“What Alma College Did for Me” — Alumni Share Messages with Incoming Students

When you join Alma College as a student, you’re part of a long, rich history of academic excellence and extracurricular success in a residential, liberal arts environment. You’re also part of a huge network of Scots who love and support each other through thick and thin, long after graduation!

In the spirit of Alma Day 2023 - Pi Day, we asked a number of alumni from across a variety of generations to share messages with incoming, first-year students at Alma. See what they had to say:

Building relationships to last a lifetime

Savor this time and know that your time at Alma will help you develop the skills and friendships needed to succeed in life after. 

- Shannon Finnegan, Class of 2003

I arrived at Alma in September 1965 as an incoming freshman, the same year as legendary professor M.J.J. Smith. During the first week of orientation, all freshmen wore an Alma maroon beanie. I still have mine, along with my sports letter sweater. Studying with Professor Smith and participating in intercollegiate sports allowed me to I flourish at Alma. Alma prepared me for success in life. Thanks, Alma College!

- Mark Smith, Class of 1969

You are embarking on a journey that will change your life. Take full advantage of the opportunities that are presented to you on your journey, both academic and extracurricular. Be open to stepping outside of your comfort zone. You will find things that challenge and stretch you on that journey. Grab hold of the ones that move you forward and let go of the ones that just “aren’t for you.” May your journey help you become a critical thinker and well-rounded individual who will make a difference in our world going forward. 

- DJ Logan, Class of 1977

Alma will do more than help you become an adult to prepare for your future independence. Alma will give you more than an education to prepare you for a career. Alma will also give you lifelong friends that you will cherish over everything! Enjoy your time at Alma. It truly was one of the best times of my life.

- Erin Silverman, Class of 1987

Make the most of your next four years at Alma. Learn. Participate. Grow. Engage. Follow up. Take risks. Lead. You are an amazing individual and have a bright future in front of you - take advantage of every opportunity and have fun along the way!

- Jodi Fiser, Class of 2004

Roots which have sustained my life as an adult were well nurtured by Alma College professors. I am exceedingly grateful to them and the entire institution.

- Sallie (Gingles) Marsico, Class of 1971

You made a great choice picking Alma! You’ll be amazed how much of an impact everyone around you can make on your future.

- Cody Michael, Class of 2014

Extracurricular involvement

Welcome to the Scot family! This is such an exciting time in life - a time to learn and grow and explore new things. While academics are an important part of college, make sure to enjoy the other moments as well. Push yourself outside your comfort zone. Attend an event that is new to you. Join a club that seems interesting. Most importantly, have fun and make friends that I’m certain you will cherish for a lifetime.

- Brianna Harfmann, Class of 2011

Welcome to the Alma College family! The next four years will be amazingly unique - you’ll be surrounded by hundreds of people very close in age all marching toward the same goal. Make time to expand your horizons by stepping outside your comfort zone: join an organization, act in a play, or volunteer. Study hard, attend class, have fun and make friends to cherish for a lifetime. Then you too can say, “Plaid Works!” Wishing you a wonderful journey.

- Doris Balgoyen, Class of 1972

During your time at Alma, be curious and take courses that you find interesting or fun, even if they are out of your comfort zone. Continue to explore subjects that you become passionate about. Explore career options early and with an open mind. Reach out to people (especially alumni) in careers that interest you. You may not use your college education in exactly the way you expect, but don’t be afraid to “branch out.”

- Daniel May, Class of 2013

This is a very exciting time in your college journey and as a fellow Scot, I am so happy you chose Alma. I hope you will come to love this place as much as I do and that you will make some great memories along the way. The time goes by fast, so make sure to take advantage of all the wonderful resources and opportunities Alma College has to offer. Good luck and Go Scots!

- Laura Riegger, Class of 2007

Hi there, new Scot! Welcome aboard. In these first days, you might be thrilled to be at college. I was terrified - I didn’t want to leave home. But my four years at Alma turned out to be amazing. I had never met so many people who welcomed me in. So, if you’re excited, keep it up. If you’re scared, take a deep breath and give it time. Great things are coming.

- Ryan Richards, Class of 2004

Stellar academics

Alma was a great fit for me and I found the skills for lifelong learning and passion for the liberal arts experience. I teach at a small liberal arts college now, so please look me up if you need any pro tips from a professor. Go Scots!

- Kelley Hall, Class of 1991

Enjoy your time at Alma and take advantage of all opportunities. The smallest things can give much perspective for your future. 

- Joanna Delpaz, Class of 2016

Alma College truly focused me into a lifetime career that has been most rewarding. It was an opportunity to connect with fellow students on a day-to-day basis and form a community.

- Thomas Portney, Class of 1972

Choosing Alma College was one of the most impactful decisions I’ve ever made. Enjoy your years on this “campus fair” and welcome to a forever family of Scots!

- Heather Hays, Class of 1997

Congratulations on becoming a Scot! Be sure to seize opportunities inside and outside of the classroom. Be intentional about growing as a leader, serving others and expanding your perspective.

- Emily Boerman, Class of 2009

Congratulations on your decision to be an Alma Scot! I wish you the best of luck on your journey. Remember to take advantage of all the amazing opportunities that Alma has to offer. Four years goes by fast, so make the most of it!

- Maggie Czachor Guaresimo, Class of 1999

We celebrate our education from Alma every single day. We are proud Scots and are excited for you to embark on your journey here at Alma. Cheers to enjoying the time ahead - we have cherished memories of our time on campus and sincerely hope you do as well!

- Garrett and Andi Whitmore, Class of 2006 and 2007

Last year Alma Day took place on Wednesday, March 16, 2022. More than 500 donors joined together to raise nearly $200,000 for Alma College, doubling donor participation from 2021! Your generosity directly and positively impacts our current generation of students and helps build a stronger Alma for the future. Thank you, Scots! Read more about the initiatives that donors supported on Alma Day.

Please plan to join us on Tuesday, March 14, 2023, for Alma Day 2023, in celebration all the things that make Alma special and supporting your favorite piece of the Pi. We hope to see you there!