The 1787 room buzzed with conversation. At each table, a group of seniors and alumni in their prospective fields enjoyed refreshments as they talked about what life will be like after graduation in May.
The Nov. 10 Senior Social, the fourth of its kind, was sponsored by the Alumni Association, Career Services, the senior class officers, the Student Government Association and the Alumni and Parent Relations Office.
“The Senior Social is an opportunity to celebrate seniors and have them connect with alumni representing a variety of careers. It also provides an opportunity to welcome them as future alumni to the university,” said Director of Career Services Renee Beaupre White. “All December graduates are recognized and receive a gift on behalf of the Alumni Association that the May graduates will receive at commencement in the spring.”
The almost 50 seniors and more than 20 alums enjoyed cupcakes from the Depot Bakery as they talked about opportunities in their fields as well as what it is like to be out of college. Raffles were offered by the sponsoring groups including cash prizes, gas cards, books, gift baskets and more.
“It’s a great way for students to connect with us alumni so we can put a face on the Alumni Association,” said Scott Lobdell, a 1970 Castleton graduate and a member of the Alumni Board. “It’s also a good way for us to stay young.”
Lobdell was impressed and pleased with the number of seniors in attendance, noting it was the most well attended senior social that he could remember.
Cecelia Hunt, president of the Alumni Association, said that they get more and more students and alums each year and try to get alum from every field. Unfortunately, this year they weren’t able to get alumni from the sociology or psychology fields among a few others because of the availability of the alums and because many live a distance away.
“It seems every year at least one connection is made. This doesn’t necessarily mean that a person gets a job, but many learn of opportunities. For example, one year a student made a connection with one of the alumni who matched them up with an internship in physical therapy,” Hunt said.
Students were very excited about the networking event and the career opportunities that could come from it.
“I say networking is very important. It’s a great way to find jobs,” said senior athletic training major Caitlin Ryan.
Senior class vice president Isaac Bendavid was very enthusiastic about being able to make connections that could potentially lead to internships or jobs.
“It was great to talk to someone who was a student a few years ago,” Bendavid said. “I can set a career goal and I want to be back here to talk to people when I graduate.”
Timothy Macintosh, business development specialist for Triller Print Source & Services in Rutland, has attended the event from both sides.
Macintosh, a 2014 graduate with a degree in business marketing and management, attended as a senior a few years ago and was glad to be able to return as an alum to hopefully leave an impact on current seniors.
“Students were genuinely interested in what it is like after graduation,” Macintosh said. “They had some good questions and I hope I had some good answers.”
He reflected on his own struggles after graduation and hoped to alleviate some worries for current seniors. The alumni who attended the senior social his senior year helped him out and he was glad to return the favor.
“I remember thinking they are doing big things and they still took time away for us so that was really great,” Macintosh said. “There’s almost an obligation to pay it forward.”
The Alumni Association does a lot for Castleton students as well as alums. It hosts the freshman welcome at orientation, the Senior Social, and also organizes many of the traditional events including candle lighting. They will also be hosting a gala in April to raise money for the alumni scholarship and events like the social.
“I admire the Alumni Association. They do all that work and don’t get paid, don’t get awards. That’s pretty admirable,” Macintosh said.