BHC to welcome alumni

Brookhaven College will host its first alumni event next month in the Performance Hall lobby.

Aina Abdul-Qader, Contributing Writer

Brookhaven College will host its first official alumni event March 3 in hopes of bringing back alumni who might have something to offer. Sylvia Wise, coordinator of alumni and donor relations, planned the event with a welcoming reception where the Brookhaven Big Band will perform while guests mingle and reconnect. The reception will be followed by a Theatre Brookhaven performance of “The Arabian Nights” in the Performance Hall. Thom Chesney, Brookhaven president, will introduce a guest speaker, Wise said. “The Alumni Engagement Program will entail bringing back our alumni; bringing back our students,” Wise said. “We want all of our former students to always be a part of Brookhaven College.” Wise said current students could benefit greatly from the program, having the opportunity to engage with alumni through mentoring programs and seminars. Alumni can volunteer as mentors or serve on the advisory council. Their employers can also participate in the campus career fair. Alumni can donate to scholarships or endow a new one, Wise said. Alumni associations are common in four-year schools, Wise said, but up until three years ago, not many community colleges paid attention to their alumni. These colleges realized that reaching out to former students helps maintain and develop many college programs. “Some people have an attachment to their colleges because [they were] the jumpstart to their career,” Wise said. “That’s the trend now among community colleges – more and more are starting alumni associations.” Wise said she and Marilyn Lynch, associate vice president of development, are excited about hosting the event. Wise said she hopes at least 150 people show up, and added that emails were sent to alumni who graduated from Brookhaven within the past 11 years. She said the first event will bring people together, and if all goes accordingly, she plans to host a second event. “We have a vision for what we want the alumni association to look like, and after these two events, we’ll start putting things in place,” she said. “We have to have a core group to get it going.”