If you have ever walked past the School of Education, Health, and Human Performance building on Tuesday evenings, then you may have heard the College of Charleston’s Alma Mater being spiritedly sung. The College of Charleston Student Alumni Associates have always concluded their weekly meetings in this fashion, with a tender reminder of their purpose as a member of SAA. Lundy Davis, SAA President, stated,“Our purpose is to preserve and further the traditions of the College and to create a sense of fellowship between students, alumni, the community and the College, through involvement and service.”
Tony Meyer, ‘49 founded Student Alumni Associates in 1984. It had a humble beginning as an organization made up of volunteer tour guides for campus visitors. Now, however, the Associates have become the official student marshals for all major College of Charleston events, including both Winter and Spring Commencement. Additionally, the Student Alumni Associates assist in other campus events and alumni events, like Convocation, the Alumni Awards Gala and the Sottile Tree Lighting. Every semester, each Associate is expected to serve in a certain number of events. For an Associate’s first and last semester, their event quota is four; for other semesters, their event quota is eight. Meyer said,“[SAA members] give readily of their precious time to serve as ambassadors for the College of Charleston at a variety of functions,” commenting that they do so with, “grace, charm, and wit that endear them to the people they meet.” In addition to working events, Associates attend weekly meetings, monthly socials, and off-campus community service events.
Currently, the organization is composed of 56 student members, all with different backgrounds, talents, majors, career interests, and extracurriculars. An executive board made up of President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, Special Events Chairperson, Events Chairperson, Public Relations Chairperson, Retreats and Regionals Chairperson, Social Chairperson, and Fundraising Chairperson leads the organization. Additionally, the general membership body is split into the following committees, which helps the organization to run smoothly: Alumni/Career Networking, Fundraising, Socials, Public Relations, Retreats, and Special Events. There are plenty of opportunities for SAA members to shine. Barney Holt, ’74 and Ryan Small, ’01 serve as the organization’s advisers.
There are numerous perks to being a member of SAA, too, including access to the College’s outstanding network of alumni, faculty, and students, the opportunity to be awarded an SAA scholarship and the opportunity to be mentored by an Alum from a particular career field. When Associates become juniors, they become eligible to participate in the exceptional SAA Alumni Mentor program, which was introduced just last year. Jackie Hazlett, ’15, who currently serves as the Special Events Chairperson, coordinates the program. “The Alumni Mentor program pairs driven juniors and seniors in SAA with CofC alumni at the top of their respective fields,” commented Hazlett. When questioned about the goal of the program, Hazlett stated that it is, “for students at the College to get real life experience in the field they wish to join after graduation with the help of a successful graduate of the College as their mentor.” Feedback for the program has been extremely positive.
Service, though, has remained at the heart of the Student Alumni Associates. Meyer declared, “Service is their watchword.” If interested in serving students, faculty and alumni and becoming a member of one of the College of Charleston’s premier student organizations, consider submitting an application, due September 15th, 2014, by 5:00 PM, and for more information click here.