Wright and Sporer Join Alumnae/i Office
Enter Miriam Wright ’03 and Stephen Sporer, a new duo who have recently joined the Alumnae/i Relations staff.
Both are rare specimens: artists who are passionate about their day jobs. Since last fall, Wright, an aspiring opera singer, has been the assistant director of alumnae/i relations. “I love it,” she says. Sporer, a pop singer in the making, is the former director of student activities. In February ’04 he was an adviser to the Students Scholarship Auction, which brought in nearly $26,000, surpassing the previous high of $11,000. He became associate director of Alumnae/i Relations in April. During his first weeks in the new job, he also had to fulfill the duties of his old one. It was quite a juggling act, but he managed. “I was right across the street, but the system here works so well,” he agrees. “There’s not a revolving door of students coming in and out. I’m much more on the business side now. I’m getting a global perspective on how the College works.”
Wright’s assignments include heavy lifting for Reunion 2004, organizing luncheons and events for 14 reunion classes. She finds her colleagues are helping expand her horizons. “They’re great.
I only know the students who graduated with me, but the staff also knows the older alums, and I’m learning so much.”
Wright wants to make certain that current students know about the department from their first SLC year onward. She helped the alumnae/i office combine with the career counseling office to create “Schmoozing 101” and “Interviewing 101.” The purpose was to teach seniors how to network and go on interviews after graduation. “A lot of students don’t know about us until they need a job,” she observes. “Or people contact us when they’re moving to other cities, to find out about other alums who are living there. They should know about us from freshman year. The alums would love to connect with the students, but the students don’t know that.”
Sporer will give the lion’s share of his time to the Edith Ingalls Vignos ’45 Faculty On The Road program, an enormously successful effort in which the College sends current faculty throughout the country to “re-create the seminar experience” for groups of alumnae/i. The events—cherished by alums hungry for that old SLC academic challenge—are held in an alum’s home, and include cocktails or dinner, a presentation by Sporer about what is new and exciting on campus, and a one-hour faculty-led seminar. Sporer says he’s enjoyed the content as well as the sight of SLC alumnae/i reconnecting with each other and finding new friends “who speak Sarah Lawrence.”
“Alums are our best resource,” Sporer says. “I’d love to see the College have a festival of music where the musicians are all alums, and film festivals where all the filmmakers are alums. And a new program we’re considering would bring together alums of color and current SLC students of color.”
So, no regrets? Sporer has one: The noisy construction of a new parking complex, located across from the campus housing he lived in, was finished just after he moved out. But that’s a small price to pay for a job you love.