Lafayette has always been fortunate in the eagerness of its alumni to express their pride in their college. We love to brag about the beauty of the campus, tell friends from other schools about a key win by our favorite Leopard team, or suggest that the aspiring young artist or engineer down the street consider applying to Lafayette because it would be such a perfect fit.
Thanks to a recent conversation with Michael Weisburger ’82, one of our alumni volunteers, I have an even greater appreciation for how much the College can benefit when we show our pride to others. When Michael travels around the country on business or with his family, he makes a point of wearing some item of Lafayette apparel. The simple step of wearing a Lafayette t-shirt or cap, which any of us can easily do, has sparked numerous conversations with people he has encountered.
Interestingly, the conversations are not just with other alumni. Michael has been stopped by strangers who happened to remember that a friend or a family member had attended Lafayette. Other exchanges were initiated by people who were simply curious about the College. Regardless of the reason, the conversations opened doors for broadening awareness of Lafayette and for talking about why we are so proud to be affiliated with it.
Other easy ways to demonstrate your Lafayette pride include mentioning your Lafayette affiliation prominently on your Facebook page or volunteering in your community during Lafapalooza. If your company offers internships or has full-time openings, talk about how well-qualified our undergraduates and young alumni are to hold those positions and then offer to connect the appropriate corporate representative with someone on campus who can formalize the arrangement.
During the coming weeks and months, alumni will learn about exciting new opportunities to show their “grassroots pride.” You will also be reminded of the importance of making a gift to Lafayette each year. The size of your gift is not what’s important. What counts more than anything else is your participation. Our participation rate is viewed by publishers of college rankings as a significant indicator of alumni satisfaction and contributes to how Lafayette is perceived by prospective students. A higher level of participation will help us to stand out even more in the higher-education marketplace.
The reasons — and the opportunities — for us as alumni to show our pride in Lafayette are limitless. Why not begin by taking your favorite maroon-and-white t-shirt out of the drawer, signing up to volunteer at an alumni event, making an annual gift, and letting prospective students and others know about the positive impact the College has had on your life?
James W. Dicker ’85
Vice President for Development & College Relations