One unique aspect of LCC is that for most students, being part of our community is literally a “cradle to grave” experience. Whether our students’ “cradle” begins in kindergarten or grade 7, by the time they graduate, they will have had made many lifelong friends and they will have shared many special experiences together – both in the classroom and beyond in our co-curricular programmes. The friendships and connections to school will also live well beyond graduation.
As Headmaster, I connect frequently with LCC alumni across Canada, the United States and the UK. You might wonder why we bother. We see the practical value of our “cradle-to-grave” approach and the bonding between grads that develops many years beyond graduation. In addition to me, committed people in our Advancement Office are constantly in touch with grads. Mr. LLano is our “Director of Alumni Engagement,” and he is assisted by our Alumni Ambassador and former Assistant Head, Vic Badian. Another former Assistant Head, Mrs. Gendron is also in the mix, reaching out to young women, to help solidify their valuable connections to the school.
Every fall our annual alumni reunion/homecoming dinner brings together anniversary classes, celebrating 10 to 50 years. We offer alumni special hockey and basketball leagues on campus throughout the winter and sponsor a myriad of special social events that keep a lot of alumni connected.
We also have an extensive alumni outreach programme in cities across Canada, the United States and England. We recently hosted receptions in New York, Boston and Ottawa. I am pleased to report that our alumni network is strong, with very healthy turnouts in each city. It is very satisfying to see committed alumni from as far back as the 40s and 50s alongside much younger grads who are studying at university or who have recently entered the workforce, with all the challenges that brings. The older alumni come to these events determined to seek out young LCC grads who they want to mentor and assist. The younger graduates appreciate the opportunity for guidance and support in navigating their new careers under the common bond of sharing learning experiences at the same school – a lifetime bond.
In cities like New York, all of the young LCC grads are attempting to come to terms with a very competitive work environment and the reality of living in small and expensive shoebox apartments. So personal connections, guidance and career advice do matter. I am pleased to say that the courage, creativity and energy of our younger alumni are palpable at all LCC receptions.
We also recently held our annual Career Day and many LCC alumni came to speak to students about their studies or careers and offer help as mentors. A woman from Youth Employment Services Montreal opened Career Day by outlining popular trends in jobs – and she repeated frequently that our students need to be proactive in seeking personal “coffee meetings” with people in fields of interest to them. We understand that having the courage to do that can be a bit daunting, so that’s why our alumni office is there to support and develop personal connections between students, young graduates and a lot of willing established LCC alumni mentors who actually want to have coffee, tea and productive dialogue.
Mr. LLano and I look forward to connecting our students to mentors even before graduation, which will come quicker than you think. Don’t forget our philosophy, “cradle to grave”! – Chris Shannon, Headmaster