A Message from the President

Who better to guide Drew students to do great things than Drew alums? You, our alums, represent a natural bridge from The Forest to the wider world. When you reach back to campus with your mentorship, you make a meaningful contribution to a promising Drew student while adding to the world’s good. And that’s why you, our alums, are so critical to the success of Launch.

Launch—our one-of-a-kind, leading-edge path to a degree—lifts off this fall, syncing career development with rigorous academics and a powerful community. Building on the close faculty guidance that has long been a Drew signature, Launch purposefully expands this mentorship model to deliver a network of allies and advisers to each and every student. Faculty, yes, but also career counselors, student life staffers, peer mentors, experiential learning facilitators and, importantly, alums like you.

Alums have a special perspective. As former students, you can meet young Drewids as they are, full of dreams and aspirations. As accomplished professionals, you can guide them toward their goals, sharing your insights and experiences. This shared affinity is an unparalleled source of inspiration for our students. Whether with an encouraging word or a lifelong friendship, the good you do as a mentor can have a profound impact on the trajectory of a student’s life.

Jared Sutton C’18 never thought about a career in state government until he connected with Cathy Brennan C’86 in her role at the New Jersey State House. Soon they were sitting in the same meetings (read more on page 48). Pearl Lee C’18 was weighing her options for law school when she reached out to Matthew Hunter C’15, a recent law school graduate. A lively email conversation provided her with his firsthand insights.

Both of these student-alum mentorships spring from the same source: Drew Connect. Our new online platform makes it easy to build your networks by connecting with a powerful, worldwide Drew community. Students and alums have a major presence on Drew Connect, and so do faculty, staff, parents and supporters. Just create your account at drewconnect.drew.edu and start connecting with a network of inspirational students and influential peers.

Here you can coach and inspire—or ask questions and seek guidance. Here you can explore our wide network or join a smaller interest group. Here you can dip into flash mentoring or develop a sustained mentorship.

Drew Connect even hosts a baker’s dozen of communities that align around career and affinity interests. Share your hard-won insights about breaking into theatre or journalism in the Arts and Communications community. Or share your been-there-too story with a first-year student in the First-Generation Collegian community. There is so much value in your experience and your encouragement.

Our mission, at Drew, is to educate thoughtful and capable citizens ready to grapple with the world’s challenges and add to the world’s good. In you, our accomplished alums, I see the clearest example of our success. My enthusiasm for what you do— and the good you can do for our students—is boundless. That’s why we’ve made alums so central to Launch, and why we are so grateful for all you do for Drew.MaryAnn Baenninger

6 Ways for Alums to Engage

1. Share Career Insights. Students love to hear the inside scoop from guest speakers and panelists.

2. Tap New Talents. Help us identify the skills your industry wants— and we can teach.

3. Partner on Research. Collaboration with Drew advances knowledge in more ways than one.

4. Be a Mentor. A few words of wisdom can light a passion or launch a career.

5. Find an Intern. Our students make top-notch interns (and future coworkers).

6. Hire a Graduate. You know it firsthand: Drewids are workplace ready from day one.

Build your powerful community at drewconnect.drew.edu.

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