A recent venture that Hope College has stepped into is the Student Alumni Leadership Council (SALC). This council, based off of what many colleges label the ‘student-ambassador’ program, has been in full existence for about one year. The group is meant to bridge the relationship between students and alumni. A group of about twenty students were accepted to be a part of this council and have helped out already with several different events. Some of these events have been The Greater Hope Campaign kick-off dinner, Homecoming, Family Weekend, The Last Hurrah (Graduation event for seniors), various community events, and more. This committee is the perfect connection point because it takes current students and allows them to meet and establish an alumni relation before they graduate. This will promote a heavier involvement with alumni events, when students become alumni, which in turn creates a stronger Hope College community.
The group has been an immediate success in the life of the campus, and among Alumni events. Alumni enjoy meeting and connecting with current students, and students enjoy meeting with Alumni to discuss life at Hope and the way it has evolved throughout the years. Through SALC, Alumni and current students have been able to connect. Both students and Alumni have commented on how much they have enjoyed the opportunity to connect and meet.
Last year, I was asked to be a part of this group, and specifically serve on the sub-committee that focused on parent involvement for graduation weekend. I immediately loved serving on the group. The people that are involved with SALC are people that I truly enjoy working with; they’re hard-working, fun, creative people. They are great at planning events, and making existing events better. This year, we had to have an almost entirely new SALC group, because many of the members last year graduated. However, everyone that has been involved has surpassed any of my expectations. We have had an incredible amount of fun getting to know one another, and spending time with current students and alumni. I have had wonderful conversations with people who have graduated from Hope ten, twenty, even fifty years ago, and still continue to come back to Hope and get involved in what is currently happening on campus. I love listening to their stories, and why Hope was important to them. It’s an incredible privilege talking to the people who have come before me, and to hear how what they are doing is personally impacting my life at Hope. This is why I am a part of SALC.