How can Westmont alumni build on the significant relationships they established during their college years? Steve Beckett ’02 (left) and Chris Clark ’03 found a way They started the Westmont Alumni Networking Group of Orange County. For two years, 30-50 alumni have gathered once a quarter at lunchtime to hear a speaker and meet with fellow alumni. More than 100 people have attended at least one event.
“We’re delivering something alumni want: to be part of a Westmont network and keep in touch with what’s going on at the college,” Steve says.
The lunch in March featured Wayne Angell, an economist and monetary policy expert who served on the Federal Reserve Board. Speakers also come from Westmont, such as President Gayle D. Beebe. Alumni from a variety of professions participate: lawyers, real estate and insurance brokers, psychologists, professors, financial advisers, non-profit executives and ministers, among others.
“We want to create a living, breathing network where Westmont alumni who settle in Orange County can connect with each other, find or become a mentor, and possibly do some business,” Chris says. “We want to make Orange County a better place for alumni.”
“When we graduated, we wanted a network to jump into and help us get going,” Steve says. “I flourished at Westmont and learned the meaning of community there. I know I can trust people from Westmont.” Steve is a real estate broker with Reve Pacific LLC, and Chris is a financial adviser with Rivetti, Clark and Associates.
As the group grows, Chris and Steve hope to create a scholarship for a student from Orange County and develop a program placing students in local internships. Providing tangible support for Westmont and making connections with students, faculty and staff are some of the goals of the networking group.
One of the activities at the luncheons has become particularly popular: sharing job openings at their respective companies. “We want to be a place where alumni can come when they’re looking for work,” Steve says.
Members of the group take turns sponsoring events, which costs $225 to cover the cost of the room at the Irvine Athletic Club, the speaker’s meal and a gift. Participants pay for their own food, usually $25.
“Relationships formed at Westmont are powerful,” Chris says. “We’ve all had that experience. We want to create a way to keep those relationships going.”