Douglass Alumnae Make the Difference for the Incoming Class

In just a few weeks, Douglass Alumnae welcome new students to campus at the New Student Move-In hosted by the Associate Alumnae of Douglass College’s Students Today, Alumnae Tomorrow (STAT) Committee on Thursday, August 28, 2014. Alumnae will greet students and their families, help calm nerves and share the strength of the alumnae association and the vibrancy of our great Douglass Alumnae sisterhood. It is just one of the many ways alumnae help students succeed at Douglass. For the new student, it may be her first personal interaction with an alumna — but it is not the first time that alumnae have influenced her educational journey. In fact, alumnae support begins during the recruitment process and continues throughout a student’s college career.

The Associate Alumnae of Douglass College (AADC) provides financial support to the Douglass Recruitment Office of approximately $176,000 annually. Many of our students and the first-year class – the Class of 2018 — chose Douglass because of scholarship support — $900,000 of it provided to Douglass by the AADC this fall. They also know the power that externships, like those provided through the award-winning AADC Extern Program, can bring to future careers. The incoming class is the largest in a decade, with more than 500 students from diverse backgrounds expected. However, they share a common goal to maximize their undergraduate experience and take advantage of the connections of more than 36,000 Douglass Alumnae. By enrolling at Douglass, these women know they will have requirements and opportunities beyond those of their academic major. Alumnae involvement and support will help them to succeed, and to discover their passions and build self-confidence.

During their first year on campus, the class will be required to take the Douglass mission course: Knowledge and Power: Issues in Women’s Leadership. This foundational course explores the challenges and opportunities confronting women in society and examines factors of leadership development. Through the course, taught in small group settings with larger plenary sessions held in Voorhees Chapel, students become active learners and begin to think critically about their own educational goals. Voorhees Mentors: upper-year students specially trained as advisors, assist first-year students. This important group is named in memory of Barbara Voorhees, a long time Douglass advisor and benefactor. The AADC also hosts one of the plenary sessions, welcoming students to join alumnae in the Chapel for the prestigious Douglass Society Induction Ceremony, where honorees share their accomplishments and success stories. Students also learn about the lives of alumnae through an interview project where students talk one-on-one with an alumna.

Starting in the sophomore year, students will have the opportunity to participate in specialized programs that collectively make up the Douglass Difference. Each of these programs allows students to personalize their undergraduate education to their unique passions and talents. This assures she will graduate with a competitive edge. These include:

  • The Global Village Living Learning Communities
  • The Douglass Project for Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math
  • Douglass Advising
  • Leadership Opportunities such as Douglass Governing Council, Red Pine Tour Guides, The Public Leadership Education Network, the Peer Academic Leaders (PALs) and many others.

Each of these programs receives financial support from Douglass alumnae — in fact 43% of the College program budget is funded through the AADC. Alumnae also play an ongoing role in assisting and encouraging student success by serving as program speakers, hosting study breaks, planning lectures and sponsoring students in job-shadowing opportunities. The AADC also provides funding for traditional programs such as the Yule Log Ceremony, Sacred Path, and Graduation Convocation. From day one through to her march across Antilles Field in cap and gown, alumnae stand in support of Douglass students.

Of course, the relationship and connection doesn’t end at commencement. The students we welcome this August are future sister alumnae. Having experienced the Douglass Difference, their participation and support will make the difference for future students and strengthen our great sisterhood.

Much of the financial support provided to the College through the AADC is due to the generous contributions from alumnae and friends. Thank you!

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