Verba Volant, Scripta Manent

The Hill News

Verba Volant, Scripta Manent

The Hill News

Verba Volant, Scripta Manent

The Hill News

Student alumni ambassador program provides new leadership opportunities

Media: Kiern Lim ’25
Shelly Baumgarten, Director of Alumni and Parent Engagement, and Anna Ribeiro, Assistant Director of Stewardship and Next Generation Giving, advise the new Student Alumni Ambassador program, which aims to bridge current students with recent alumni.

Consisting of twenty students across fourth through sixth forms, the newly introduced student alumni ambassador program plans to influence the entire Hill community. Led by faculty advisers Shelley Baumgarten, the Director of Alumni and Parent Engagement, and Anna Ribeiro, the Assistant Director of Stewardship and Next Generation Giving, the program was first introduced to the school last spring. Aiming to serve as a connection between alumni and the student body, the ambassadors play a major role in the philanthropic aspect of the Hill School.

In a recent interview, Ribeiro described how the creation program first came from the realization that “students often jump into the alumni pool and are not sure how they can engage with the school beyond their graduation.” Following the class of 2023 fundraising, she realized the need to organize a program where students, rather than teachers, take the lead. After much discussion, it was agreed that students would serve as the most successful and influential ambassadors as they make a significant impact on their peers.

Baumgarten emphasized how she wants members to “get a sense of what our alumni are able to accomplish and beware of the programs they support” before they graduate. Since then, over twenty students have been accepted through a selective process to serve as ambassadors for the upcoming 2023–2024 school year. 

While the program is just starting up, the directors already have detailed plans for the next year. With pre-planned monthly projects, including holiday cards and a Thank-A-Thon, the new student leaders will have a choice in deciding how they want to participate. Simultaneously, there are several larger events planned, including sitting in on the executive alumni group, ambassador dinners, and planned social media posts. With their efforts, their impact will be substantial across past and future alumni.

One aspect of the student alumni program focuses on developing and strengthening connections with graduates. However, at the same time, ambassadors are also educating current students on understanding the significance of alumni connections. Later, these bridges will play an even more vital factor as they become graduates. Contributing back to a place they filled arguably the four most important years of life will be deeply rooted in their minds.

The two-way bridge between the volunteering aspects of the leaders and “volunteers” of the program are essential, especially surrounding the topic of philanthropy. Recently, selected ambassadors shared their thoughts on their new role. When asked how they feel about the program, Sophie Walsh ’24, a current sixth former from Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, remarked that she was “very grateful to the alumni ambassadors program for providing an outlet to connect both myself and many of my peers with an entirely new sector of the Hill community.”

Walsh expected that her new role will help forge new foundations for the future of Hill’s institutional giving.

“Through this program, I am excited to foster new connections within the alumni network and work towards the program’s main goal: keeping the alumni involved with the current student body.”

Other students shared similar thoughts.

“I am excited to be part of this new opportunity at Hill. This position will ultimately equip me with fundraising, marketing, and communication skills,” Nicole Kalu ’26 said.

Fostering engagement between both current and future alumni, the ambassadors are eager to get to work. 

With numerous plans ahead, the alumni student ambassador program is working to make its mark by bridging the gap between current graduates and the Hill School. Ribeiro underscored the significance of “building a program where students are exposed to the world of philanthropy and alumni engagement so they are better suited to be stewards of the Hill.”

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