Alumni Western Be Extraordinary The Campaign For Western

Voice of alumni

New Year brings new opportunities

by David Simmonds, BA’07 | January 23, 2017

This isn’t a column about New Year’s resolutions.

If you’re like me, or like most of the planet, you have broken these ill-conceived promises to yourself long before you picked up this edition of Alumni Gazette. Besides, who thought it was a good idea to give up that morning mochaccino anyway?

What this column is about, however, is something that won’t crumble in the first few weeks of January and, instead, resonate throughout the year – and beyond.

The New Year brings new opportunities to give back to the communities, people and parts of our lives that matter most. For me, that includes our alma mater. As alumni of this institution, we have a unique perspective to offer current students. We have been there; we have seen and faced what they have not yet experienced.

Why not resolve to try one of these three ways in the New Year:

Send Kind Mail.

Our goal was simple: Have alumni send a short postcard of encouragement (just in time for finals) to the student currently living in their old residence. We had hoped to get 200 notes sent; we received more than 1,400. Cheers to that. What a wonderful show of kindness – a simple way to send a smile, a little support and even a few study tips to those that followed us. Look for this initiative again in December 2017. Visit or follow 
@westernuAlumni on Twitter for details.

Grab a Coffee. 

Our Ten Thousand Coffees initiative is still going strong. Meeting face-to-face for coffee, alumni and current students changing futures and fortunes – one cup of conversation at a time. Students have expressed their appreciation for these moments, full of advice and tips. Conversations are easily arranged by visiting

Let’s have our students’ backs.

Recently, you received some mail from me regarding our fundraising efforts in support of students. This campaign for students is more important now, than ever, to show the students our support and let them know we have their backs. I’ve been fortunate enough to be able to give this year. If you can, please join me. Visit for details.

All of your gifts – time and talent, large and small – mean the world to our students. Thank you for your past contributions and looking forward to future collaborations.

This article appeared in the Winter 2017 edition of Alumni Gazette
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