The Office of Development and Alumni Relations Fosters Relationships with Students Past and Present
The Office of Development and Alumni Relations has the multifaceted job of networking with alumni while also encouraging the financial support of the College’s initiatives.
From fostering relationships between the vast New York Medical College (NYMC) constituency to coordinating alumni events, the Office of Development and Alumni Relations plays an important role in keeping the NYMC community connected. Bess J. Chazhur, M.S., chief development officer and executive director of alumni relations, oversees the various initiatives that bring together alumni while securing financial support for present students. Ms. Chazhur provided an inside look at how the Office operates.
Tell us a little bit about the Office of Development and Alumni Relations.
The Office of Development and Alumni Relations at NYMC is all about building relationships and engaging our diverse group of alumni, friends, corporations and foundations to promote the mission, vision and values of the College. Our goal is to ensure an active and committed community and to encourage financial contributions for important initiatives including student scholarships, research, capital projects and program support.
What are some of the ways donations are used?
Donations are used in a variety of ways, which are all crucial to the advancement of NYMC. They have a direct impact on student scholarships, further groundbreaking research studies, improve facilities and purchase much needed equipment in classrooms and laboratories.
How would you describe day to day functions of the Office?
Most of us try to connect with our donors and alumni daily, so whether that be through phone calls, emails or one-on-one visits. We make every attempt to reach out on a daily basis, as personal touches are always best. We also meet as a team to discuss ways to build on existing relationships and create new ones.
What are some of the services your office offers to NYMC alumni?
Through our online networking platform, NYMCconnect.org, we offer alumni a chance to network with their colleagues and classmates, as well as connect with current students, faculty and staff. We also host events such as class reunions, the annual Founder’s Dinner and regional cultivation events to engage, celebrate and communicate all the wonderful things happening at NYMC.
What do you find the most interesting about working in the Office?
The most interesting part of my job is getting to know our alumni, learning about them, their families, their careers and what NYMC has meant to them over the years. Connecting them back to the College also brings great joy in many ways. I love giving tours, as many have not been back in decades and seeing it through their eyes provides us with a whole new perspective. While the pandemic has put some of these visits and tours on hold, we look forward to bringing more of our alumni back to campus in the coming months. They can see firsthand how many things have changed yet our core values have remained as steadfast as ever.
What do you want people to know about the alumni and development team?
That we really want to hear from you and connect with the NYMC community. Working together as a team is integral to our success. We want to work with you to serve as ambassadors for the College and help fulfill the philanthropic needs of the school. Our team is a highly skilled group of fundraising professionals who understands the need for fundraising, and how it relates to the core mission and values of the College.