For many prospective students, Saint Mary’s takes the form of a smile and a handshake before it materializes as a vibrant campus. That’s because — before ever setting foot in Moraga — they’ve met one of the more than 230 people who volunteer in the Alumni-Admissions Program (AAP).

“This has been a very successful effort,” says Associate Director of Admissions Gina Meneni ’99, who helped revive the program in 2003. “Students who have been contacted personally by a Saint Mary’s alumni representative are more likely to apply, be accepted and attend.”

Alumni who participate say Saint Mary’s played a significant role in shaping them.

“I had a great experience at SMC. I loved the sense of it being a community and a second home.” says Erin Hamer ’01, a speech pathologist in Baltimore, Md. “I wanted to share that with students who are looking for the same experience.”
AAP representatives meet thousands of prospective students and parents each year at high schools and local college fairs. They also conduct interviews and call and e-mail accepted students to tell them SMC is looking forward to seeing them at freshman orientation.

These graduates’ personal touch and first-hand accounts of their College experience allow potential students to augment what they’ve learned about the College from brochures and websites.

The AAP plays a particularly important role in courting potential applicants from outside the Bay Area. Gaels in cities such as Denver, Chicago and New York spread word of Saint Mary’s to communities where the College would otherwise have a smaller presence. The AAP even reaches the Philippines, China and the Netherlands.

“I not only represent the College as an alumnus, but I represent the Christian Brothers and what Saint John Baptist de La Salle started 300 years ago,” says Alfonso Mendoza ’93, an AAP representative in San Diego. “Sometimes you can feel the energy from those students that they like what SMC has to offer at first glance — that’s the biggest reward.”

If you are interested in joining the Alumni-Admissions
Program, contact Admissions Officer Linde Waite
at (925) 631-4930 or e-mail lwaite@stmarys-ca.edu.

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