BSM works to create better relations with Alumni

Jackie Scherer

In order to establish firm connections to BSM, alumni depend on a strong leader to manage events and reunions, and the new Associate Alumni Relations Director Sandy Janssen Barry (‘86) fits the bill exactly. Starting the job only five weeks ago, Janssen Barry accepted the position with enthusiasm and an incredibly powerful work ethic.

A BSM alum, Janssen Barry was practically born for the Associate Alumni Relations Director’s school-focused requirements. “I had a fabulous experience at BSM in high school. When I came back four years ago for my class reunion, I was approached by Ms. Lenhart-Murphy, who suggested I apply for the opening [for Associate Director] because I had the right personality,” said Mrs. Janssen Barry.

Mrs. Janssen Barry’s determination to get the job gave her the opportunity to work as associate full-time, instead of the part-time position that was initially offered. “When the position opened, I was so excited. I had so many positive memories from BSM, and I wanted this job to be mine. Not just part time,” said Mrs. Janssen Barry.

As Associate Alumni Relations Director, Mrs. Janssen Barry is in charge of arranging events including a pre-Thanksgiving dinner and an alumni event at the spring musical. “I’m basically responsible for building life-long relationships with alum from Benilde, St. Margaret’s Academy, and Benilde-St. Margaret’s,” said Mrs. Janssen Barry.

Another major perk of being the associate director is working with the head director, Mary Fran O’Keefe. “When I heard I would be working with Mary Fran, I was like ‘I’m in!’ Working with her is amazing because she knows me and she knows everyone else. I’ve yet to meet someone that doesn’t know Mary Fran, either,” said Mrs. Janssen Barry.

Since her graduation from BSM in 1986, the school’s atmosphere has changed quite drastically for the better. “BSM is a college prep school that has become very competitive in sports, but what I like nowadays is the emphasis on servant leading and how the mission is to make students servant leaders for the community,” said Mrs. Janssen Barry.

Obviously, being a BSM alum gives Mrs. Janssen Barry an advantage in her line of work. “I was the youngest of five siblings, so having those twelve years of history increases the chances that someone will recognize the name. Being an alum also helps with the initial connection; or opens the conversation door,” said Mrs. Janssen Barry.

Although only having the job as associate director for the past five weeks, Mrs. Janssen Barry admits to loving the job, even with all its challenges. “I was assigned to work the Grandparent’s Day photos, and that was hilarious. Aside from that, I loved it. Everything else so far has been at my pace,” said Mrs. Janssen Barry.