Alumni success rooted in faith


Franciscan University recently introduced its first Alumni Success Book, which includes statistics on Franciscan bachelor’s degree recipients post-graduation to show the success of the university’s graduates.

Tim Delaney, director of Alumni Relations, explained that the book is a joint project of the Office of Admissions and the Development Office meant to help prospective students and donors understand the amount of success Franciscan students achieve after graduation. The university surveys the success of alumni each year, but the survey results on the class of 2015 were the first used for an Alumni Success Book. Delaney said that this is because there is an increased need to advertise the benefits of a degree.

“Students are making college choices (based) much more (upon) after college than they were about five, 10, 15, 20 years ago, so showing success, showing results, has become a need for Admissions,” said Delaney.

In addition to helping prospective students, the Alumni Success Book is helpful for donors who want to see that the university is placing alumni after college.

“We’re doing a good job of (placing alumni) … and people don’t necessarily know that,” said Delaney. “You don’t know the education you’re getting until you get out there … but our grads who go on to law school, med school (and) grad school all do very well against their classmates, some from Ivy League schools, some from big state schools.”According to the 2016 Alumni Success Book, which is based on the class of 2015, 98 percent of bachelor’s degree recipients are employed, in graduate school or serving the Church within one year of degree completion. This is based on surveys, social media and faculty advisors of alumni. Of those 98 percent, 69 percent are employed, 20 percent are in graduate school and nine percent are in missionary work, the seminary or religious life. Several majors have a 100 percent success rate, such as education and nursing.

Delaney attributes this success to the integration of faith and reason in the classroom. He said that Franciscan alumni have a good foundation based on the “mind, body and spirit.”

“Our students, if they take advantage of the four years here, they really can have themselves on a firm ground, so that when the world rocks them they’re not going to sway,” said Delaney. “I don’t mean just in their faith, but I mean in the economy bouncing around … there’s a good base here so that they can go back, when those things happen, and put it in God’s hands.”

Delaney highlighted one example of the integration of faith and reason continuing after graduation. He told the story of one alumnus with a bachelor’s degree in theology who went on to work as a homicide detective, who also hosts a Spanish language catechetics radio show and is pursuing a master’s degree in catechetics.

Delaney said that continuing to integrate faith after graduation is a trend across all majors.