Meet Loyola’s New Director of Alumni Relations
First weeks in his role show Dan Barnett the warmth of the campus and alumni community
April 29, 2013
Dan Barnett was greeting guests at the door of one of his first Loyola alumni events when a man walking past him stopped.
“Did you used to work at Carnegie Mellon?” he asked.
As it turned out, the man was the husband of a Loyola graduate, and Barnett had been his hall director at the Pittsburgh university.
It was a fitting welcome to Baltimore—and to Loyola University Maryland—for Loyola’s new director of alumni relations, who has found the community eager to make connections with one another.
“My first visit to interview with Loyola I knew pretty quickly that this was a good fit for me. When you walk on campus, you feel the warmth of the community, and you see the genuine happiness of the staff and the students.”
Barnett made that first campus visit shortly after the shootings in Newtown, Conn., and he was struck by the community’s response to the tragedy. In his first weeks in his role, he has only come to appreciate the deep sense of community he encountered then and to appreciate that it is influenced by Loyola’s Jesuit values.
“I was raised Roman Catholic, so from a personal values structure, I feel that much of who I am today is grounded in that,” said Barnett, who earned his Bachelor of Arts in Telecommunications from Youngstown State University and a Master of Arts in College Student Personnel from Bowling Green State University. He’ll complete a Master of Public Management degree at Carnegie Mellon in May.
“Being educated in a parochial school does change your relationship with others and your commitment to the less fortunate. When you look at Loyola, you see that is something that is important to alumni.”
During Barnett’s travels to each of the regional chapters, alumni are telling him that they not only want to meet for social and networking opportunities, but that they also want to connect through service and in prayer. “It’s not just about their social connections. It’s about their roots.”
In his new role, Barnett inherits a strong network of regional alumni chapters—and one of his goals is to figure out how he and his colleagues can best serve them. “They are continued advocates for the institution. They are the ones who can continue that lifelong relationship with the people who cannot come back to Baltimore.”
As Barnett looks forward to moving the office of alumni relations to the new alumni house on the Evergreen Campus, where he and his staff will be able to build stronger ties with students—the future alumni—he is taking a close look at how the office be “a nimble, yet very progressive organization, serving the alumni and university community.”
Barnett and his wife, Cara, a respiratory therapist, are living in Towson, Md., with their Labrador mix, Veruca, who is named for the character in Roald Dahl’s book Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Barnett’s favorite movies are Grease and The Natural, and he is already a fan of steamed crabs, even though he just recently learned the proper way to eat them.
Barnett and his wife grew up in Youngstown, Ohio, and met in junior high, though they didn’t date until graduate school. “Our paths just kept crossing,” he said.