By Barbara Harrison '82, Coordinator of Alumnae Relations
As graduation day nears, seniors begin the process of saying goodbye to their high schools, where many have made life-long memories and deep connections with classmates and the community. High school is where we spend time growing, learning, and evolving as individuals; it’s where we learn life lessons and rapidly mature to adulthood.
While graduation may mean an end, it doesn’t have to mean a disconnection from the very place that helped propel us to the next chapter. At Merion Mercy Academy, graduation festivities also include a ceremonial induction into the school’s Alumnae Association. Graduates are welcomed into a network of over 5,000 women who have walked the path before them, and who are connected through their shared educational experiences and affiliations with their alma mater.
There is a common theme that can be heard when alumnae gather to remember their days at MMA, namely strong bonds of friendship and sisterhood experiences that continue after graduation. Many learn from friends and family that this connection to one’s high school is unusual for those who did not attend a school like Merion.
In the interconnected world we live, learn, and work in today, who you know can be invaluable. This is when an alumni network can support graduates from all walks of life. Here are some positive reasons to stay connected:
1. International Connections
An alumni network gives you a good chance to connect, not only with peers from your time at school but with a wider network. As people travel away for school, careers, and family, the geographic area where alums settle becomes wider. Finding alumni in all corners of the world may help you academically, professionally, and socially.
Professional connections, in particular, are invaluable. Alumni work in a wide variety of industries and organizations, providing potential job leads, collaborations and referrals. Your classmates and fellow alumni possess unique experiences, insights and expertise that you can learn from. You can exchange ideas, discuss industry trends, and gain new perspectives. Maintaining these connections expands your development and professional network.
2. You can relive your favorite memories
As graduation season comes around, it’s only natural to set your sights on what’s next. You’re ready to break out of your community, make new connections, and experience another phase of life. But as time goes by, you might realize that you miss the community where you made memories and came of age. Events with your alumni network help you connect and reminisce with people who were there. And that’s something truly special.
3. You’ll stay in the know
Staying connected to your alumni network keeps you in the loop about important happenings with your former school and community. This can include career and education opportunities that you might not have been aware of otherwise. And these days, you don’t have to work hard to stay connected. Most alumni offices have newsletters, social media sites, magazines, and other forms of communication, such as LinkedIn.
4. You don’t walk the road alone
Individuality and independence are key in growing into a healthy and happy adult. But that doesn’t mean you can’t find comfort in your community as well. The bridges you’ve built are important—you poured years of time into getting to know your peers, both in class and outside of it. To leave that behind can feel daunting, given that in life, we need to take so many paths on our own. So why should you leave behind your network if you don’t need to? As reunioning classes come together each year at MMA, it is always remarkable to see how many of life’s major events have been shared by high school friends: graduations, career moves, marriages, births, loss of loved ones, just to name a few.
Staying connected benefits all of us: alumnae, students, teachers, and community. By staying connected, we’re showing our support, comradery, and doing for future graduates what others did for us!
Stay connected at MMA through:
Merion Mercy Academy Alumnae on LinkedIn
Merion Mercy Academy on Facebook
Merion Mercy Alumnae Office on Facebook
And on our website at www.merion-mercy.com/alumnae