1 in 7,017: Bea Maloney finds unexpected passion for alumni relations

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Bea Maloney, ’19, is a double major in applied mathematics and economics and is the president of the Association of Student Alumni (ASA). ASA is a student-run organization on Lehigh’s campus that focuses on building relationships between current students and alumni. (Chenming Wang/B&W Staff)

As a high school senior, alumni relations was not something Beatrice (Bea) Maloney, ’19, realized was important at the time.

Maloney is the president of the Association of Student Alumni (ASA), an organization that fosters alumni and student engagement, Lehigh traditions, school spirit, promotion and education for students on the impact that their donation can create.

Now, in the second term of her presidency, she said there were many things she looked for in a college back in high school. Once Maloney came to Lehigh, she realized the added benefit of having a strong connection with alumni, so she decided to become involved in ASA her first year.

Since taking on her role as president, Maloney has worked to increase ASA’s influence on campus.

“I think we have really worked to get our name out there in the past few years,” Maloney said. “We are constantly trying to add events and experiences.”

When she was a fist-year, Maloney said ASA consisted of 25-30 members. Now, the organization has about 50.

Caitlin Saunders, ASA’s adviser and associate director of student engagement in development and alumni relations, said Maloney has played an integral role in increasing the impact that ASA has on campus.

One of the events she worked on during her tenure was creating the first senior barbecue in the fall 2018.

“Bea (Maloney) has really worked hard to increase our visibility and has forged new partnerships with a number of different organizations and people,” Saunders said.

Maloney planned the barbecue to “promote all things 2019” with other ASA members such as Caroline Weisstuch, ’19, the first senior class gift coordinator of ASA.

Weisstuch said she and Maloney developed and expanded the gift coordinator role. She is responsible for planning events, for collecting the senior gift and encourages students to give back to Lehigh, both as students and alumni.

Maloney encouraged Weisstuch to join the executive board.

Weisstuch said she always has felt supported by Maloney, and it’s clear how passionate she is about the organization.

“She encourages everyone to make ASA a top priority and shows everyone the impact that ASA could have on campus,” Weisstuch said. “There is no other organization really like it here, so the potential for growth is incredible. The steps that the club has taken in the years since she has been president are steps in the direction to make ASA a really high-profile club on campus.”  

Saunders said Maloney has helped ASA become more involved with the class rally, commencement and reunion, helping to develop a stronger relationship with the Young Alumni Council.

ASA also sent members to the Council for Advancement and Support of Education Affiliated Student Advancement Programs district conference for the first time this year. It was an opportunity to represent Lehigh while networking and learning about other student-alumni and philanthropy groups.

“It’s been a huge advantage that she has been able to serve two terms as president,” Saunders said. “You can only accomplish so much in one year and when you are turning over leadership year after year, it is hard to make significant progress.” 

She said it’s been helpful to have Maloney in the role for two years so she could continue to work toward her goals, which may not have been able to be accomplished in a single term.

Over the years, Maloney has gained more spirit, appreciation, and responsibility for ASA and the philanthropy aspect of giving back to Lehigh.

“I’ve certainly seen Bea (Maloney) grow not only as a member of ASA, but as a leader,” Saunders said. “The longer she has been in a leadership role, the more she has embraced the goals of the organization and made them her own.”

She said Maloney has shown more dedication to ASA than any other student that she has worked with in her time.

Weisstuch said she believes it’s Maloney’s passion and encouragement that make her a great leader. 

“She is really great at motivating the club,” Weisstuch said. “She has a lot of energy and brings an infectious spirit to the club. It makes you want to get as involved as she is.” 

While Maloney reflected on her time and involvement in ASA, she also looked forward to the future.

She said she is going to miss the people at Lehigh and working to create something, while watching it come to life. At the same time, she said she is ready to graduate and become an alumna.

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