Photos contributed by Steve Fortier

Rachel Vitello

News Editor

Similar to many college students this spring break, Keene State College officials headed down to the sunshine state for the week. However, they did not spend the break sitting on the beach. KSC President Melinda Treadwell, Director of External Relations/Interim Director of Alumni Relations Steve Fortier and Director of Advancement Veronica Rosa went to Florida from Friday, March 8 to Thursday, March 14 to attend multiple alumni events, meet one on one with alumni and to attend some KSC sports games happening there as part of the launch of spring sports season.

According to Treadwell, there are three main goals to the trip. They are to meet and speak with parents and families of students at the sports games and to support the KSC teams playing, reconnect with alumni at the different events being held and to meet with some high capacity donors who are in Florida.

“We’re hosting gatherings like coffee and pastries before the baseball game with parents,” Treadwell said “It’s a chance for me to talk with parents about how they’re kids are doing here at Keene State. I watch the games and get to cheer on the students. It gives me a chance to meet the students in a much more relaxed environment, between the games we just connect and I get to hear about how they’re doing.”

There are nine alumni events being hosted throughout the state that the group will be attending during the week. These events included an alumni reception in Bonita Springs, a waterfront luncheon in Fort Myers and ended with a sunset happy hour in Stuart.

“We’ve got a full seven days of activities,” Fortier said. “First three days on the gulf coast, three days in the Orlando area, then two days on the east coast. It’s much more linear this year, last year we did a lot of back and forth.”

These events are held in the hope of getting alumni interested again in life at Keene State College and keeping them in the loop on how the college is doing.

“These [events] are with a lot of alums, not only to let them know where Keene State is and how we’re doing, but to answer any questions they have and get them re-engaged, get them connected to what’s going on,” Treadwell said. “These events are to maintain that positive momentum. They’re our best spokespeople. I want to show them that I’m responding to when they have criticism.”

Along with this, the group is meeting with alums in the hope that there are job and internship opportunities for students at the companies and organizations some alums work at or are connected to.

“One alumni we’re meeting with is a Vice President of Sustainability and Risk for Coca-Cola in Orlando,” Rosa said. “She’s bringing us through the Coca-Cola facility there. The goal of that meeting is to re-engage her as an alumni and talk to her about internship opportunities, different things Coca-Cola has going on and how she might be able to get engaged with some of our student and alumni programs.”

Receiving donations from alumni to support various areas on campus, including student scholarships is another reason for the one-on-one meetings.

“I’m meeting with a number of high capacity donors,” Treadwell said. “We’re going to make a couple of specific big proposals that will benefit broadcast journalism to help update the studio and web streaming. I have three other donor meetings to talk about commitment to the performing arts, our STEM initiatives or to general college scholarship funds.”

All-in-all the trip to Florida is to help benefit KSC and all those involved with the college. Having the opportunity to speak with students and their families, reconnecting with alumni and creating opportunities for current students are the goals the group wants to walk away with.

“For all of us, the more connected we are and the more inspired we are about the vision and where we’re headed, the more likely we are to contribute in a variety of different ways,” Fortier said.

Rachel Vitello can be contacted at

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