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From the Alumni Association:

Mary Small Poore, President—Alumni Association Board of Directors
Mary Small Poore, President—Alumni Association Board of Directors

My Final Reflection

With a deadline looming, I wondered how to pen my last Reflections article as President of the Siena Heights Alumni Association. Then I realized: my experiences in just the past month portrayed the story and essence of this University. As with any good story, the cast of characters is essential to the storyline. Allow me to share a few chapters of this Siena story and its people.

Chapter 1, Theatre Siena: My husband and I, plus 158 other Siena friends and alumni, shared a great evening in late March at the annual Alumni Dinner & Theater event. This affair, always a favorite of mine, exceeded all expectations. Dinner and decor in newly renovated Benincasa Hall was remarkable; and the musical that followed, “Chicago,” was one of the finest shows I’ve seen. Everything—acting, singing, choreography, music, set—was professional. Theatre Siena continues to produce exceptional talent; talent that, once it leaves our campus, goes into the community and far beyond.

Chapter 2, Academic Excellence: In April, I was honored to attend the first (and I hope annual) Scholarship Symposium. Students showcased research and academic achievements in all areas, sharing their knowledge with faculty, staff and the community. It was a privilege to meet these students, feel their passion and see their hard work. The faculty and staff who guided and mentored these students should also feel great pride and satisfaction; they have instilled in their students a lifelong quest for knowledge. I feel sure that many more opportunities will come to these students thanks to the challenge provided by their instructors.

Chapter 3, Fine Art: On April 18, I attended the dedication of a new sculpture at Siena Heights. Chaos Getaria is an incredible addition to campus. Our generous benefactor Mary Spencer commissioned Jedd Novatt to create this piece for us, the 6th in a series he has completed in memory of Mary’s husband Sash Spencer. (The other five are in locations around the world.) I had the privilege of speaking with Mr.
Novatt at the dedication. When I told him I was the PROUD president of the Alumni Association, he agreed I should be extremely proud. He had spent several days on campus installing the sculpture and meeting with students and staff; in just those few days, he said, he felt the strong sense of community here and knew it was a very special place.

Chapter 4, Esteemed Alumni: In late April, the Alumni Board’s Honors and Awards Committee met to select the 2015 Alumni Award recipients. As I perused the many nominations, I was in awe of what so many alumni have accomplished. There are those who continue the legacy of Sister Ann Joachim in her commitment to social justice; those who reflect the qualities of St. Dominic in lives devoted to Christian education and ethics; those who have accomplished great things in just a few years as alumni; and those among us who, though not graduates of Siena Heights, deserve recognition for exceptional commitment to our mission and for sharing their own time, talents and treasures with the University.

Chapter 5, The Rest of the Story: As I write, I look forward to May’s commencement exercises with great anticipation. It will be an honor to welcome so many gifted graduates into the Alumni Association, people who have worked long and hard for their education while learning to live the mission of the University. They will write a beautiful new chapter for Siena Heights.

Although these chapters took place in Adrian, the Siena story is being written every day at our sites across Michigan—and around the country through our award-winning online program. I am proud, honored and humbled to have been a small part of the story of this incredible University as President of the Alumni Association for the past two years. Thank you for the opportunity.

Mary Small Poore ’76
President—Alumni Association Board of Directors

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