The Impact of Giving

Growing Our Network

Thriving through alumni engagement

One way to gauge a school’s success is through its alumni. Are they still involved with the school? With classmates? In both measures, Smith is doing exceptionally well. Attendance at alumni events rose 60 per cent in the last year, and more graduates have joined SmithConnect, the school’s exclusive online community.

There are now more than 1,200 alumni volunteering with Smith.

Many alumni are also donating their time. There are now more than 1,200 alumni volunteers, and the number of Smith Business Clubs is growing, with two clubs formed in the last year: Smith Business Club China and Smith Business Club Analytics & AI in Toronto. There are also Smith Business Clubs in Toronto, Ottawa, Calgary and Vancouver, and Smith events for alumni have been held across North America and the world.

“One thing I find unique about our graduates is their desire to continue to belong to the school network, attend events and learn from one another,” says Tom Weber, EMBA’95. Tom is president of Smith Business Club Calgary, which hosts regular events that provide alumni in Alberta a chance to build relationships and hear from interesting speakers in business.

After graduating from the Executive MBA program, Tom worked in Ottawa. But after his career in financial services took him to Calgary, he became involved with the alumni network as a way to reconnect with the university and build his own professional network. He started attending Smith events. “I thought it would be a great way to learn.” He was right.

Alumni Network

Calgary alumni volunteers: Tom Weber (left) and Tim Onyett, both EMBA'95.

Today, as club president, Tom often works with one of his classmates on Calgary alumni activities. Tim Onyett, EMBA’95, was president of the Calgary club before joining the executive team of the Calgary chapter of Queen’s Venture Network. QVN brings together alumni, students and the wider community to support entrepreneurship. QVN Calgary is especially interested in promoting startups to help diversify Alberta’s oil-and-gas economy, says Tim, who is senior manager of business development at Deloitte.

“There’s obviously a lot of value in the education I had at Smith,” Tim explains. “But some of the real value comes years later from being part of the alumni network. For me, the alumni organization in Calgary has allowed me to build my professional and social network. It represents something really special.”