STARs Look to Break Last Year’s Record Senior Gift Participation Rate

Student Alumni Representatives (STARs) will compete in small teams this year tin order to collect donations from the Class of 2011 to raise the Senior Gift. This year’s STARs are Kristina Ballard, Denzil Bernard. Kerstin Brolsma, Elizabeth Carrolo, Shelby Centofanti, Jane Chen, Julia Dean, Sofia Duque, Jasmine Edison, Theresa Faller, Kristen Faulkner, Hannah Finnie, Kiran Gill, Ashley Hess, Katrina Hess, John Ingram, Angelica Jarvenpaa, Jackie Lender, Kendall MacRae, Khadijah Owens, Amber Quinones, Kayla Rosario, Kevin Song, Pinnaree Tea-Mangkorn, Emily Timm, Stacia Vladimirova, Renat Zalov and Julia Zorthian, all Seniors. The STARs hope to trump the Class of 2010’s record-breaking 96% participation rate. The fundraising process will last throughout the Winter and Spring terms and end around Commencement. STARs strive to unify the senior class and ease the transition for students becoming alumni through the coordination of alumni events, Senior class events and the Senior Gift. Following discussions at the Alumni Council meetings the weekend of November 11, the STARs plan to collaborate with the Community Service Office to create more Non Sibi opportunities. STARs will also organize the Senior class’s 100 Days Party in late February. STARs will help introduce Blue Link, the Andover alumni’s online community, when it becomes available to the Senior class during Winter term. At the close of the spring term, the STARs will announce alumni leaders, who will facilitate post-graduation contact among the students for events such as reunions. The alumni leadership positions consist of two secretaries, two alumni council representatives and multiple class agents. Deborah Murphy, Director of Alumni Affairs, said, “The STARs program helps kids think about life after Andover and [demonstrates] that there is an extraordinary network of Alumni out there.” Bernard said, “By being a STAR, I have been able to meet amazing PA alums and make important alumni connections.” Faulkner said, “I love to hear about alumni’s experiences at Andover and how Andover has influenced their life. They are so friendly and interesting.” STARs encompass a wide variety of students and experiences. Three of the STARs are international and seven are day students. 23 of the 28 STARs are female, which is unusual for the program. The application process for the STARs board this year began last summer, when three STARs from the Class of 2010, Celia Lewis, Taylor Clarke and Matthew Kelly, contacted the Class of 2011 with information regarding the program. Zalov said, “I became a STAR because I wanted to be part of Phillips Academy after graduation. I decided that being a student-alum representative would be a perfect way to stay connected with Andover in college and beyond.” The alumni events, facilitated by the Office of Alumni Affairs and the STARs, allow students to socialize with alumni in a casual setting. Murphy said that alumni are very eager to communicate with current students. Bernard said, “I [attended] a dinner on the Abbot campus honoring PA alums, past and contemporary, who have served in the U.S. armed forces. I was introduced to several members of the PA community who risk their lives daily in order to serve their country, and it was very inspiring to know that these leaders once lived under the same circumstance as myself.” Ingram hopes to focus on community service opportunities for alumni and students alike, “I love attending events and joining groups where you have the opportunity to talk to students and faculty that you haven’t had the chance to meet yet. In every situation, the people here are some of the nicest you’ll ever meet.”