A Minute with Lori Otto, Director of Alumni Engagement

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What is your role with the College, and where does your passion for this role stem from?

I am the director of alumni engagement and have been in this position for almost a year. A primary aspect of my role is to plan events and activities that encourage alums to stay connected with their alma mater. I have previous experience with event planning as a board member of the Parent Teacher Student Organization (PTSO) at my daughter’s school and helping run the Bellevue Youth Recreation Association (BYRA) for softball and baseball for several years.  I interacted with many volunteers in these positions, which has aided in managing the Alumni Council, a group of alumni volunteers who meet monthly.

What are the most exciting parts of your role?

The most exciting part of my job is meeting new alumni, traveling to event destinations and participating in event activities. I have heard so many wonderful stories from a variety of backgrounds! Not surprisingly, they all share the same theme of “Olivet is like family.”

What “words of wisdom” have you lived by that students can learn from?

My parents expected me to “always try my best” regardless of the activity. Whether it was academics, sports or other extra-curricular clubs, they always expected me to try my hardest, which is different than expecting me to BE the best. This is a good thing because I wasn’t the best athlete on any field! This attitude helped me excel during college and has helped me advance throughout my work career.

What is an interesting or little-known fact about yourself?

I was a competitive clogger for a couple of years (the tap shoe kind, not the wooden shoe). My mom taught dance my entire life, so I was used to competing in all types of dance, but I stopped taking lessons at 13. My mom convinced me to come back as an adult and compete with her and another dancer her age.  We were easily the oldest dancers at every competition!



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