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Alumni Association - Big Changes, New Direction

The La Salle College High School Alumni Association has experienced a rebirth over the last three years. Alumni have existed as long as the school itself, whether as a formal organization or not, and the mission of the Alumni Association has evolved over decades.  Remember the days of alums manning a “phone bank”, dialing fellow alums to raise money?  Those days are long gone thanks to the creation of the Institutional Advancement Office, which has become a key component of the school’s ability to fundraise and sustain its mission.

In 2018, the Alumni Association refocused its mission. New by-laws and board members as well as an updated mission were put in place. It has been a large undertaking, but under the leadership of recent presidents Scott Porreca ’86 and Chris Meagher ’89, along with current president, Bill Murphy ’96, the Alumni Association has made great strides.

“There’s been much heavy lifting,” said Murphy. “Over the past three years, we’ve built the board up to 21 engaged alums spanning graduation years 1950 to the 2010’s, supported by 24 non-board members serving on committees. It’s been 25 years since I was on campus regularly so just creating personal relationships with the administration, institutional advancement, athletics, etc., which are necessary to effectively lead the association, has been a lot of work but rewarding. It reminds me of why I love the place.”

The mission of the Alumni Association is to strengthen bonds and build fellowship and support among alumni and between alumni and La Salle. The mission is straightforward but realizing that goal in an all-volunteer organization is difficult. In 2020, Michael Winning ’74 led an Alumni Association retreat to develop a strategic plan. The planning process was extensive and included Winning interviewing stakeholders at La Salle. “The mission they described was pretty clear: get alumni re-engaged, and back on campus, to the fullest extent possible,” said Winning. The intent of the strategic plan was to identify the critical priorities to make that happen.

Since implementation, the strategic plan focused on three key components:

Create A Signature Event For The Alumni Community
The goal is to bring alumni together and back to campus to replicate our traditions of the Homecoming celebration before the LaSalle vs. Prep Thanksgiving Day game. This past September, the Alumni Association worked in conjunction with Institutional Advancement and the Athletic Department and held its signature event – Homecoming Weekend.  Hundreds of attendees enjoyed various events, including the Hall of Athletics induction ceremony, an alumni lacrosse game, a varsity soccer game, JV and freshman football games, a BBQ tailgate, and a varsity football game at Springfield High School.  Mark your calendars – the Fall 2022 Homecoming Weekend is tentatively planned for October 29, 2022 a centerpiece varsity football game against Father Judge High School at Springfield High School.

Build An Effective Communications Plan
The Alumni Association is creating a process around timely communications through a variety of channels, creating a platform to reach graduates from the 1940's to the present, utilizing numerous social media platforms, email, and print. Follow our Twitter/Instagram accounts (@lschsalumni/lschsalumni). Additionally, the Alumni Association webpage will be reformatted with better functionality and a modern look and feel.

Support and Connect Current Students and Young Alumni
This facet of the strategic plan is designed to “support and amplify” existing programs on campus by enhancing Michael Cassidy’s ‘74 summer internship program for current students and Jon Allison’s mentorship program for young alumni. These programs are actively looking for summer internship opportunities and mentors for this winter/spring, please contact the Alumni Association should you or your company wish to provide an internship (paid/unpaid) or serve as a mentor.

The La Salle Business Network, led by Doug Kelly ’03, restarted events in mid-2021 after a pandemic delay. The LBN brings alumni of all class years together to help grow personal and professional business networks. Events are typically held every other month at a local restaurant in the Philadelphia metropolitan area (often at MaGerk’s in Fort Washington or the Great American Pub in Conshohocken). The Alumni Association buys the first round of drinks! Food is also complimentary. Registration is not required but encouraged.

The Mission and Service committee of the Alumni Association, led by Patrick Kerr ‘11 and Michael McCabe ‘08, embodies the "Enter to Learn, Leave to Serve" mantra of La Salle by offering alumni service opportunities to connect with this mantra. While the Martin Luther King Jr. Alumni Day of Service had to be postponed due to the recent pandemic surge, future opportunities, such as participating in the school’s Street Outreach program to feed the homeless, will be offered.

The culmination of the event calendar has always been the David T. Diehl ’55 Scholarship Golf Outing. After several successful years at Whitemarsh Valley Country Club, the Alumni Association is moving to Union League Liberty Hill in Lafayette Hill, PA (formerly known as the Ace Club). Please make sure to register for the outing scheduled on Tuesday, June 21, 2022.

“It’s required a lot of people pulling in the same direction to refocus our efforts as an association” said Murphy. “This would not be possible without the help of the Past Presidents of the Alumni Association, Brother James’ participation, the support of the Administration including Institutional Advancement and Athletics, and the alumni community who continue to support the association. Good things are ahead, it’s been very enjoyable and rewarding.”

For more information on the Alumni Association or should you wish to get involved, please visit www.lschs.org/alumni-portal or contact Bill Murphy ‘96 via email at wmurphy@tscbank.com

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