Through her work as a student representative with the Alumni Advisory Council, Olanrewaju provides a voice for the current New Paltz student population to improve engagement of alumni and students as they transition into alumni status.
“Because I am a student, I offer a different perspective on what can be done to enhance the school’s alumni relations,” said Olanrewaju. “Since I began working as a student representative I have spoken to numerous students in an effort to understand what they would like to see from alumni. I then present these ideas to the council.”
Service on the Advisory Council involves attending three meetings per year and actively providing ideas, input and student opinions on alumni matters. The two appointed student representatives, who advise and report to the Director of Alumni Relations, are able to attend alumni events where they can network and connect with alumni in a mutually beneficial way.
“The opportunity to serve has helped me realize why I love this school so much,” said Olanrewaju. “In many ways, the alumni that I have met have allowed me to see that I am supported by a strong network of New Paltz graduates.”
In addition to her studies and her time on the council, Olanrewaju is a resident assistant. This role allows her to create programs that help build community within the residence halls, fostering a sense of campus camaraderie not lost on many alumni.
“I get the sense that the most important thing for alumni is connecting with current undergraduates,” said Olanrewaju. “Alumni want to feel connected with the school and the most important part of that relationship is with current students.”
Olanrewaju has observed a strong desire on the part of current students and alumni to stay connected with the College. Alumni eagerness to volunteer their time and to visit the College helps motivate and reassure current students that future success is attainable.
“What stood out to me the most was the sense of pride alumni felt after graduating from New Paltz,” said Olanrewaju. “The fact that 70 years later, former students still come back from states like Texas and California for events like Alumni Weekend speaks to the importance New Paltz played in so many lives.”