Saint Martin’s University recently established its new National Alumni Board, which was created in order to better engage all alumni in the life of the University regardless of where they live. The National Alumni Board will be composed of alumni from Saint Martin’s High School, College, and University, and will serve as an advisory leadership group that works hand-in-hand with the University’s Office of Alumni Relations in a collaborative effort to strengthen outreach and engagement to the alumni community while promoting the University’s strategic initiatives.
The initial members of the National Alumni Board include: Diane Acuff-Weston ’86 of Tenino, WA; Bernard Bergen ’13 of Seattle, WA; Ted Billman HS’65, ’73 of Naperville, IL and Ft. Meyers, FL; Art Fillazar ’73 of Kahului, HI (Maui); Barb Hiatt ’78 of Tacoma, WA; Evan Martin ’04 of Portland, OR; Richard O’Neill ’07 of Edmonds, WA; Bob Phillips ’88 of Punta Gorda, FL; Dick Roney ’64 of Centralia, WA; Paul Roush ’98 of Olalla, WA; Jutta Stevens ’97 of Steilacoom, WA; Jim Vosper ’68 of Oakville, WA; Bob Whitney ’71 of Olympia, WA; and Pete Zahn ’95 of Milton, WA. The executive committee of the board will include chair Roney, chair-elect Hiatt, vice-chair Billman, and secretary Martin.
Hiatt, who graduated from Saint Martin’s with a bachelor’s degree in business administration and is recently retired from Pierce Transit, expressed why she’s so enthusiastic to be a part of the new board. “I’m excited to be on the National Alumni Board because it gives me the opportunity to connect with my fellow Saints,” she said. “And it gives me the chance to help create a platform for a vital, engaging, dynamic program that Saint Martin’s alumni, family, and friends will enjoy and look forward to being involved with.”
Roney, a longtime supporter of Saint Martin’s and a former member of the University’s Board of Trustees, is the owner of Roney Financial Services LLC, in Centralia. He earned his bachelor’s degree in education from Saint Martin’s College. He echoed Hiatt’s sentiments about the National Alumni Board. “For many years we have had a group of very dedicated volunteers who, for the most part, have been local alumni spending time on fundraising events for student scholarships and other worthwhile student needs,” he said. “The ability for alumni who live away from the Puget Sound area to be active participants in the process has been limited at best. Now is the time to share the many “secrets” of this wonderful University and to invite back our thousands of alumni and ask them to become active participants in sharing and caring about our growing future.”
Cecelia Loveless, vice president for institutional advancement, adds, “Saint Martin’s has had active, dedicated alumni for decades. The current Saint Martin’s Alumni Association Board will be spending the next few months transitioning over to become the first chapter, to be known as the Thurston County Chapter, under this new alumni engagement format. We are forever grateful to each and every current and former member for their years of service in giving back to their alma mater and supporting students with scholarship funds raised through the familiar concessions trailer and the annual Capital Food and Wine Festival. The Thurston County Chapter will still manage these enterprises, and will work closely with the Office of Alumni Relations on modeling for future chapters across the state, region, nation, and eventually, internationally. The goals of the chapters will be to engage alumni in a more grassroots efforts to support the University’s goals in student recruitment, career and internship placement, advocacy and alumni recognition.”