A major focus of IVC’s ongoing fundraising campaign, Ignite, has been to expand the organization’s capacity and fund the new Currie Alumni Partnership for Service (CAPS) initiative. Thanks to the generosity of initial donors to the campaign in the Mid-Atlantic region, IVC has made considerable progress toward achieving these crucial goals.
As President and CEO Mary McGinnity mentioned in her update for this month’s newsletter, CAPS is named for Fr. Charlie Currie, SJ, and seeks to partner with Jesuit colleges and universities to recruit alumni as members of the corps.
There are 27 Jesuit colleges and universities in the U.S., in 17 states and the District of Columbia. They range from major research universities to smaller institutions that combine liberal arts and professional studies. One focuses strictly on liberal arts. Worldwide, American Jesuit colleges and universities are part of a network of 188 Jesuit institutions of higher learning.
The idea for CAPS was developed in direct response to Jesuit colleges and universities looking to provide their alumni with opportunities to re-engage with a sense of the institution’s mission.
IVC’s national office began working on the project with five academic institutions—Holy Cross College, LeMoyne College, Loyola University of Maryland, Marquette University, and the University of Scranton—on a pilot to determine their interest in offering graduates opportunities to engage in mission-focused work. The initial response was so positive that IVC is moving forward with launching a broader partnership with all U.S.-based Jesuit colleges and universities.
John Green, who joined IVC last summer as director of the Philadelphia/South Jersey office, will also oversee CAPS, serving as the new vice president for partnership engagement.
He says that providing with opportunities for graduates to become involved in community service helps Jesuit educational institutions meet a fundamental goal of their alumni outreach.
“IVC’s program is already in place, tested, and successful,” he comments, adding, “many of us see needs in our communities but struggle to find ways to help. What we can do on our own isn’t sustainable. IVC offers infrastructure, sustainability, and a sense of shared mission.”
What John is seeing is that the program is a way for Jesuit colleges and universities to connect with their alumni, and ultimately with people in their communities. It’s also a way for a larger group of people to learn about IVC.
His background in social service and later in private outpatient practice gives John insight into what motivates people at different times in their lives. “Connecting with others seems to become more and more important as people age,” he says.
“Work and family may have been the main sources of identity in people’s lives, but after they retire and their children have grown up, they’re once again asking themselves big questions about who they are and what kind of contribution they can make.”
Through IVC’s academic partners, John connects with alumni and finds them opportunities where they can use their professional expertise to support the work of community organizations. As John puts it, “Alumni want to leave a legacy, and service is one way to do that.”