Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Vol. CLIV, Issue 10
Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Come Get Some Whittie Wisdom: Alumni Reunion

Thursday, Sept. 21, marks the first day of the highly-anticipated 2023 Alumni Reunion Weekend. Attendees from the classes of 1958, 1963, 1968, 1978, 1983, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1998, 2013, 2017, 2018 and 2019 are invited back to campus for a weekend of special events and activities ranging from receptions and mixers to class visitations and coffee with the professors. 

Director of Alumni Relations Jennifer Northam ‘91 knows that while Whitman alumni venture far and wide after graduation, being a Whittie does not end with the toss of a cap.

“There are a lot of things that have changed since they were students at Whitman, but there is also so much that is the same – the conversations that people have, the memories that they share – it is all part of the Whitman life,” Northam said. “You are not just a [Whittie] for the four years you are here as a student, you are a Whittie for the rest of your life.”

On Friday afternoon, current students will have an opportunity to connect with Whitman alumni at the Whitties Helping Whitties networking event on the front steps of Cordiner Hall. In collaboration with the Whitman Alumni Office, the Career and Community Engagement Center (CCEC) will host the networking event so students can have face-to-face conversations with alumni who are working in fields of study that students might be interested in learning more about.

“We take advantage of when students and alumni share space,” Co-Director for Career Development at the CCEC Kimberly Rolfe said. 

Upon checking-in for the event, students will receive colored ribbons to place on their name tags to indicate in which career field they hold interest. Each color will represent a different career sector. The alumni attendees will also be wearing the ribbon that corresponds to their own career classification. 

The eight career sectors that will be represented at the event include: Arts, Theater and Music; Business, Banking and Consulting; Education, Counseling and Social Services; Environment, Sustainability and Energy; Government, Law and Advocacy; Engineering, Manufacturing and Technology; Health, Research and Sciences; and Marketing, Media and Advertising.

Staff from the CCEC will be present at the event to help students navigate the networking experience. 

Rolfe described what she hopes students can take away from the event.

“The first thing we hope for is that they get in the practice of meeting and having conversations with professionals working in the fields they are interested in,” Rolfe said. “Second is we hope that they learn something about the field that either inspires them or informs them as to the direction they might be interested in.”

After the event, Rolfe recommends that students follow-up with the alums that they would like to pursue a further conversation with about potential internships, shadowing, job opportunities or even just general advice for life after Whitman. 

Rolfe believes that speaking to alums can help students realize that their education and career paths do not have to be a linear trajectory, in fact, they most always never are.

“Being able to have conversations with graduates who have taken the skills and the knowledge and the relationships that they have built while they were [at Whitman] and then took them out into the world in ways that I am quite frankly impressed by every single day,” Rolfe said.

In the meantime, expect to see former Whitties arriving back on campus to reminisce in their memories as a Whitman student and reconnect with their former classmates.


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