Good as GOLD
young alumni spearhead volunteer participation
Boston College has some of the world's most dedicated alumni. And the University relies on its alumni community's most precious resource: time. In fact, it is a main goal of the Light the World campaign to expand volunteerism, encouraging more alumni and parents to engage in service that raises the University to new heights.
Graduates Of the Last Decade, or GOLD alumni, are demonstrating this leadership in record numbers, with more than 850 volunteers representing 33 percent of the University's overall alumni service corps. Volunteerism at BC takes many forms, from working on reunion gift committees and participating in the annual National Day of Service to organizing affinity group and chapter events.
Two recent graduates are setting an example for their classmates and have found unique and creative ways to give their time to BC—which, as both agree, is essential to ensuring the success of Light the World and the future of the University as a whole.
Mentor in the Making
Amelia (Amy) Featherstone '08 (right) learned quickly the value of a strong alumni network. As a summer intern at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. in New York City, she was paired with mentor Martha Dabagian '99, who taught her the ins and outs of the financial world, helped her navigate the firm, and led her on a path to discover her own passions in the business world. Featherstone is now an associate in Goldman Sachs's Prime Brokerage Division in New York, an opportunity she attributes to the strong relationship established through her BC alumna mentor.
"I am extremely fortunate to have a strong network of fellow alumni at Goldman Sachs. When I was an intern, Martha devoted a lot of her time to teaching me and bringing me up to speed on industry best practices," says Featherstone. "I hope to return the favor by serving as a mentor and helping other young alumni discern their own career paths."
This past year, Featherstone was presented with another opportunity to support fellow GOLD alumni by helping to organize the Boston College Goldman Sachs Networking Evening. She was tapped to lead this initiative by one of the firm's partners, Michael Millette, MS'94, P'15, following her successful coordination of the Goldman GOLD informational table at the Boston College Wall Street Council Tribute Dinner in April. The networking event was a huge smash, with 45 young alumni across various departments of the company in attendance.
She adds: "It's essential to give back as GOLD volunteers because we all benefited from the support of members of the BC community at some point and had role models of our own to look up to. As BC's youngest alumni, we're in a great place to understand and reach out to other recent graduates so they can benefit from our experiences."
Giving from the Heart
Mike Cianchette '06 (right), counsel and policy advisor to the governor of Maine and reserve officer in the U.S. Navy, traveled from his home in Cumberland, Maine, to celebrate his fifth reunion this past June. In preparation for this momentous occasion, the young alum served as a chair on his Reunion Gift Committee—connecting with his classmates to communicate the importance of securing the financial stability of Boston College and the impact of gifts of all sizes.
"Each and every dollar raised in honor of our fifth reunion ensures that current and future students will share experiences similar to the ones we cherish so dearly," says Cianchette. "Our generosity is BC's bridge to the future and will allow the University to continue to educate 'men and women for others' for generations to come."
This was not Cianchette's first time volunteering as a representative for his class and advocate for the University. As a Senior Class Gift Committee co-chair, he rallied his classmates around BC's culture of giving, which set him on a path to continue his efforts postgraduation. He shared the same message with fellow GOLD alumni—getting them excited about the depths to which the University relies on its community to help move forward.
"Ultimately, alumni volunteering is about giving where your heart is—and that could mean time or money, however we are able to do it," explains Cianchette. "We may have left campus, but there is no Boston College without its alumni."