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From the Alumni Office:


Jenny Engle ’12, ’15/MA<br />Director of Alumni Relations
Jenny Engle ’12, ’15/MA
Director of Alumni Relations

Ready and Waiting to Hear Your Siena Stories!

It was this time last year when I was chosen to be the Director of Alumni Relations. I came to the Alumni Office with four years of experience working in Advancement at Siena Heights. I had been a non-traditional undergraduate student and was a current graduate student when I accepted the offer. I sit here today and reminisce on all that I love about Siena.

I am thrilled that I work for, and have been educated at, an institution that truly lives its mission—to assist people to become more competent, purposeful and ethical through a teaching and learning environment which respects the dignity of all.

On my first official day in the Alumni Office in mid-November, I learned quickly that while I can start each day with a plan—that plans don’t always go as expected and that I would need to be flexible.

The unplanned part of that first day was also the best part of that day. I had an unexpected visitor—a member of the class of 1976. This alum had not been back to campus since graduation nearly 40 years ago. He was in the area visiting, and stopped in looking for contact information of a former classmate he was hoping to connect with. We spent some time chatting about his experience at Siena and talking about all of the changes that have occurred over the years. He seemed genuinely happy to be on campus, and pleasantly surprised by the different look and growth of Siena Heights.

Read more . . .

From the Alumni Office:


Jennifer Hamlin Church, Associate VP for Advancement &amp; Director of Alumni Relations
Jennifer Hamlin Church, Associate VP for Advancement & Director of Alumni Relations

“So in the deepest gratitude for years that too
swiftly fly…”

As I write, the glow of Homecoming 2015 still surrounds me and my mind is filled with recollections of rain, sun, snowflakes, fun, inspiration and re-connection:

  • the powerful testimony of alumni award winners Lois Hueneman Chazaud ’49, Jacqueline Battalora ’88, Michael Donovan ’75 and Honorary Alumna Deb Carter;
  • the laughter and liveliness of tailgates and tailgate trophies;
  • the energy of athletes—varsity, alumni, and Hall of Famers;
  • the inquiring minds of faculty, students and alumni at the Coffee Curriculum;
  • the creativity of SHU musicians (Acapelicans, Choir, Band), actors (the cast of Urinetown), and artists (Kelly Papcun Burke ’07, Brett Lawrence ’95);
  • and upholding it all, the Dominican foundation of faith; of competence, purpose and ethics; of respect for the dignity of all—and a Homecoming Mass presided over by Fr. Dan Lannen ’05 and SHU chaplain Fr. John Grace.

Read more . . .

From the Alumni Office:


Jennifer Hamlin Church, Associate VP for Advancement &amp; Director of Alumni Relations
Jennifer Hamlin Church, Associate VP for Advancement & Director of Alumni Relations

No Typical Alumni!

My first encounter with Siena Heights occurred 25 years ago when I answered a phone call for my husband, Tracy. The caller was a professor, my husband’s advisor, but he hadn’t seen Tracy for a while. I knew that Tracy had had other things on his mind: a wedding, a demanding job, kidney dialysis, a kidney transplant, and then a leg amputation. But this professor didn’t know any of that. He just knew Tracy was close to completing his B.A., and he didn’t want him to quit: “Tell him we hope he’ll come back,” he said. “We want him to finish that degree.”

I was dumbfounded. Who bothered to keep track of individual students and notice when they stopped out? What college took the time to call a part-time guy on the 27-year plan…and encourage him to keep going? Who did that?

Siena Heights did. Professor Bill Blackerby did.

Tracy’s graduation a few years later was another eye-opener. I had attended a traditional liberal arts college and worked at two others; there, a “typical” graduate was about 22 years old. But sitting in the Fieldhouse in 1993, I knew … knew in a new way … that no senior had worked harder to reach this day than my 45-year-old husband. And no family was any prouder of their graduate than we were. What an epiphany!

At that moment, I became a fan of non-traditional education.

Read more . . .