public image of the College.

However, all of these new positions have one thing in common: they are being filled with former students of the College. Each had their reasons to return to St. Mary’s; however, these reasons speak volumes about the nature of St. Mary’s students from the past through the present. After being active in campus life and with the creation of the popular International Club, Munezero said “coming back was my way to give back to SMCM.”  She continued by saying St. Mary’s is “where I want to be.”

Sushinsky remarked that one of the unique things about working at the College was the people. “The people who work here are really loyal,” said Sushinsky, “they work to see it thrive.”

Sushinsky’s point was best captured by Raley, who said “at the end of the day, I feel good about helping the College.”

Even recent graduates can be found working at the College including Hernandez and Hines. “[By coming] you can see what you didn’t before when you were a student,” said Hernandez.

Hines decided to come back since she “still doesn’t know what [she] wants to do after college.”  Hines believes that working at the College gives her time to develop work experience without the stress of moving to a new city.

These alumni also have stories that sound a lot like those of current students. Abell was a commuter student just as the College was becoming a four year institution. Pushed by parents who wanted her to attend college, Abell played on the basketball team during her two years at the College.

Raley’s biggest accomplishment during college was her dedication to the sailing team, which included going to championships all four years.  Sushinsky finished his SMP on time while surviving Dorchester Hall for 3 years.  Hernandez believed that graduating on time with a major in biology was a nearly impossible task but in the end it was “very fulfilling.” Hines and Munezero both worked hard on their SMP and were proud of the results.

Carver summed up most students’ concern when he stated that his biggest accomplishment was “building a close network of friends that he still counts on today.” Each staff member had only glowing reviews about their time in higher education and suggested to all current students that they may want to consider such a path.

“Go for it if you want to and have the opportunity,” said Abell. Sushinsky added “if you don’t know what to do but you love SMCM, why not?”

Several staff members remarked that they had not considered coming back to the College during their time as student, but they were lucky to have kept an open mind to the possibility.

“Gain a lot of experience while you’re here,” said Munezero, “ and take advantage of every opportunity.”

 

Journalism and Our Attention Spans

In the year’s final Paul H. Nitze lecture, Nitze fellow and New Yorker senior editor Nicholas Thompson spoke on how, though the internet may have seemingly killed attention spans and long-form journalism, the new age of iPads and tablet computers might be reviving the endangered art.

The lecture, titled The Future of Journalism, focused on the way technology has fundamentally impacted how news articles are written and consumed. According to Thompson, pre-internet newspapers and magazines tended to have more of what he termed “narrative journalism,” which consists of highly-researched and developed articles that were typically between 20,000 to 30,000 words. “These stories were thought provoking” said Thompson, “they helped start national discussions.”

Thompson, to illustrate his point, referenced two exemplars of the form:  the 1946 New Yorker article “Hiroshima,” which encompassed an entire issue of the magazine and follows the aftermath of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, and the 1966 Esquire article “Oh My God – We Hit a Little Girl,” which focused on civilian casualties in the Vietnam War.  These articles were written for the purpose of creating a dialogue as well as getting news across to the public, and were “not just dry encapsulations of events … [they] almost had a cinematic quality,” said Thompson.

According to Thompson the advent of the internet changed all of that. He noted that, at first, there was a lot of optimism about the internet’s ability to provide a multimedia experience and easier access to articles. “People who like narrative essays thought that the Internet would be great,” Thompson said, “anyone could access it anywhere.”

However, the internet posed major challenges to narrative journalism. Many were simply economic: people generally refuse to pay for anything online, according to Thompson, and internet advertisement is not lucrative. Web advertising does not bring in enough money to sustain the sort of effort and time that goes in to writing, copy editing, and fact-checking long-form articles.

Money was not the only problem that narrative articles faced on the internet. The average U.S. American, according to Thompson, only has the attention span for around 800 words. He added that they “won’t remember those 800 words anyways.” Thompson said that this was due to the number of distractions present on the internet, including email, Facebook, and instant messaging.

Thompson said internet news today must be “short, snappy, and snarky,” and well below 2000 words, to be relevant.

Despite all of this, Thompson indicated that he was hopeful about the future and the fact that not everyone is following the trend towards short-form journalism. He noted, for example, that the New Yorker and, after having gone through a period of more vapid journalism, Rolling Stone, continued to publish quality long-form narrative articles even in the internet age. Thompson said, “the solution [for newspaper and magazines] is ‘let’s be less like the web … let’s just talk about things that [are] interesting.’”

More intriguing, however, are the examples of long-form narrative journalism that synthesize what is good about the web with what is good about the internet. Thompson pointed out an article/experiment he contributed to during his time at Wired magazine, in which contributor Evan Ratliff concealed his whereabouts from readers trying to fake his own death. Thompson said that Wired, using a set of cryptic clues and a $5000 reward, encouraged readers to create Facebook and Twitter groups directed at deciphering the clues and finding the “vanished” Ratliff.

Thompson also said he was hopeful about the potential of the iPad as a “chance to reboot” the connection between long-form narrative journalism and modern technology. He added that the iPad and the nature of its application system is far more friendly to a subscriber model and provides an overall better reading experience that personal computers or laptops.

Thompson also mentioned the “Atavist” application, created by himself and Ratliff, which focuses exclusively on long-form narrative articles and uses a “layering system” to integrate fact-checking details and multimedia without detracting from the content.

