A Special Interview with
  Former Alumni Board President Donna Sjogren

Donna Sjogren reflects on ten years as president of the Albertus Alumni Association:
What prompted your interest and decision to get involved?

I knew I wanted to be involved in something at the College after getting my Master's degree as it had been such a great experience. I declined a teaching opportunity (needing a break from the classroom), and as things just happen, was introduced to Carolyn Behan Kraus from the Alumni Association. We talked about her vision for the future of the Board, and I said "Sign me up."

What was your philosophy in working with the Board?

Just like any other volunteer organization, it's about finding the right combination of people who are passionate about working together toward the same goal. We are extremely proud of the Board, and when we search out new candidates for inclusion, our members take the vetting process very seriously. Everyone is an individual, bringing different experiences, talents and ideas to the table, yet meshing as a cohesive unit. These folks are tremendous people in their own right and do great work together. They are to be commended for their dedication to and love of the College.

What project gave you the most satisfaction?

Without a doubt, reinstating the induction of the new graduates into the Alumni Association as part of the Commencement ceremony has to be the most gratifying. From that moment on, your status changes from being students to becoming part of "the club" - you're now alumni of Albertus Magnus College. I think it's important for not only the graduates to know it, but for their families and friends to hear it formally proclaimed at Commencement. That transition is a moment of great pride and everyone should share in the joy at the moment it happens.

What did you find most challenging?

It's always a challenge to come up with ideas for speakers/presentations or events which we hope will draw our alumni back to campus. Obviously not everything appeals to everyone, and as the population of the College continues to change and grow, our offerings have to reflect those changes. The Alumni Association today is much different from the Alumni Association of 50 years ago.

Ten years is a long time to be president of a board: what kept you going?

The opportunity to work with and meet so many wonderful people, and wanting the Board to reach the level of development we envisioned for it back in 2002, which it has.

What's next for you?

I'll continue to serve on the Board as immediate past president for the 2012-2014 term, acting in more of a mentor/guiding capacity for the new Executive Board.