Not only is salt a wonderful preservative, it also makes corn taste a whole lot better.
That’s what the founders of SALT – Students and Alumni Linked Together – quip. New this year, the organization has some big goals. Their first is to connect students and alumni in ways that will be mutually beneficial.
The Office of Alumni Relations wants students to be aware of alumni sooner during their time at Concordia, says Eric Johnson, director. SALT has the potential to provide better ways for alumni to get more directly involved in studentsʼ lives and vice versa. “For many years, we have focused on alumni beginning with the day they graduate. The truth is, students are becoming future alumni the day they arrive,” Johnson says. In raising student awareness of alumni involvement, Johnson believes students will become more engaged with the college after graduation.
Students are becoming future alumni the day they arrive. – Eric Johnson
Paul Peterson '76, a National Alumni Board member, believes he would have benefited from an organization like SALT. As a student, he was not familiar with the roles of alumni in the success of the college. “The financial contributions that alumni make, along with their never-ending support of Concordia, were things I never appreciated during my time as a student,” he says.
Josh Mackner '17, one of SALT’s student founders, got involved because of his own appreciation for alumni support. Mackner has shadowed and worked for Dr. Casey Bartz '04, a Moorhead optometrist. Mackner is grateful for the guidance Bartz provides as he begins his own journey toward optometry.
Many alumni desire to help students succeed in their careers, Peterson says. This year, SALT assisted with events that help to build these relationships. At the Careers Connecting Cobbers luncheon, students and alumni talked face to face, asked questions and made connections they might not have been able to otherwise.
In the future, Johnson hopes there will be more opportunities for students and alumni to come together at different networking events, service projects or even student-alumni game nights.
Not only is SALT a way for students to learn from alumni, but Johnson also knows the organization will help alumni stay connected to Concordia and remember their own college experiences.
Originally published in the Spring 2016 Concordia Magazine
Ali Froslie '18 is an English major at Concordia.