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SCU Alumni Association
Join Alumni For Others—in New Orleans
|In 1993, Dan Germann, S.J., founded the program now known as Alumni For Others. |
Photo: Charles Barry
2006 has been a special year for Santa Clara University. In addition to marking the 125th anniversary of the Alumni Association, this is also a Jubilee year for the Jesuit community, which celebrates the Society of Jesus founders by honoring the 500 years since Francisco Xavier and Pierre Favre were born, and the 450 years since the death of Ignatius Loyola.
On a more somber note, it has also been more than a year since Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast and, in response, the University welcomed 46 students from the greater New Orleans area to our campus. Most of those students have gone back to their respective schools, but many families and area residents are still struggling to return home.
|Scenes from New Orleans: a picture of the Virgin Mary left behind in a living room. |
Photo: Pat Semansky '06
Our Jesuit heritage encourages us to be men and women “for others”—to develop and nurture our own gifts and talents so that we may assist those in our society who are in need of compassion, friendship, and support. As an alumni association, we are always striving to bridge our Jesuit mission as a University—to educate leaders of competence, conscience, and compassion—with our mission as an association—to create lifelong relationships between the University and its alumni. To help strengthen that bridge, in 1993 Dan Germann, S.J., started what is now known as the Alumni For Others (AFO) program. And for 13 years, AFO has been promoting community service projects and opportunities for prayerful reflection to our alumni.
This year, in recognition of 125 years as an association, the Jubilee year, and the ongoing need for post-Katrina assistance, AFO is organizing our first alumni immersion trip. Our destination: New Orleans. We are inviting all interested alumni and their families (volunteers must be over 18 years of age) to join us from Dec. 28 through Jan. 3 in working with Helping Hands, a volunteer program of Catholic Charities of New Orleans, to assist members of the community in reoccupying their homes.
Learning, Building, Reflecting
The immersion experience will consist of three key elements:
a. Touring New Orleans with a local resident to hear first-hand evacuation stories and witness the devastation still visible more than a year later.
b. Hands-on work in the community. We may be doing demolition or rebuilding, depending on what is needed at the time.
c. Communal reflection on shared experiences.
|SCU alumni work together on the San Diego Habitat for Humanity project, rebuilding homes on an Indian reservation hit by a fire. |
Photo: Mary Modeste Smoker ’81
I am extremely proud of the Alumni For Others program and am thrilled we are able to offer an alumni immersion experience. I am also grateful that, through the efforts of our Santa Clara family, we will have the opportunity to directly help fellow Americans who are desperately trying to preserve their homes and their dignity.
As Alumni For Others, we really can make a difference.
Kathryn Kale ’86
Executive Director, Alumni Association