Dave Vitatoe ’00, Director of Alumni Relations

 

Hello students, I’m your new Director of Alumni Relations. I say your new director because, while you may consider yourselves students now, those who have come before you know all too well that these years go fast. In many ways, you are alumni in residence and it is my job and the job of our team in Alumni Relations to share how the JCU Alumni Association can help you now and in the future.

As a member of the Class of 2000, it was not long ago that I was getting fitted for shoulder pads by Jim Pancher and heading out to football practice. My buddies and I still rehash the triple overtime thriller against Mount Union in 1999, a game we lost on a blown call by the officials! Beyond the athletic fields, I vividly remember giving my persuasive speech at the O’Malley Center on why Oasis was the greatest band in the world. I also recall spending many weeknights socializing…(ahem!) I mean studying at the library.

After graduation, I moved away to attend graduate school and went on to work in higher education.  I married in 2008 and my wife and I purchased a home in University Heights not knowing that three years later I would be walking to work at Rodman Hall. It has been a bit surreal to have current JCU students babysitting my son. Actually, the genesis of this column in the Carroll News stems from conversations with our babysitters and their impression of what Alumni Relations is at Carroll.

There is a common misconception among many students (and babysitters alike) about the role of a university’s alumni relations office. The JCU Office of Alumni Relations is primarily concerned with active involvement. We aim to provide meaningful benefits and services, and maintain a lifelong connection with our students, past and present. In other words, your relationship with and investment in the University does not end at graduation. In many ways, it’s only the beginning.

Throughout the year, we will use this column as a vehicle for the Alumni Association to speak directly to you through profiles of alumni who are out there raising families, advancing in their careers and burning the midnight oil in graduate school. We also plan to detail the many benefits and services provided to you as students and promote the diverse programs involving JCU alumni sponsored by the Student Alumni Association (SAA).

Meanwhile, good luck in your speech classes, study hard, and stop by the third floor of Rodman Hall any time to get to know our staff in Alumni Relations!