Skip to main content
Shield icon Arrow cta icon Close icon Pencil icon
SLU Connect - DC 2020 SLU Connect - DC 2020
The Power Of Connections

In Competitive Markets, Laurentians Help Each Other Thrive

St. Lawrence connects current students with successful alumni and parents in some of the hottest job markets across the country.  It’s launching great careers — in great places.

There’s nothing like SLU Connect. 

The program helps St. Lawrence students meet and talk with alumni and parents in some of the most desirable (and hard-to-break-into) job markets across the U.S.  In Washington D.C., New York City, Boston, San Francisco, Burlington, Vermont, and the mountains of Montana, students use SLU Connect to see how they can put their knowledge to work in these communities.

The program has only existed for six years, but hundreds of students have taken part in it. They’ve connected with Laurentians who help them land internships and jobs that change their lives. The impact on our students, the University, and the St. Lawrence network cannot be overstated.

SLU Connect is expensive, however, and for an increasing number of students accepted into the program, financial concerns are preventing them from making the trip.

How It Works

In their application to SLU Connect, St. Lawrence students must make a compelling case for taking part in the program. After students earn a spot on the trip, St. Lawrence provides funding that makes the trip — and important networking — possible. Students cover their own travel related costs.

Student lodging during SLU Connect is covered as part of each student’s program fee, currently ranging from $200-$450.

The Cost — and the Value — of Connecting

“The trips out West are the most expensive,” Jillian McKernan-Walley ’93, P’21 says. She’s the St. Lawrence director of career services and has been organizing SLU Connect trips since the program began. “Each student going to San Francisco or Montana now has to expect the total cost of the trip to be around $2,000,” she says, adding that “this is why more students, approved to join the program, are saying they just can’t afford to go. These students know they’re missing an opportunity that can profoundly change their lives.”

“Our connections, as Laurentians, rely on programs like this,” Kimberly Robinson Hissong ’94 says. She’s the St. Lawrence associate vice president of University advancement and staff liaison for the Alumni Executive Council (AEC). Both advancement and the AEC underwrite costs related to SLU Connect.

“This program is one reason our alumni network is recognized every year as one of the best in the U.S.,” Hissong says. “Our SLU Connect alumni and parents volunteer to help our students make meaningful connections. These Laurentians do this because they know the value of these interactions. It’s not just a handshake and a five-minute chat. Our alumni and parents are actively engaged in the lives of our students. They offer a personalized path to internships and jobs, the best practices to get them, and substantive introductions that expand our network to help our young graduates succeed.”

This is the Power of Connections, the fuel that helps our students realize their potential and contribute to their communities. It’s one of the “Big Ideas” at the heart of The Campaign for Every Laurentian, the largest comprehensive campaign in the University’s history. With a goal of $225 million, the Campaign is raising funds to strengthen bonds across our extensive network. This is what SLU Connect does. Hissong says the program has all the components to continue improving our students lives, except one.

“We have the people, the Laurentians who are committed to our students’ success. Because of them, we also have the energy and time to make all this happen. What we need now is the philanthropic support that will make this program financially possible for all students and to endow it, to continue helping future generations of Laurentians.”

To learn more about SLU Connect or supporting the program, please contact Vice President for University Advancement Tom Pynchon at or (315) 229-5583.