The Alumni Association hosted its second annual legacy student luncheon Thursday at the alumni house where there was food, prizes and scholarship opportunities for all of the applicable students.
A legacy student refers to any student on campus who has had either one or both parents attend Slippery Rock University who are now considered Rock alumni.
There are 480 students on campus who are considered legacy students and the process begins at orientation when students check in at admissions. The student’s parent is recognized and pinned with the legacy family pin.
Director of Alumni Engagement Kelly Bailey said that the Alumni Association is very interested in identifying legacy connection.
“We recognize that it’s a pretty big deal to go to the same school as your mom and dad and we want to recognize the families that generationally attend The Rock,” Bailey said.
The lunch consisted of food, a prize wheel with Slippery Rock trivia questions and prizes, yearbooks where the students were able to look up their parents’ pictures from when attended the university and a highlight of the scholarship opportunities that are available to the legacy students through the Alumni Association.
Graduate Assistant for Alumni Engagement Alaina Smith said that activities like this help to represent the school and is a good tie to the students to see what their parents did when they were here.
“If your parents had a good and enjoyable time here then they are more likely to send their kids here,”
Bailey explained that the purpose of the gathering is for legacy students to feel connected to the Alumni Association. She said if the association finds other connections, such as aunts, uncles and grandparents, then those students are also welcome.
Legacy student and sophomore integrated marketing and communications major Sydney Pascarella said her parents both attended SRU and loved their experiences, but it was much different to what the school is now. Pascarella said it was smaller, had a different atmosphere and many of the buildings her parents knew are now torn down.
“I was familiar with the school because both of my parents, my grandma, my aunt and my uncle went here and I was influenced by that,” Pascarella said.
Bailey said that there are many families that are extremely committed to SRU and attend events all year round. Some of the legacy students spend their whole life at The Rock through the generations and the process replays overtime while building a special connection, Bailey said.
The Alumni Association also offers three different scholarships to the legacy students. They want to highlight those opportunities for the students, Bailey said.
The association’s biggest event of the year is a golf outing where they raise money for the scholarship fund which supports the legacy students.
”We want all of our alumni to be engaged throughout their life to the university and to continue to be engaged.” Bailey said. “We want them to have the sense that it is a Rock nation and we want you to represent it well and be a part of it.”
Smith said the biggest goal for the association is to have the graduates go into the world and have them want to come back and attend events such as homecoming, sporting events and to even send their own children to The Rock.
“I’m proud to be a legacy student because I am now the third generation that’s gone here and it’s nice to know that it’s not just a school, but it’s a family tradition as well,” Pascarella said.
Bailey said that it is important for the Alumni Association to recognize the generational impact that Slippery Rock has on families. It is a transformational education and one can see how it impacts and changes lives and that’s the whole point, Bailey said.
“This isn’t just a four-year experience, it’s so much more than that, and I think it’s great that alumni trust us with their children and send them here to become the same successful adults that they turned into,” Bailey said.