Finding Warmth for Nichols in Florida

A few weeks ago, I made my annual trip to Naples, Florida, and not because I’m a snowbird or I was getting a head start on Spring Break. I was there for the Nichols alumni reception.

I love this event, and over the last several years, I’ve seen it grow from around 20 attendees to over 70. In addition to alumni, this gathering now includes parents of current students and the occasional prospective student.

2018 3 8 FL Alumni event 1The mix of alumni has also expanded and now ranges from the “usual suspects” (those from graduation dates in the 1960s and 1970s) to more recent alumni, including a young woman I met who graduated this decade.

These alums love to hear what’s happening on campus, such as new initiatives or the growth in endowed scholarships. I always provide an update and take plenty of questions afterwards: “What is the next building project?” “How did we get to record enrollment?” “How can I help advance…” And the list goes on.

As attendance at this event has grown, so has the “mini reunion” aspect of it. At this year’s reception, we had folks come from as far away as South Carolina because they knew some of their classmates would be there. Some will have already spent a day or more together before the reception.

It’s a great occasion for recognizing that Nichols reaches far beyond our Dudley campus.