An affinity for Memorial
Alumni renew their connections
Chancellor Rick Hillier delivered the keynote speech at the Ottawa Affinity event.
By Bojan Furst
This November, hundreds of Memorial alumni got together across the country to reconnect with friends and former classmates. From gala Affinity Newfoundland and Labrador Dinners in Toronto, Ottawa and London, U.K., to a pub night in Calgary and an art exhibit in St. John’s, Memorial alumni demonstrated their strength of the bonds with their former university.
“It’s quite amazing to see and meet all these people and to feel how strong their affiliation with Memorial is,” said Lynn Cadigan, assistant director, Alumni Affairs with the Office of Alumni Affairs and Development at Memorial University.
She said that time and again, alumni commented how studying in Newfoundland and at Memorial has changed them in ways that no other place could.
“We had more than 75 people attend a pub night in Calgary and they spontaneously raised their glass to Memorial,” said Ms. Cadigan. “That’s the kind of loyalty and feeling this university inspires.”
The alumni who gather for events such as the alumni art exhibit or Affinity Dinners are an indispensible part of Memorial’s ability to attract and support some of the best and brightest students in the country, said Dr. Penny Blackwood, director with the Office of Alumni Affairs and Development.
“When people who attend an Affinity Dinner make a contribution to a scholarship fund, they directly impact students at Memorial and, through those students, impact their communities and the province as well,” she said. “The impact is really widespread.”
Affinity Dinners, which Ms. Cadigan’s team organizes with the help of alumni volunteers across the country, attract more than 1,000 alumni and friends annually. The events in St. John’s such as the Alumni Art Exhibit held last week regularly attract over a hundred people who want to reconnect and support their university.
The Office of Alumni Affairs and Development has an up-to-date website with the events listings around the world. They can be family affairs like the upcoming screening of Polar Express in St. John’s, a fun and educational evening like the Dining Etiquette Workshop that took place this past Friday or more formal events like lectures and Affinity Dinners.
“We strive to provide something for all of our alumni regardless of where they are or their stage of life. It’s the alumni themselves that are driving the agenda here. It’s they who want to reconnect, volunteer and contribute and we do our best to facilitate that process,” said Ms. Cadigan. “It would be quite impossible to do this without their passion, pride and dedication to Memorial.”
The Office of the Alumni Affairs and Development can be reached online at www.munalum.ca or by calling 1-877-700-4081.