Our Year in Review: 2021-2022
By: Carolina Silva ’16
We are excited to release our third annual “Our Year in Review” from your Wagner College Alumni Association Board of Directors President, Carolina Silva ’16, to give you an inside view of events and initiatives spearheaded by the Alumni Association. Our Year in Review is based off of the academic year, spanning from September 2021 to August 2022.
*indicates a Board Member
The Fall: Together Again
We kicked off our year welcoming three new members: Aurora Brennan ’13*, Sarah Braun ’14 M’18 M’20*, and Nicole Giammarinaro ’07*. Our college president, Angelo Araimo, joined us for our board meeting where we shared our strategies and initiatives for the Association, in addition to gaining insight to Araimo’s vision as the College welcomed back students fully in-person.
Our first large event on campus in two years, Wagner Weekend, welcomed back alumni, parents and friends. The weekend kicked off with the Grand Celebration, featuring the Alumni Awards on the Oval. It was a magical night under the stars with a view of Main Hall as we all reconnected and recognized our 5 alumni award recipients from 2020. Saturday morning began with the sound of the alumni and student choir as they rehearsed for the Memorial Service, honoring those we have lost over the past two years. Our 1970 and 1971 Golden Seahawks celebrated their 50th Reunion Anniversary and received a special pin in honor of their milestone, presented by Ann Taranto Giordano ’69 M’70*. Our Alumni Board gathered together for a social, many members meeting each other in person for the first time! This all led up to the biggest event of the weekend: Wagner Weekend on the Oval. We had a fabulous time on the Oval, enjoying the best of Staten Island food and reminiscing with our friends and family. The float parade was back and better than ever, as we recognized the Men’s Track and Field team and the Royal Court. Alumni, parents and students came together to cheer on the Seahawks as they took on the Delaware State Hornets.
With a commitment to connecting alumni and students, Nicole Giammarino ’07*, hosted a virtual Lunch and Learn for our Women’s Professional Network students. Her lesson to students focused on Leading with Empathy in the workplace and beyond.
The Alumni Association hosted the fourth annual Alumni Employee Appreciation Breakfast in-person, with planning led by our Campus Engagement Committee members, Nicole Giammarinaro ’07*, Tom Thurston ’69*, Sarah Braun ’14 M’18 M’20* and Charlie Siedenburg ’95*. We had a wonderful time looking back at Wagner memories with our unique community of alumni working at Wagner College. We are so thankful for our Seahawks who chose to serve their alma mater.
We ended the fall academic term with our annual Alumni & Friends Holiday Reception, right on Staten Island! Celebrating the holiday season, we gathered together for food and drinks at The Violette’s Cellar with our local alumni.
The Alumni Association Board of Directors strives to support the advancement initiatives of Wagner College. This year, the school raised a total of $551,648.78 from 749 individual donors, making this year's Day of Giving our most successful effort to date. This milestone also supported the $500,000 gift challenge that was posed by a member of our board of trustees. With this gift challenge, a total of over $1,000,000 was raised in support of Wagner as a result of the Day of Giving. Spearheaded by Stacy Trent ’94* and the Alumni Engagement Committee, board members reached out to 10 of their classmates to encourage them to participate in the Day of Giving. In total, 59 alumni donors were cultivated by the alumni board, with 10 being first time donors. Your contribution to the school as an alumni, friend or parent helps us to further develop the current and future generations of Wagner Seahawks.
The Spring: The Power of Making Connections
The spring semester started with our third alumni board meeting, where we heard from the new dean of the Nicolais School of Business, Dean Aarti Ivanic, Ph.D. She provided updates on the business school and shared her vision and growth for it.
The Wagner College Alumni Association celebrated Valentine’s Day with a pizza making class at Keste Fulton in NYC. Seahawk Sweethearts, galentine’s and palentine’s learned techniques and a recipe for a traditional Italian margherita pizza!
We then traveled to Washington, D.C. to host a happy hour for all alumni and friends in the local D.C., Maryland and Virginia area. Darren Greco ’98* spoke on behalf of the Alumni Association Board of Directors and greeted those who attended. The happy hour was our most successful one to date in the region.
