When Michael J. Graham, S.J., was inaugurated as the University’s president in 2001, Southeast Florida alumni chapter president Beth Keller thought it was also a fitting moment to make a big change in her chapter as well.
So instead of holding the annual breakfast and Mass with the University’s president at a country club, as the chapter had done for many years, Keller decided to host the event at a place a little different. Her choice: Covenant House, a faith-based center serving runaway, homeless and at-risk youth.
For the past five years, the chapter has been a project partner with the center, holding clothing drives and doing other volunteer work. It certainly wasn’t a swanky country club, but it was a fitting location considering Graham’s emphasis on community service.
“It was the right step for us,” says Keller, a 1976 graduate. “Father Graham loved it. It really speaks to the mission we’re about.”
The chapter also donated 50 bags of clothes that day and took up a collection of more than $1,000.
“I made a really big change, but I felt we needed to try this because it gave our alumni a chance to see where our outreach support was going. And a lot of new people came to this event.”