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BRIEF: Brandeis Beacons work with alumni

By Hannah Schuster

Section: News

October 16, 2015

Second-year students can apply to serve as Brandeis Beacons, a new program through which students work with alumni and encourage donations to the university. Beacons also have opportunities such as annual dinners with the university president. Brandeis unveiled the program last year. Dean of Students Jamele Adams announced that current sophomores could begin the application process in email on Monday.

Working with the Brandeis Alumni Association Board of Directors and senior university leaders, Beacons organize programs to “inspire a culture of philanthropy and support among the student body that will Brandeis for generations to come,” according to Adams. He said the programs will highlight “what makes Brandeis great, including culture, leadership, service and university pride.” Beacons will also plan events connecting students and alumni, such as the Beacons Conversation Series. Alumni, former students’ parents and other friends of the university speak to the Beacons. Alumni speak about what they were involved in at Brandeis and their experiences since graduating.

“In the past we have had medical professionals, entrepreneurs, philanthropists, lawyers and many more guests come to talk to us about their field, share their experience and give friendly pieces of advice and encouragement,” said Mesa Robinov ’17, who was one of the first Brandeis Beacons.

Last year the university nominated students, such as Robinov, to pilot the Beacons program. Robinov sees the significant role alumni play in the university’s history and future, as donors and the “founders of our favorite clubs, the athletes that record and the members of the community that made a difference,” and now the donors that keep university activities and facilities functioning.

Applicants should, “demonstrate commitment to leadership and service, along with enthusiasm, communication skills and passion for Brandeis,” said Adams in his email to second-years.
“Beacons inspire pride, excitement and love for ‘OUR HOUSE,’ Brandeis University,” said Adams. He is known for his annual performance piece during Orientation This is Our House, which encourages school pride. Last year, Brandeis found itself at the center of an online controversy when a student faced backlash after another student posted her comments about the murder of two policemen on the conservative website Truth Revolt. In response, students posted positive stories about Brandeis using the hashtag “#BrandeisIsOurHouse,” and the phrase remains a call for unity and school pride.

Students already work with alumni in positions such as liaisons for reunions. Liaisons “represent the current Brandeis student body” to alumni according to the Brandeis Alumni & Friends website. Students direct alumni around campus, share stories about their time at Brandeis and assist with logistics of events, among other responsibilities.

Second years must submit applications to the Beacons program by Oct. 20, and candidates will be chosen in early November, according to Adams. He was unable to respond to The Brandeis Hoot’s request for further comment on the program as of press time.

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