“Wilmington University is the best place ever!” – Lauren Hale
Based on Lauren Hale’s enthusiasm, that sentence almost requires two exclamation points. Hale fell in love with the University at first sight — orientation, 2009 — and her experience as a student and alumna has only deepened that ardor.
Much of her initial passion was the result of a welcoming talk by Dr. Stefanie Whitby, then director of Alumni Relations Services and now senior director of the University Partnership Center. At the orientation, Hale expressed interest in a proposed Student Alumni Association. She was invited to the first meeting, where, she says with typical enthusiasm, “I had a blast.”
She subsequently became chapter chair and continues to serve in that post today. “Our mission is to bridge the gap between students and alumni,” Hale says. “We encourage students and recent alumni to join the chapter that is closest to their location.”
Alumni Relations Associate Stacey Stickel points out that all alumni are considered part of the Alumni Association. “There are approximately 300 active members who regularly attend chapter meetings and events,” she says. “The seven chapters are based on geography: New Castle County, Kent and Sussex, Pennsylvania,
New Jersey, Maryland, Pi Gamma Mu (honor society affinity chapter) and the Student Alumni Association.”
Chapters host various events throughout the year. In Maryland, for instance, it’s the Crab Feast, and in Pennsylvania it’s Spirit of Philadelphia Boat Cruise. Hale ticks off the Student Alumni Association’s major events: Spring Fest, Kick-off the Semester Social at Iron Hill Brewery, Pause for a Cause, I Love WilmU Week, and Making Strides Against Breast Cancer 5K.
Hale received her bachelor’s in Criminal Justice in 2010 and a master’s in Homeland Security and Information Assurance in 2012. Her take on her student experience is typically impassioned: “Great instructors. Best place I could’ve ever been while having a full-time job. You can work around your schedule — online classes, night classes, Saturday classes.”
A resident of Mantua, New Jersey, Hale is senior account and marketing manager at Hire Edge Logistics Personnel in Cherry Hill, New Jersey.
“Being part of the Alumni Association has helped me grow my leadership and networking skills,” she says. “There have been opportunities afforded to me in leadership and networking that I would have not gotten anywhere else and have truly shaped me into the professional I am today.” WU