By Deanna Howes Spiro, Director of Communications, AJCU



The topic of this month’s issue of Connections coincides with the current commencement season: creative ways that our schools are building cultures of philanthropy and cultivating donors of all generations. You will learn about new programs at Le Moyne College and Saint Peter’s University for students and recent graduates; how Gonzaga University capitalized on its men’s basketball program’s success in the 2017 NCAA tournament to reach new donors; and campus events at Creighton University designed to celebrate leaders and donors throughout the University community.

We are pleased to feature an article that was originally published by our friends at the National Seminar on Jesuit Higher Education for the online version of Conversations on Jesuit Higher Education. Jacob Dillabaugh, a Master’s degree candidate at Boston College, posits ways that community partnerships can strengthen ties to recent graduates: rather than soliciting them for financial contributions, colleges and universities may find it just as beneficial (if not more so) to help their new alumni find interns or volunteers for their new places of work from among their current students. Developing town-gown relationships is a win-win for both institutions and companies or organizations. One such positive outcome? Future employees would come from an institution that companies value and trust for producing motivated, capable and hard-working graduates.

Many of our campus leaders in development and advancement will meet this summer at Loyola Marymount University for the annual conference of the Jesuit Advancement Administrators (JAA). This year’s meeting will be held in Los Angeles from July 22-24; learn more about “JAA in LA” in this issue of Connections from the chair of JAA, Doreen Knapp Riley of John Carroll University.

This issue of Connections will conclude the 2017-18 academic year; we will be on a summer hiatus until our next issue in September 2018. If there is a particular topic that you would like to see covered in Connections, please write to me at We value your feedback and look forward to hearing your suggestions on ways that we can improve and enhance this publication for our readers.

On behalf of all of us at AJCU, we wish you a very happy and restful summer!