From the President’s Desk - Learning From Alumni

Mar 27, 2019 2:00 PM

The success of our students goes well beyond the classroom walls. It includes extracurricular and out-of-class experiences, including leadership and program development with student organizations, along with internships and field practice. But a particularly valuable form of learning comes from hearing the experiences of our alumni.

Two great examples are The Sloop Institute for Excellence in Leadership, named after the late Dr. Richard Sloop, a longtime and well-respected faculty member, and our first-ever Career Summit in Washington, D.C., last fall.

The annual weekend workshop for the Sloop Institute concluded a couple of weeks ago. What makes the weekend event so special is the involvement of successful alums working one on one with our current students. We realized a few years ago that there was no need to bring in “outside” experts to advise and mentor our students when we had that cadre of experts among our alumni. These graduates could tell the story of their career and life journey and its challenges, having the common starting place of Frostburg State. Every student left with at least a tip or piece of advice that will help make a difference as they weigh future opportunities.

The Career Summit held in mid-November connected more than 50 students with alumni who could relate to the students and their college anxieties and help guide them to understand the many paths to success. One student told me about meeting with an alum who is a lawyer. She expected a brief conversation, but they instead spoke for over an hour, an exchange that confirmed for the student that it is normal to be uncertain of career decisions and pathways, and what’s more, there are alums out there to help.  

The Sloop Institute and the Career Summit are two successful alumni-student engagement programs that were driven by alumni interest and ideas. Please contact the Office of Alumni Relations at if you are interested in working with our students on these programs, or if you have ideas of your own.

We all know the value of networking during the transition from college to career. I thank all of our alums who give back by sharing their time and experiences with our students!