Seniors set to participate in virtual alumni breakfast


Courtesy of Knight Errant

Seniors traditionally wore shirts indicating their future plans to the annual alumni breakfast.

Benilde-St. Margaret’s has been a leading school in the Twin Cities on making sure that the community remains strong and students are still able to receive an excellent education from the comfort and safety of their homes. One event that was forced to be changed was the annual alumni breakfast.

With COVID-19 changing the lives of people around the world, everyone is forced to make adjustments to everything from planned events, to everyday activities such as getting groceries and exercising. One event at BSM that was forced to be changed was the annual alumni breakfast. “This would have been the 6th year of the breakfast.  It has always been held on May 1 because that is traditionally decision day for seniors. Seniors have always worn shirts indicating their next adventure,” Mary Fran O’Keefe said.

In years past, seven seniors would be seated with three alums for a breakfast provided by the Taher staff. During this time they would have a chance to visit and talk about experiences from high school, college, and life. This year, the focus of the event will be the same. Alums are given the opportunity to meet the newest members of the BSM alumni community and the current seniors get to realize and appreciate that they are now a part of this large and supportive group of Red Knight alums. Although the school was unable to have a face to face alumni breakfast, there will be a virtual one over a video call. “We really wanted to continue the tradition and so we reimagined the event to be a virtual one,” O’Keefe said.

We really wanted to continue the tradition, and so we reimagined the event to be a virtual one.

— Mary Fran O'Keefe

While reimagining this new format of the event, they were able to enlist the aid of out-of-town graduates. Usually, there are over 100 alums at the breakfast, but this seemed unmanageable as a virtual meeting with 10 people seemed unrealistic and hectic, so, the advisors decided that 5-6 seniors in a group would be perfect. This means that they needed 40 senior group leaders to manage each group. These “team captains” have a lot of responsibility to represent themselves, their class and the school when making initial contact with the assigned alum. “We looked for outgoing, senior leaders who represented a cross-section of the class and we are very confident that this class and these captains can do very well,” O’Keefe said. 

Among these group leaders are seniors Frida Fortier and Joe Marinaro. The group leaders are required to do a variety of different tasks. These tasks include creating a group of students who will work well together, contacting the alum that their group was assigned and setting up the platform for which the call will be conducted over. “While picking my group I looked for people who I knew would participate and be positive about the situation we are in,” Fortier said. 

Although there are many tasks to being a group leader, these chosen people are looking forward to May 1st and the opportunity to connect with Red Knight Alums across the world. “I’m very excited, I think it will be a great experience to be able to talk to someone who has gone through the exact process we are about to go through,” Marinaro said.