The Gift That Gives Back

Gifts of all kinds change lives at the University of Dayton, including gifts of time.

Flyer faithful donate time to the University through numerous avenues, whether helping with University events, volunteering in alumni communities, serving on various boards or advisory councils — or participating in the Alumni Mentoring Program.Alumni Mentoring Program Participants

Established in 2012, the mentoring program connects current students and recent University graduates with established alumni for guidance in professional development. As a partnership between Career Services and Alumni Relations, the program receives a tremendous amount of University support to foster success.

And what does it mean to have a successful mentoring program? Program growth and participation rates are obvious indicators — and the program is thriving in those respects. But alumni like Paul '82 and Ginny '82 Boeckman are the force behind such impressive numbers.

Paul and Ginny met in the summer of '81 in the Bahamas on a University-sponsored trip. They graduated the next year with accounting degrees, got married and had two daughters. While raising a family, they built successful careers: for Paul, a long-standing career in banking and consumer finance; and for Ginny, a multi-faceted career in public and private accounting, as well as IT and consultant work.

Such success has allowed the Boeckmans to support various University programs through donations of money as well as time. One avenue they chose was the mentoring program — which they have participated in for the last three years.

Having the same mentees for all three years allowed them to develop close relationships. "He's almost like the son I never had," Paul said in regard to his mentee. "It's fun to see the progression every year and the confidence build in him."

Seeing their mentees excel is certainly rewarding, but it's not the only benefit they receive from the program. As Ginny put it, "You think you're going to give advice to your mentee, but I probably learned as much as my mentee Stephanie did, just about what she's doing, what they're doing in classes and what her options are for majors. It keeps me current with what's happening in my field in the college arena."

Paul furthered that notion: "It helps you understand college kids, which helps with recruiting in our field. You get a flavor of what kids in school are looking for."

As parents themselves, the Boeckmans can appreciate all the program offers to students. "It's like a third parent almost," Paul said. "The student gets input from somebody in their chosen field. Especially if their parents are in different fields, it provides the opportunity to bounce ideas off this person — to get a sense of their career path and how they may be able to potentially move up in their field."

The Boeckmans' daughter, Katie '16, is well aware of the value of this "third parent," having participated in the program herself as a Flyer student.Campus "It's nice to have someone else in your corner able to give you a path if you're looking for one, or just support you on the path that you've found," she said.

Katie continues to receive support from her mentor as she heads down her career path in marketing and communications.

"My mentor and I now keep up with each other on social media," said Katie. "It can be something as simple as her congratulating me on LinkedIn for getting a new job position. Also, I can see where she's at in the world with Instagram, and she can keep up with me like that, too."

All in all, the Boeckmans, like other program participants, have found that you do not have to devote a great deal of time to make a big impact. "Social media makes it easy to keep up with each other. And we text each other," said Ginny. "You don't have to pick up the phone and call them and have long conversations, just short check-ins. We go to dinner every once in a while. It's just an hour here or there, not extended periods of time."

Ginny's mentee, junior Stephanie Bennett, attested to the big impact this small amount of time can have. "Being a part of the mentoring program has greatly enhanced my time at UD. I can ask Ginny questions about my professionalism, potential careers and classes. We have such a great relationship! I am so thankful for the time and work she puts into helping me."

As with so many things in life, it's the small things that count. Devoting a small amount of time to mentor a student can make a big difference in their life — and in yours.

Explosive Growth and Extensive Support

GraduateFor the 2016-2017 school year, the Alumni Mentoring Program has seen dramatic growth, with the number of students enrolled more than doubling compared to last year. This year, program enrollment consists of:

  • Mentees: 239 students and 85 young alums.
  • Mentors: 284 alums, representing class years from 1968 to 2015.

The University has paved the way for this growth with a dedicated, knowledgeable staff and state-of-the-art program resources. To ensure the best possible matches, program coordinators utilize a mentoring software service designed to assist with matching and manage mentoring. They also check in with program participants on a monthly basis, providing assistance and support. In addition, participants receive a monthly mentoring newsletter providing suggestions for relationship development. Socials, such as the program kickoff, are also organized so that program participants can offer support to each other.

Contact

Donor Relations

River Campus 5th Floor 
300 College Park  
Dayton, Ohio 45469 - 7052

937-229-2955 

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