Student Organization Spotlight: Student Alumni Associates (SAA)

While academics are the central focus of your college years, it’s also important to get involved on campus. Since the College of Charleston boasts more than 180 clubs and student organizations, the Honors College will be highlighting a few per semester to give you some more opportunities for involvement. This week, we sat down to chat with Gillian Spolarich, the Public Relations Chairperson for the Student Alumni Associates, and asked her a few questions about the organization.


HC: When was your organization founded?

GS: Student Alumni Associates (SAA) was founded at the College in 1984 by Tony Meyer.

HC: What is SAA’s primary mission, and how does your organization uphold it through its activities?

GS: The SAA aims to serve alumni, students, and the campus through interaction and volunteering. To this end, we work a lot of events around campus, the most notable being the winter and spring Commencement and Convocation ceremonies. We also work a variety of smaller events throughout the year and volunteer off-campus with different organizations. We try to interact with the alumni as much as possible to maintain a strong relationship between alumni and students and to create connections that could potentially help us in the future.

HC: What’s the most fun and exciting part of being a member?

GS: For me, the most fun part is being able to work all kinds of events around campus throughout the entire year. You’re always learning something new about the College and getting to meet new people, but also getting to spend time with your friends in the organization. We have lots of socials within SAA that keep the group tight-knit; last week we had a movie night in the backyard of Blacklock House and watched The Great Gatsby with our potential new members for fall recruitment. There were lots of snacks and it was a great way for us to get to know the recruits on a fun, personal level.

HC: What are the benefits and advantages of being a Student Alumni Associate?

GS: Being in SAA connects you to the campus and to alumni you didn’t even know existed before! The organization also helps develop leadership and networking skills. Through my involvement, I’ve met a lot of people I’d never have met if not for SAA. My new relationships with alumni could open many doors for me later on, like job or internship opportunities.

HC: Who can students contact to get involved with SAA?

GS: Our fall recruitment has already taken place, but our organization accepts freshmen, sophomores, and juniors as new members. Our next recruitment will be Fall 2014. For any further information, contact President Mimi Striplin ( or visit Also, check out our Facebook page (College of Charleston Student Alumni Associates) and follow us on Twitter, @CofCSAA.

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