Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Meet Steve Wurtz, President of the Peirce College Alumni Association

We recently had the opportunity to sit down with Steve Wurtz, a 2008 graduate of Peirce College, to talk about his current role as President of the newly revitalized Peirce College Alumni Association. Read on to hear about his Peirce experience and how it led him to be part of the rebuilding of the Alumni Association.
Peirce Connections: Tell us your Peirce story.

Steve: When I left my previous job, I was told by the president of the company that I would never use the benefit of tuition reimbursement, being at the time I was almost 30 years old, and I almost took that as a personal challenge to go after my degree. I had always had the desire to go back and get a degree, and that gave me a little more motivation. When I got to my current job, after nine months of employment, you’re eligible for tuition reimbursement, and I jumped on that opportunity to go back to college. A Peirce professor taught courses on site, which made it really easy for me and convenient to go back to college. So I did that in the early 2000s and finished my associate degree, and then came right back and finished my bachelor’s degree in Business Administration in 2008.
PC: What are you doing today?
Steve: I work at Quest Diagnostics where I handle telecommunications.

PC: What would you have to say to other working adults out there who are thinking about returning to school? Why was Peirce such a good place to mesh those two worlds?

Steve: I was ready to make a change and make a move to find new opportunities to further my career, and I jumped at it. If you have the opportunity to go back to school, do it. From the day that I started at Peirce, it just reminded me of a close knit group of family, if you will. Everyone enjoyed being at Peirce, working at Peirce, any question you had, if they couldn’t answer it you had a phone call back with the answer from someone who knew. The day I met [current Peirce President] Jim Mergiotti I knew I wanted to be a part of Peirce moving forward.

PC: How and why did you get involved with the Alumni Association?

Steve: I had a phone call from Jim asking me to come down to be a part of the planning day for the new strategic plan, and when I called back to accept, he answered the phone. I was floored that the president of the institution would answer the phone, not an administrative assistant or a voice mail, and I knew I made the right decision by accepting to be a part of it that day. And then I was invited to be a part of the steering committee, moving forward with the strategic agenda, and it snowballed from there. I was asked to be a part of the Task Force to develop the constitution and bylaws for the Alumni Association and then asked to be president.

PC: What are your responsibilities as President of the Alumni Association?

Steve: Right now we are working to build the framework for the Alumni Association. We started off with three committees that we want to really focus on to begin with -- Career Services, Admissions, and Alumni Outreach. Eventually we plan to have many other committees, such as a Nominating committee, Awards committee, Reunions and Special Events, to name a few. So the group is still in its formative stages. We’re tasked with building this and rolling it out for the big Spring Reception on May 23 at the College.

Obviously, the Alumni Association doesn’t start when you graduate. It starts by getting people to recognize that the Alumni Association exists from the day they walk through the door, or even prior. That’s our goal -- to get out in front of prospective students and be a part of their career at Peirce, so that when they do graduate, they want to be a part of that alumni association and outreach to others, whether it’s from an admissions perspective, whether it’s mentoring or helping out in other ways, so it starts early.

PC: What are some goals or hopes that you have for the program in the years to come?

Steve: We want to find points of relevancy which will make people choose to continue their Peirce connection after graduation. We hope to engage those people to the point that they will want to give back to Peirce College, whether it’s through time, talent, or donations. We want to align people with the idea that Peirce is going to help them further their career and we want to make sure that we find those points of relevancy that inspire alumni to give back to Peirce.

Another one of the things that I think is important is to make sure that we’re reaching alumni, especially some of the older alumni, to reintroduce them to Peirce as is it is today with 4-year degree offerings. Peirce has a lot of new benefits to offer so they need to come back and check us out!

PC: How can Peirce alumni get involved?

Steve: First of all, the Spring Reception on May 23 is a date that everybody wants to get on the calendar. This is going to be the roll out of the Alumni Association, so everyone should come to that event. In the meantime, we need people to be part of the committees to support the chairs and work through how we want those to develop, especially the newer ones that we’re looking to create. If any alumni have questions, they can ask me, Chuck Wright, Rosemary Connors, or anyone else in the Office of Institutional Advancement and we’ll be happy to help. There are plenty of opportunities to give in many different ways. And don’t forget May 23!
Thank you for your time, Steve! We look forward to seeing what comes from the revitalized Alumni Association in the months ahead and we echo Steve’s encouragement for Peirce alumni to put the May 23 Spring Reception on their calendars and come find out more about what is planned for the future of Peirce College. For more information or to get involved, e-mail the Office of Institutional Advancement, visit our website, or call me at 215.670.9003.