Building Momentum


It seems like only yesterday when I assumed the presidency of USD’s Alumni Association Board … and yet here I am, two short years later, reflecting on what has been an enlightening, challenging and ultimately incredibly enriching experience. I greatly appreciate the efforts of my predecessor, Josephine Bennett ’81, and eagerly look forward to the work that will be accomplished by my successor, Mark Hoekstra ’86.

I would also like to thank my fellow Alumni Association Board members along with the more than 750 Alumni Association volunteers who, through their considerable time and effort, have fostered an alumni culture of giving essential to the success of the university.

Together, we’ve witnessed a host of successes that are helping build momentum toward a brighter future, such as surpassing our $1 million goal for alumni-endowed scholarships. As a result of this achievement, more than 100 scholarships were awarded to deserving students who now have the chance to experience firsthand the life-changing opportunities a USD education provides.

Additionally, the Alumni Association’s first-ever annual report was published in an effort to connect the nearly 60,000 USD alumni living around the world back to their alma mater. And speaking of global reach, our graduates showed their Torero Spirit by celebrating with faculty, current students and fellow alumni at events hosted by one of our 25 national and international chapters. Locally, fundraising events like the USD Wine Classic were very successful in bringing members from across the Torero community together in the name of student scholarships.

Yet despite these highlights, USD’s alumni giving rate is still well below peer institutions such as Santa Clara, Loyola Marymount and Gonzaga — and that gap appears to be widening. As we count down the hours to the end of the fiscal year, USD needs our financial support now more than ever. For one anonymous graduate and donor, the reason for giving back was simple: a USD education provided “the feeling that I was a part of something marvelous.”

I couldn’t agree more. How about you? — Maureen Gavron Partynski ’82