Thompson noted that those interested in long-form reads could find more via the #longform and #longreads Twitter hashtags, concluding, “It turns out [narrative journalism] still exists and that there are still opportunities for it.”

Students seemed generally inspired by Thompson’s discussion. Sophomore Alex Roca said, “I’m going to try and find more of those [long-form] articles personally.” Sophomore Emily Wavering said, “I’m really impressed with the ways we’re bouncing back from the almost set-back of the internet.” She added, “I think we will be able to go back to long-form.”

 

Historic St. Mary’s Hosts Annual Celebration

On Saturday, March 26, Historic St. Mary’s City (HSMC) hosted the annual Maryland Day celebration.  Each year, the state recognizes March 25, the day marking the anniversary of the founding of Maryland, as Maryland Day.  This year the Museum decided to celebrate Maryland Day on Saturday with the hopes of bringing more people to the events that were schedule throughout the day.

The crowning event of the day was the ceremony on Chapel Field.  The program began with the procession of the old militia followed by the honored guests of the event including St. Mary’s President Joseph Urgo, Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, and Regina Faden, the Executive Director of HSMC.  Following the invocation by Father Bill George, S.J., St. Mary’s Professor Jeffrey Silberschlag played a rendition of “Maryland, My Maryland” on the trumpet.

After the first half of the ceremony, comments were made by Congressman Hoyer and Israel Patoka, the Executive Director of the Governor’s Office of Community Initiatives and the Governor’s representative at both Maryland Day and the Inauguration of President Urgo.  During this time, Patoka read out loud a Proclamation from the Governor that “proclaimed March 25, 2011 as Maryland Day.” Patoka then presented this Proclamation to Faden and John McAllister, the Chairman of the HSMC Commission.

The keynote speaker was Dr. James A. Tuck, Professor Emeritus from Memorial University in Newfoundland.  After bringing greetings from the Governor of Newfoundland, Tuck delivered a speech about Lord Baltimore’s first colony of Avalon, located on the coast of Newfoundland.  The city was built in the early 1620s, about a decade before the founding of Maryland, and was the temporary home of the Calvert family.  The colony seemed to work well until the first winter.  The Calvert family did not enjoy the fact that winter in eastern Canada began in October and did not truly end until late April.  By the end of the winter, the family decided to pack up and sail back to England where Lord Baltimore began his plans for a new colony.

However, Avalon was not a total waste of time and effort, according to Tuck. “The colony proved that religious tolerations could work” Tuck said. He further explained that the political advancement that would define St. Mary’s was in practice for a short time at Avalon.  The Colony also demonstrated that the new colony needed to be farther south, farther away from the “fish industry.” As it turned out, the Calverts found the fishermen of Avalon to be rude and disrespectful towards the family’s status as nobility.  The failure at Avalon would lead the Calverts to look for a new home, which they found in the Chesapeake region just north of the new colony of Virginia.

Near the end of the program, the Cross Bottony Award was awarded to HSMC Volunteer Pete Himmelheber. The Cross Bottony Award was created to recognize the important contributions of an individual to the preservation of HSMC and the interpretation of Maryland’s history. Notable recipients of this award have been Congressman Steny Hoyer, Former Governors Parris Glendening and William D. Schaefer, and SMCM College President Dr. Jane Margaret “Maggie” O’Brien.

The Ceremony of the Flags followed Himmelheber’s acceptance speech as 4th graders representing each county and Baltimore City entered the tent waving their respective flag.  The flags enter in reverse order, beginning with Garrett County and ending with St. Mary’s. Lastly, the First Missionary Baptist Church Youth Choir graced the audience with several pieces of music including “God Bless America.”  The event ended with the dedication of a bench in memory of docent Joe Poe, the opening of the new Chapel Pavilion, and the laying of a wreath honoring Maryland’s founders.

 

Advancement Office Filling New Fundraising Position

One of the first tasks for Senior Development Officer Michael Carver ‘05 has been searching for a new Annual Giving Officer. Former Director of Annual Giving Karen Raley, ’94, has been promoted to a new position in Donor Relations and Communications, leaving a void in her former post. Even though the search will be an open and competitive process, the Advancement Office hopes that recent graduates, including current seniors graduating in May, will consider applying.

The Annual Giving Officer will be responsible for overseeing the College’s annual giving program. According to the Position Description (PD) issued by the Advancement Office, “this position seeks to expand the number of gifts, percent of alumni participation and total contributions for current support of the College’s priorities.” Some of the responsibilities that this position entail are managing the phone-a-thon fundraiser and overseeing the direct mail fundraising efforts.

As head of the search committee, Carver states that the Advancement Office is looking for “someone who has experience in fundraising.”  When asked to describe the job, which is considered a entry level position, Carver said that it has a “considerable amount of responsibility including managing the phone-a-thon and working on class gift projects.”

Carver continued by saying that “there are so many transferable skills in this job, including managing a team while gaining personal solicitation skills.”  Carver also consider it an excellent place to begin a “successful career in fundraising.”

The minimum qualifications include a Bachelors degree and experience working in development.  The PD states that the applicant must have “strong computer, organizational and communication skills and the ability to interact successfully with alumni, parents, volunteers, friends, and staff of the College.”

For more on this new position, please contact Michael Carver in the Advancement Office.