Trinity's Young Alumni Stay Involved with the College
by Jim Smith
Two years ago, Springer Science and Business Media published an exhaustive report on the importance of volunteerism for America’s colleges and universities. The authors— University of Minnesota professors David Weerts and Thomas Sanford and University of Maryland professor Alberto Cabrera— noted that “Due to the pressure to increase philanthropic support for higher education, research on alumni has focused almost exclusively on giving. However, alumni play broader roles in supporting colleges and universities beyond writing a check.”
Indeed they do. Alumni and alumnae who give their time not only remain connected to their alma mater, but they represent a bridge to hundreds of other graduates, maintaining a living connection that is nothing less than a lifeline for all colleges and universities. Trinity is no exception. “Of Trinity’s 19,902 living alumni, 4,793 are graduates of the last decade,” notes Katherine DeConti ’98, director of alumni relations. “The young alumni of our College are a significant part of the Trinity alumni community, and we look to our volunteers for leadership, support, and advice in connecting this vital constituency with the College. In this age of social networking, communication is more important than ever, and young alumni are at the forefront of this media trend, which will profoundly affect how we connect with alumni in the 21st century. The young alumni of Trinity are the next generation of trustees, mentors, and philanthropists, and their involvement at a young age is critical to the vitality of our alma mater.”
As the profiles of the graduates in these pages reveal, that life-line is very real and in the hands of reliable stewards. The scope of activities to which they give their time is remarkably broad. And it is hardly a one-way street. As each of them would quickly affirm, volunteering is personally rewarding in myriad ways.
Krista Hardie ’01—An engineer, Hartford native Krista Hardie found employment with United Technologies Corporation immediately after graduating. She remained with UTC until last summer when she joined the quality organization at Energizer Corporation in Milford.
During that time, she invested a lot of time and energy in her career, earning a master’s degree in engineering and an MBA from the University of Hartford and an advanced degree in global supply management from Indiana University. But she never lost touch with Trinity, where her undergraduate experience was enriched by involvement in intramural tennis, IMANI, the Trinity College Black Student Union, and her sorority, Alpha Kappa Alpha.
So, Hardie has made time to give something back to her alma mater. As president of the Black Alumni Organization, she planned last year’s Homecoming Brunch in honor of Dr. Ann Robinson, Trinity’s first African American female faculty member. She was a featured guest for the highly successful alumnae networking event last October. And she is a member of the committee planning this year’s Class of 2001 10-year reunion, which took place in June.
“Trinity is a very rigorous institution,” she says. “I think that when you’re a success you should reach back and help others. Students sometimes don’t understand the value of the opportunity they’ve been given. That’s why it’s so important for successful alumni to display pride in their relationship with Trinity and help students learn how to make the most of this once-in-a-lifetime experience.”