Join the Club
The NAA honors two NU clubs on the West Coast for jobs well
From left, Scott Carr, Sara Welker and Heather
Rosing, members of the Club of the Year, at the RocknRoll
Marathon in San Diego last June.
Nearly six years ago Heather Rosing (L96) experienced what many graduates
face: She left the familiar surroundings of the Northwestern campus for
a new city in her case, San Diego where she barely knew
She could have done what many new professionals do center her life
solely on her job. Instead, she made a phone call to the Northwestern
Alumni Association office in Evanston and connected with the NU Club of
San Diego. By doing so, Rosing not only met a lot of new people, she also
became part of a close-knit community that makes personal contact a priority.
"Soon I was asked to be a board member," Rosing says. "The
board was very supportive of me, my career and my new life in San Diego.
Right off the bat I became good personal friends with one member and began
socializing with him and his friends."
Today Rosing is president of the NU Club of San Diego. In recognition
of the clubs outstanding communications, programming and community
service efforts, the NAA named San Diego the Club of the Year at the rescheduled
fall leadership conference held on the Evanston campus Nov. 15 through
Recently the club set up a new membership e-mail system and database,
which tracks alumni participation and communications, informs members
of events, polls them for feedback and recruits alumni who are new to
the San Diego area. Rosing estimates board members receive two e-mail
messages per week from people interested in joining the club and becoming
involved. "We like to believe that we provide these people a ready-made
community to join," she says.
Yet that feeling of community isnt limited to computer messages.
Club leaders also understand the importance of staying in touch, so they
follow up all e-mail messages with personal phone calls. Showing even
more of a personal touch, board members regularly make additional inquiries
to members after major personal reversals such as sickness or the death
of family members.
Like many of Northwesterns regional alumni clubs, the NU Club of
San Diego hosts traditional gatherings faculty speaker events,
new student get-togethers, holiday parties and similar events. (During
football season members cheering for the Wildcats regularly converge on
Sport City Café and Brewery in nearby La Jolla.)
Joint outings with other clubs and their members are also not uncommon
occurrences. Last June the club welcomed Los Angeles alumni, who performed
in a comedy showcase at La Jollas Torrey Pines Christian Church,
and later teamed up with the NU Club of the San Francisco Bay Area for
a trip to Las Vegas for the Northwestern football season opener.
Building for the future, the club also programs events and provides services
specifically targeted at young alumni through a new chapter within the
club led by Quan Mac Gerville-Reache (S98) and Jeff McCulloch (WCAS98).
Reaching out to the San Diego community, the club as a whole has been
involved for the past three years in the local Rock n Roll
Marathon that benefits the Leukemia and Lymphoma Societies. Club members
wake up at 4 a.m. on race day to set up and work a water station that
Club regent Jane Kirby Smith (GSESP62), a 30-year member and past president,
credits the organizations current board of directors for its energy
and focus. "Their enthusiasm, willingness to work and new ideas all
contribute to the clubs success," says Smith. "Its
now a more active club with many more young alumni."
Another club recognized at the fall leadership conference was the NU Club
of the San Francisco Bay Area, which received the NAAs Renaissance
Club of the Year honor. Over the last year the club successfully expanded
its geographic range to incorporate alumni in the San Jose area and now
covers a distance of more than 100 miles. According to club president
Ty Levine (S88), the expansion has made the group not only larger but
more diverse in age and professional range.
One of the clubs biggest successes this year tied in to the excursion
to Las Vegas for the football teams opener. More than 250 people
attended a joint SFBA/San Diego club party in the penthouse suite of the
Bellagio Hotel, and the group donated $1,000 from the partys proceeds
to University athletics.
"It was an amazing event," recalls Levine. "We had no idea
whether five people or 200 would show up. We had parents of football players,
members of the 96 Rose Bowl team and [University trustee] Tom Hayward
[WCAS62, L65] all at the same party. People really loved it!"
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