Board Leadership Message

February 2011 ~ An Important Update on Your SJCAA

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Strategic Plan in Place; Donations on the Rise; Collaboration with MSM Begins

As 2011 began, your St. Joseph College Alumnae Association Board of Trustees renewed its unwavering commitment to keeping SJC Alumnae “All Together.”

As noted in the fall 2010 Valley Echo, the Board held an all-day session in September 2010 to define and plan the organization’s future. Members agreed upon and approved an ambitious Strategic Plan, which contains six major goals:

  1. To develop and maintain regular communications and networking opportunities so that Alumnae are kept informed in multiple, consistent, easily accessible and personal ways.
  2. To revitalize the association's organizational structure by developing and implementing strategies for change throughout the next 20 years.
  3. To develop and follow a plan for collaborating with Mount St. Mary’s University, while maintaining our independence as an organization.
  4. To institute membership, marketing and financial activities that will sustain us throughout the life of the Association.
  5. To maintain our non-profit status and continue philanthropic efforts.
  6. To continue to organize annual reunions and celebrate class 50th reunions through 2025.

After the September meeting, the Board began prioritizing specific objectives and action steps to achieve these goals. Three recommendations made by the Strategic Planning Subcommittee were approved. They are:

  1. Our philanthropy will continue and include donations to the Seton Shrine for Masses for deceased Alumnae and their family members.
  2. The name of our Women’s Learners Fund will change to St. Joseph College Alumnae Scholarship Fund. Its purpose is to provide scholarship aid to: (a) Mother Seton School [$4,000 annually]; and, (b) a woman student at Mount St. Mary’s University [target goal $5,000 annually]. The fund has potential for donations in memory of deceased SJC alumnae.
  3. A committee, comprised of Chrystie Damico Goles ’64, Karen Mattscheck ’73, Claire Maurer ’64, and Maureen McPartland Smith ’65, was appointed to meet with Mount St. Mary’s at a future agreeable time.

Meeting with MSM

A meeting with representatives from Mount St. Mary’s University took place on Dec. 15, 2010 at the Mount. SJC representatives focused on the question of continued use of Alumnae Office space in St. Joseph’s Provincial House. The Association has no assurances for long-term use of that space.

Judy Dwyer Brennan ’64, the Association’s Executive Administrator, has announced her retirement, effective in spring 2011. The Board approved a revision of the job description and is seeking a part-time Office Administrator. Opportunities for sharing an office administrator position were discussed during the meeting with the Mount. Additional discussions are scheduled.

Additional areas for SJC/MSM collaboration include website assistance and potential cooperation for outsourcing expenses associated with office supplies and general printing needs. Our dialogue with the Mount will continue.

The SJC Board supports outsourcing certain aspects of the Association’s administrative functions to curtail expenses; however, the Board also wants to maintain an independent St. Joseph College Alumnae Association.

Dues/Donations Increasing

As fiscal year 2011 began, we were pleased to see improvements in our membership numbers over those of recent years. There has been an excellent response to our new tiered membership option. At this time, more than 240 SJCiennes have contributed at the $100 “All Together,” $150 “Sister Mary Ellen Kelley” and $200 “Elizabeth Bayley Seton” levels, in addition to the $50 “A” and $75 “Allegra” levels.

The Board is now working on additional goals and objectives outlined in the Strategic Plan. We will focus on revitalizing the association's organizational structure by developing and implementing strategies for change during the next 20 years. We will also continue our efforts to maintain regular communication with as many alumnae as possible.

Class Agents

One of our first tasks is to “revitalize the role of class secretary.” The Board has approved changing the title of class secretary to Class Agent. A committee composed of class agents/secretaries will assist SJCAA Board members in creating a job description for the class agent position. Mary Anne Kelly ’68 and Joanne McNally Downes ’61 will serve as co-chairs of this committee.

The traditional role of class secretary will be reviewed and expanded. Each class will be encouraged to enlist the help of a class committee to assist its class agent (secretary) acquire news, share important Alumnae communications, promote active membership in our Association, and encourage attendance at our annual reunions. Definitions and descriptions will also be needed for the class committees. During the Class Secretaries’ Meeting at Reunion 2011, those in attendance will be asked for their input and ideas.

Going Green

“GO GREEN” will be repeated in more of SJCAA’s messages as part of the Board’s emphasis on limiting paper outputs and protecting the environment. We will expand use of the Alumnae Association’s website via more frequent updates and enhanced content.

As were previous editions, the fall 2010 issue of The Valley Echo was posted on line at about the same time it was mailed. A new “flip” format enhanced readers’ electronic experience, and we achieved a significant cost-savings by printing the magazine in black & white.

Survey of Alumnae

One of the more industrious projects associated with our Strategic Plan is to conduct a survey addressing the goals and objectives outlined in the plan. The poll will be ready for distribution to all alumnae in early fall 2011. Results will be available before the Christmas holidays.

Meeting the Challenges

Our efforts are focused on providing new direction and vitality to our Alumnae Association through regular communications, structural changes in the organization, and sound financial planning.

Collaborative relationships with Mount St. Mary’s University are an important component of our endeavor. Collaboration is a process where two or more people or organizations work together to realize shared goals. Mount St. Mary’s University considers St. Joseph College and its Alumnae a part of the Mount’s heritage. Collaboration with the Mount will enhance the SJC Alumnae Association through shared resources.

The current discussion about office space and a new Office Administrator is one example of how we can work together. The Mount is aware of SJCAA’s commitment to remain an independent organization. We will continue to support charities and celebrate an annual St. Joseph College Alumnae Reunion.

The years ahead will be challenging. Your Alumnae Board of Trustees welcomes questions and comments from you or your classmates. If you have comments or questions, please get in touch.

SJCAA Board of Trustees

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