We are Changing and Growing to Better Engage our Alumni
In January of 2016 your Alumni Association began the process of revitalizing the organization in order to help it grow and thrive. Focus groups were held, a survey was sent to alumni, and a strategic planning committee used the information gathered to determine a new direction forward. A new mission and vision were created and the Board and committees were restructured. A transition team stepped in to recruit members for the new Board and committees, who were voted into place in April of 2017.
This year of reflection has led to a Board which now represents a wider range of class years, from 1956 to 2017. The new committees, Alumni Engagement, Student Engagement and Fiscal, allow for a broader focus that we hope will allow us to connect our alum with our campus and each other.
In the coming year, the Association will focus on outreach to Alumni through the recruitment of Class Representatives, alumni surveys and a campaign to update Alumni contact information. It will also work to find ways for alumni to interact with each other and current students. Our Alumni Engagement committee will work to review and improve our events, look for ways to help our alumni network in our community and draw alumni back to campus. Our Student Engagement Committee will work to find ways to make current students feel connected to those who came before them and instill a desire to be a part of the Alumni Association after graduation. Our Fiscal committee will work to create a stable financial base for the Association and raise funds for the Scholarship endowment and events.
One new way we are making connections within the NDC family is Notre Dame College Connect, a software tool for mentoring. It allows students to search alumni based on industry, job title or company so they can reach out for advice. Alumni can share guidance about selecting a major, landing that first internship or making the right connections to get your dream job. To make a difference in the lives of our students, sign up today at Notre Dame College Connect.
I look forward to continuing to find ways to unite our alumni, bring them back to campus, and make them feel linked to the NDC family.
Heather Coontz, Director of Alumni Relations
Earlier this year of 2017, I took on the privilege of becoming your Alumni Association President! As I have thoroughly enjoyed my four years as an undergraduate, ’09 – ’13, it is particularly exciting to serve as the President of the Alumni Association for all NDC Alumni. I hope to do everything I can to increase the connections and relationships with the college and all NDC Alumni. I look forward to meeting as many of you as possible! Thank you again for allowing me the opportunity to serve as your Alumni Association president. Please send me your suggestions on how we can strive to make our Alumni Association a more engaged organization with all aspects of the college and community. I am beyond excited to see what the future holds for us as we strive to strengthen and grow our Association!
2017 Alumna of the Year
Congratulations to Suzanne Gauchat Joseph ’70!
In September 2017 we honored Sue with the Alumna of the Year award. She was recognized at halftime during Notre Dame’s Homecoming football game, and was presented with her award at the Alumni Reunion Brunch.
Sue earned a bachelor’s degree in history and government from Notre Dame in 1970 and a master’s degree in educational administration from Illinois State. She has dedicated most of her life to advocating for the poor and marginalized around the nation and world in the spirit of the Sisters of Notre Dame.
Sue has served in Saint Mother Teresa’s missions and with Dorothy Day’s Catholic Worker movement. Her connection with Catholic Worker started with her father, Bill Gauchat, who founded the Blessed Martin de Porres Catholic Worker House in Cleveland. Her mother, Dorothy Schmitt Gauchat `43A, served at the Catholic Worker House in Cleveland. With her husband, Benoy, and sons Rajiv and Danesh, Sue also spent several weeks in Calcutta and Kerala, India, in the early 1990s where the family helped at one of Saint Mother Teresa’s missions.
Sue worked as NDC alumnae affairs coordinator from 1987 to 1992 and has been active on campus over the years. Sue has also worked as development director at Our Lady of the Wayside Inc., a home for disabled children and adults founded by her mother. She has served those with disabilities at the Cuyahoga County Board of Developmental Disabilities, and the Bessie Benner Metzenbaum Center of the Geauga County Board of Developmental Disabilities.
A Lifetime Connection – In Sue’s Words
The Notre Dame Sisters and the College have been associated with my family for many years. The sisters were very supportive of the Catholic Worker and encouraged their students to volunteer with food drives, tutoring children and serving meals to the homeless. Mom not only enthusiastically volunteered at the CW House, but she fell in love with and married my dad in 1941. Thus, she never finished her degree at Notre Dame.
When land was acquired to begin a CW farm the sisters donated a pre-fabricated school house that my Dad turned into a home for his new bride and future family. They lived in this house and raised 6 children until eventually moving and beginning their work with children with disabilities which then became Our Lady of the Wayside Homes. That pre-fabricated school house was the first classroom building of Notre Dame College.
Honored with a Scholarship
In honor of Sue receiving the Alumna of the Year award two friends from NDC, Christine Joyce Gibbons ’73 and Maureen Raleigh Bihn ’79 rallied her family and friends to create a scholarship in her honor. The recipient was NDC junior and Management major, Richard Phillips ’19.
Richard was delighted to receive this honor. ”Getting this scholarship, in honor of Sue, for me is an amazing display of the pride and love the alumni of Notre Dame College have for our great school and community. It portrays their dedication to seeing the success of the students here at Notre Dame College. I couldn’t be more blessed and humbled by this immense honor and I thank Notre Dame and our wonderful alumni for choosing me!”
Become an Active Part of your Alumni Association
Help with Alumni Engagement, Student Engagement or fundraising. Our committees meet a few times a year, give feedback and attend alumni events.
Help plan events, prepare materials or assist at the event.
Assist the NDCAA Board with special projects that will help us reach our goals each year through online collaboration and occasional meetings
Volunteer in the Alumni Office
Help update alumni records, prepare marketing materials for our events or organize historical files.
Contact Heather Coontz, Director of Alumni Relations at 216.373.5316 or email@example.com to volunteer.
Help Us Connect with your Classmates
Become a Class Rep
We are looking for alumni from each class who are willing to share information and gather feedback for us to serve as Class Reps. We want to make sure that all our alumni know what is happening with the Alumni Association and for them to have an easy way to share their thoughts about the NDCAA. You can help.
Let your classmates know about events, update them about NDCAA news, ask for their opinions about NDCAA plans or activities, and help to gather updated contact information. You can also help us identify those interested in planning reunion celebrations when the time comes.
Class Reps will be the first to hear from the NDCAA Board and committees about new projects or events and will be able to help shape the direction of the Association. We would love to have three or four members of each class give back in this way.
If you are interested please contact Heather Coontz, Director of Alumni Relations at 216.373.5316 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Share your Story!
We would love to hear about what is happening in your life. Let us know about milestones in your career and life.
We will share select submissions in the next edition of Notre Dame Today, on NDC Alumni Social Media sites and in our newsletter.
Alumni Association Scholarship
Make a difference in the lives of NDC students
For over 20 years the Notre Dame College Alumni Association has given back to NDC students through our Endowed Scholarship. As we begin a new year, we are focusing on how the Alumni Association can support current students. As part of this effort we would like to increase the amount in the endowment so that we can help even more students.
The scholarship continues to benefit legacy families. However, students now apply as sophomores and receive the funds for their junior year. This allows us to better inform our students about this opportunity and helps NDC retain them.
Our goal is to raise an additional $3,000 by our Annual Business meeting this year. Please consider supporting the NDC Alumni Association Scholarship and help students offset the expense of a quality, faith-based education. You can help to make a difference in the life of our students now and in the future with your contribution. Call Heather Coontz at 216.373.5316 to make your donation.