Our annual Career Conversations event has always been the biggest networking event for our students. This year, the Office of Alumni Relations and Center for Academic and Career Engagement held a program for our students in NYC at The University Club. Forty alumni and parents networked and shared advice with more than seventy students who attended the event. It is inspiring to know that Seahawks will always help another Seahawk in their professional, personal and career development.
Adulting 101: Ask an Alum was hosted by the Women’s Professional Network and spearheaded by Aurora Brennan ’13*. Moderators Ashley Starr ’20 and Amelia Chiappetta ’22 led a conversation with panelists Ruth Kupperberg ’20, Kyle Viti ’20, and Jessica Vincello ’21 for students around “need-to- know” questions for life after college. Topics included budgeting, work-life balance, finding your first job or apartment, and general life advice for entering the adult world.
As Wagner College headed towards Commencement preparations, the Alumni Association welcomed the Class of 2022 as our newest alumni at our Graduates of the Last Decade (GOLD) in Beckett’s NYC. There was a fantastic mix of graduating seniors and young alumni at the event. The Office of Alumni Relations and the Office of Student Engagement & Activities planned the Senior Brunch toast. Alumni board members Claire Regan ’80, Adjunct Professor, Cailin Kelly ’08, Corresponding Secretary and Ann Taranto Giordano ’69 M’70* attended the event to congratulate our graduating seniors on their accomplishments. Nicolina Astorina, Director of Alumni Relations, kicked off the event with a recognition of the students' status as alumni. Cailin Kelly ’08* spoke on behalf of the board. Ruta Shah-Gordon, Vice President of Enrollment and Campus Life, cheered the class on their accomplishments. And President Angelo Araimo saluted the hard work and dedication of these seniors and toasted to the class. As a parting gift, Claire Regan ’80, Alyssa Ahern ’13 and Aurora Brennan ’13* wrote a message to all seniors on a personal Wagner College picture frame on behalf of the alumni board.
To wrap up the calendar year, the Alumni Association hosted our third Alumni Speaker Series. Tavares Lee Ireland ’09 M'11, Olatunde Ogunlana ’10 M’11, and Adrian Adderley ’09* met each other at Wagner College and formed a lifelong friendship. These Wagner alumni discussed their time at Wagner and their transition from student athletes to financial professionals. They shared the impact their network had on their successes, their financial paths after college, and how the current financial industry and the market have affected their careers and life decisions.
Welcome to Our Newest Members
We would like to give a warm Seahawk welcome to our newest members joining the board for 2022-2023: Courtney Bennett ’82, Andrew Burt ’14 M’16, Stephanie Jiannetto-Alesi ’96, Scott Lewers ’98 and Evan Odeseye ’14. Our new board members each bring a unique perspective and experience to the board and dedication for their alma mater. You can read more about our newest members here.
Thank you for your service
We salute our four board members who have completed their terms of service. We are grateful for their dedication and contributions to the Association: Kevin Richard ’08 (three years of service), Diane Mathisen ’79 (six years of service), Levent Bayrasli ’90 (six years of service), and Clare Reed ‘91 M’94, Vice President (six years of service). I, for one, am grateful for my five years on the board and my time as your Wagner College Alumni Association Board of Directors President.
Congratulations to our new Executive Committee:
As I write to you in my final year as Alumni Association Board of Directors President, I am thrilled to introduce you to my successor, Cailin Kelly ’08*. Vice President Darren Greco ’98* and Corresponding Secretary Kenneth Nilsen ’88* will round out the executive committee. We are excited to see the contributions that these exceptional leaders will bring to the alumni program.
What can you expect to see for the upcoming year?
Wagner College will start its fall semester on Monday, August 29. We will continue to evolve and grow our programming and events.
The fall semester kicks off with our largest on-campus celebration on September 16-17: Wagner Weekend, bringing together the best parts of our beloved Homecoming and Reunion traditions. As a part of the weekend’s festivities, we are excited to host a social for our Alumni Board members, past and present. The Alumni of the Alumni Board honors those who have served our board in years past. Since the 1990s, the Alumni Association Board of Directors has given back extensively to the College. You can view our past board member listing here.
We are continuously proud of the great work, support and resilience of the Alumni Association and are excited for a new academic year. We hope to see you soon as we celebrate the past, present and future of Wagner College.
Carolina Silva ’16
Alumni Association Board of Directors President and the Alumni Association Board of Directors