GCC Alumni Association builds community with AlumNet

January 23, 2009

Wish you could find that guy who was such a whiz in your GCC marketing classes to help you promote your new business? Want to re-connect with friends from long-ago GCC nursing classes? Moving to another state and hoping to find outdoor trip buddies like the folks you knew in the Outdoor Leadership Program? Check out AlumNet, the GCC Alumni Association’s new online social network.

GCC alumni eager to connect with people they knew at GCC or meet GCC alums who share their interests have a great new tool to make those connections. AlumNet is available to all GCC alumni and is easy to use, even for those unfamiliar with online social networks such as Facebook and MySpace. Alumni can make a profile, join an interest group related to their GCC major or program, participate in discussions, blog, and post photos and videos. They also can learn about Alumni Association activities in Western Massachusetts and beyond.

Regina Curtis, President of the Alumni Association, said, “We started AlumNet to help alumni connect, to build a community of alumni. We also wanted to have a venue to share photos and information about the many Alumni Association events.”

Andrew Seward attended GCC from 1984-1986 before getting a bachelor’s degree at UMass and a master’s in engineering and an MBA at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Now an engineer working for IBM in New York state, Andrew said, “Reconnecting with friends from Greenfield High School as we plan our upcoming 25th reunion got me thinking about my time at GCC. I had incredibly close bonds with the people in my Project TEME group and I’d like to re-establish those friendships.”

While AlumNet can help alumni find long-lost friends, it is also a way to meet new ones, and to help other alums and current students. Peter Ripley is a family practice physician in Monument Beach, MA. He said, “My reason for joining AlumNet is to provide an insider’s perspective on a road less traveled. My time at GCC was pivotal and put me on the path to becoming a physician, a most rewarding career. I hope to share my experience from high school to GCC to Williams College to University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. I’d love to spread the word that two years at GCC can place a student on the road to attaining an M.D. degree. My goal is to provide encouragement and advice, just like Rob Yacubian at GCC did for me, for students or alums who are pursuing the medical field.”

Mark Burton of Damascus, MD, and Mike Davis of Florence, MA, also want to share information about their fields of expertise. Mark said, “My field is reverse mortgage lending. These days, issues involving mortgage lending, retirement finances, and the care and support of seniors are large topics that affect many people. I would love to be able to contribute my knowledge in these areas to the broader community.”

Mike Davis, a business librarian at UMass Amherst, said, “I’m eternally grateful for the education I received at GCC in the 1980s. GCC gave me the personal confidence and academic tools I needed to start a career and make my way in life. Through the new GCC AlumNet, I hope to give something back to GCC and its students.” These AlumNet users are just a handful of the thousands of alumni who share the experience of attending GCC. Just as GCC opens the door to limitless possibilities for students, AlumNet now opens the door to limitless connections among GCC alumni.