At Wilson College, alumni have the unique opportunity to adopt a new relative by participating in the Aunt/Uncle Program, named in honor of our namesake Sarah Wilson. Alumni volunteer as “Aunts or Uncles” and students sign up to be “nieces or nephews”. An Aunt/Uncle will be in contact with their niece/nephew through a letter/email or an occasional package to brighten a student’s day and to provide encouragement. The hope is that students will respond in return. The program builds bonds between former and current students. Some of the pairings last a semester, some through commencement and others, a lifetime.
For decades students have enjoyed developing a relationship with their paired alum; hearing and sharing Wilson stories/traditions, as well as, career and other personal life adventures. For alums, it is an opportunity to remain connected to campus life and give back in a personal way. This connection is perfect for those alums local, regional or a far distance.
Traditionally, “Aunt Sarah” was a secret connection with hints and clues to discover identities. However, over the years with new technology, many decide to email, text, Facetime, Skype or even meet face to face for ongoing interaction. *PLEASE NOTE – in light of Covid-19, we encourage you to share email and/or home address to connect with your alum pairing. A secret connection is still possible with letters or emails going back and forth utilizing staff in the Alumni House. Unfortunately, we are unable to assist with packages during the pandemic. For many, the real tradition is that someone provided this connection to you as a student and now, as an alum, you keep the program alive. We have added “Uncle Wilson” to be inclusive of our Wilson Community.
IMPORTANT UPDATE –
In this time of social distancing, remote instruction and increased anxiety due to Covid-19, connection and community support is increasingly valued. Our students need your support and encouragement as they face an academic landscape that never occurred in our college years. While financial support to the Wilson Fund is the best way to ensure Wilson College is here to assist future generations of students, the small personal connections remain a hallmark of the WC experience. We need alums willing to pair with current students. If an existing pairing is already known to each other, emails or sharing addresses will be easy to accomplish to stay in occasional connection. If a pairing is secret or new, it is more challenging without the benefit of using the office staff as the go-between for small packages. For convenience, you may decide to revel identities or you may send emails via ARoffice@wilson.edu for the staff to cut/paste and forward to the appropriate student or alum. There has been some varied success with electronic gift cards, but those emails frequently get sent to spam files and users are not looking or expecting such things. Please be reminded that this program is not designed, nor is it expected, to incur significant expense. It has always been the primary goal to connect alums with current students and share parts of your Wilson experience with each other. As alums, we understand the normalcy of highs and lows of the college semester. As students, they might not yet understand the significance of the alum network, the value of Wilson Traditions and how heartwarming it can feel to have others support their Wilson journey. As President Fugate says frequently, we are #onewilson and we will get through this together.
Thank you all for your participation.
Ideas that do not cost a lot of $$:
- postcard or letter once a month - send riddles or jokes, share stories, encourage and wish them well
- send activity - Sudoku, puzzle or coloring book, pens or pencils in fun colors, silly putty
- choose some novelty or festive socks
- items such as candy, lip balm, magnets, key chains, laptop/water bottle stickers, coffee or hot choc packets
- small amount gift card to a national chain
- place a $5 in a card with a note
- Sarah Wilson Week: September 14
- No Fall Break
- Classes: Aug. 24 - Nov. 20
- Remote Finals: Nov. 30 - Dec. 4
- Labs on campus: Dec. 6 - 23
Marybeth Famulare Honorary ’17, Director of Alumni Relations
Katie Shank ’19, Alumni Relations Associate
Cynthia Fink Barber ’73, Volunteer Coordinator
Be an Aunt Sarah or Uncle Wilson!
If you would like to be an AUNT/UNCLE — sign up here. Be sure to include your home address if you want to hear from your pairing directly. New applications from students are pouring in. Spread the word!
Prefer to print and mail click here.
Did you know....
I keep a small "stash" of small gifts or gift cards which allows me to be responsive if I learn of a student who is having a rough time or even deserves a congrats of some kind. Faculty or staff give me a heads up on occasion and with your help, I fill a need. If being paired is too much a commitment or you would like to just do something extra. I accept goodies on behalf of my private stash ... I sign from Aunt Sarah or Uncle Wilson Thank you. -Mb
Click this link, Aunt Sarah / Uncle Wilson Guidelines, based on the questions from past years.
If you are a returning AUNT or UNCLE and have not yet indicated if you are remaining in the program and which student(s) you are keeping, please email Marybeth Famulare, Director of Alumni Relations, at firstname.lastname@example.org If you prefer not to continue at this time, that is important for me to know as well.
Interested in giving a Wilson Bookstore gift certificate?
Go to http://bookstore.wilson.edu/; gift certificates can be found in the products section under miscellaneous. If you would like the gift certificate given to a current student and put in their mailbox on campus, please mark "in store pick-up" and indicate the student's name in the special instructions section.