Over winter break as the Midwest alumni group and current students came together to collectively cheer on Seton Hall at the basketball games at DePaul University and the University of Notre Dame.
Other events in Midwest states such as Illinois, Indiana and Nebraska brought Seton Hall students and alumni together create a school-spirited hot spot miles away from campus. These events, organized by director of Midwest admission Maureen Barney, are crucial to the growing population of the Seton Hall student body that originates from the Midwest.
Pirate fans came together at the All-State Arena in Rosemont, Ill., for the DePaul game, followed by a road trip to Indiana later that week for a reception at the Notre Dame game. Meanwhile in Omaha, Neb., an event was held to watch the game against the University of Louisville.
“Sharing the greatness of SHU with the Midwest students helps me to reconnect with my wonderful years at the Hall. It is so exciting to see the younger generation discovering the magic of SHU,” alumnus Vinny Donnelly said. Donnelly attended both the DePaul and Notre Dame basketball games.
According to Barney, when she first started as director of Midwest admission in 2002, there were only seven students from the Midwest, all from Illinois. Now Seton Hall has students from Ohio, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Illinois, Indiana, South Dakota, North Dakota, Michigan, Wisconsin, Kentucky, Arkansas, Missouri and Minnesota. The number of students has increasingly risen, and consequently a network of Seton Hall alums is beginning to form throughout the Midwest, too.
“It’s opening up a new market for Seton Hall and giving them an opportunity to tap into the Midwest,” alum Joe Nuss said.
“In the years to come, I think that market will just increase.”
According to Nuss, he attended the Seton Hall, Louisville event in Omaha. Alumni, students and prospective students all gathered to watch the game. Nuss told prospective students what to expect from Seton Hall and shared with the students the positivity Seton Hall had in his life.
“Seton Hall is not as well known in Omaha, but with Maureen Barney, and the recruiting presence we’ve really expanded the base out here,” Nuss said.
According to Barney, recruiting in the Midwest consists of “multiple levels of support” for prospective students. As they receive advice and guidance from current students and alums, eventually on campus the group keeps connected by Midwest events during the year. This forms a strong system of support in the Midwest states resulting in an increased presence on campus, and eventually increased alumni, too.
According to Kerri Clarke, the associate director of regional alumni engagement, “As a graduate you’re automatically part of a regional chapter based on your location. There are no fees or dues.”
These “regional chapters” connect alumni for networking events and volunteer opportunities, according to Clarke.
The Seton Hall student body might see some changes over the next few years as the Midwest alumni continues to spread the word at events such as these and diversity continues to increase.
“I am often asked what makes the Midwest group so special, and it’s the alums, the current students, the parents all working with me to define community and exhibit how Seton Hall is truly a home for the mind, heart and spirit,” Barney said. “I couldn’t do it without all of these wonderful people.”
Mary Marshall can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.