As I sat down to pen my final magazine column as president of the Alumni Association, I could not help but recall lyrics from a Green Day song that was popular on the airwaves (no streaming back in the ancient 1990s) throughout my senior year. The chorus was, “It’s something unpredictable, but in the end it’s right. I hope you had the time of your life.” Those words succinctly sum up my experience as president for the past two years, and I can definitively say I had the time of my life!
More important than my own personal reflections, however, is whether the alumni body and members of the Lafayette community feel the same sense of enthusiasm for the recent accomplishments and future path of the College. During my tenure, the Alumni Council, which is the governing body of the Alumni Association, has been squarely focused on “Connecting Lafayette to You!” The goal underpinning that sound bite has been to make all alumni feel a part of the Lafayette community irrespective of proximity to campus. Through chapter events such as Wine 3/9 and Lafayette–Lehigh telecast parties, faculty programming such as the Faculty Road Trip, professional forums such as Networking Nights, entrepreneurial-focused panels, and many other programs, we have sought to deliver the Lafayette experience to you.
Equally as important as making you feel connected to the school is ensuring that each alumnus and alumna understands what he or she can do to remain an active member of the Lafayette community. To that end, the Alumni Council has been emphasizing the “3P’s” to reinforce our identity as Pards. The 3P’s are Partake, Participate, and Promote. Partake means to attend events and serve as a volunteer. Participate means to be a financial supporter of Lafayette each year. Promote means to serve as an ambassador for the school in your community. If I have accomplished nothing else during my term as president, I hope I have been able to facilitate a sense of connectedness between alumni and the Lafayette community, and inspire more individuals to embrace the 3P’s.
Since graduating in 1998, I have never felt more pride in the College than as I do today. Lafayette has made significant strides in solidifying its stature as one of the preeminent higher education institutions in this country. Executing on our strategic goals of a need-blind admissions process, expanding the student population while preserving the current student-to-faculty ratio, creating a championship culture within our athletics programs, and enhancing the resources of Gateway Career Center will further elevate the national profile of the College in years to come.
My two years as president have reinforced how fortunate I was to receive that acceptance letter from admissions 26 years ago as I could not have imagined at the time how much my Lafayette experience would shape me as a person. I feel an incredible sense of privilege to be a Pard and to have had the opportunity to work with my dedicated colleagues on the Alumni Council, administrators, faculty, and other members of the Lafayette community. I also want to express my gratitude to the more than 29,000 alumni across the globe, because without you, Lafayette would not have been able to get to where it is today and would not be able to go where it wants to tomorrow. Go Pards!
With Pard Pride,
Jonathan Ellis ’98
President of the Alumni Association