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Saints Spotlight – Bailey Bundy

Shannon Smyth (SS): I am here today with Bailey Bundy, Director of Alumni and Parent Engagement. Could you tell us a little bit about yourself and your role and how you got here? 

Bailey Bundy (BB): I’d love to. Well thanks for having me. So yeah, so, I have been in the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky region for about four years. I long story short grew up in Maryland; I went to Gettysburg college where I got my degree in art and art history. I played Lacrosse and was very active on campus from there I moved to D.C. where I was a live-in nanny. I started my master’s degree all online. I got my master’s degree in higher ed administration. And I was living in D.C. and the family got a job opportunity here in Cincinnati at Kroger and they asked if I wanted to move with them. So, I took the leap of faith and said yes. I had never been to Cincinnati. I had never been to this area of the country, so it was a big move, but I am blessed that I took the leap of faith. I graduated with my master’s in 2017 and I started working at saint Ursula academy in Cincinnati where I was the alumni relations director. And fast forward to December of last year I started working here at Thomas More.

SS: Wow that’s really cool, leap of faith is a good way to go. 

BB: Absolutely.

SS: What’s your favorite part of this area since you said you’ve never been to this area before December? 

BB:One of the big things I saw was that the culture is much more…it’s just a little bit slower. People are much more friendly. I loved growing up on the east coast but there’s something to this area, there’s something about the Midwest, and I definitely felt that when we first moved. Even on our plane ride moving to Cincinnati, the flight attendants were bubbly and chipper and wonderful. And that was kind of our first experience in Cincinnati. So, some of the things I love again just the culture, I really like the food, I like the up and coming trends, the trendy food. I’m a big foody so I love downtown Cincinnati and I love all the good hot spots. 

SS: Do you spend a lot of time in Over the Rhine, with the good food they have down there? 

BB: I do, I do. I’m a big fan of Bakersfield and Nada and all those good ones. And again, just learning all the wonderful things we have. We have bourbon right down the road. That is something I’ve gotten into and learned more about. Craft breweries, I didn’t really grow up with those or knew what those were and so that was something I’m excited about and love trying new things. And again, the food scene really reminds me a lot of D.C. in the sense that it’s trendy and its up and coming and I think that we have a lot of great opportunities in this area. 

SS: Yeah definitely that’s excellent. Well were glad you’re here. 

BB: Thanks! Happy to be here. 

SS: So, in terms of alumni things, the next upcoming event will be the homecoming football game at Thomas more here on October 19. What can students and alumni expect to see leading up to that day and that day? 

BB: Yeah, we have a fun week. Student Activities Board is planning U-fest. That is Thursday October 17 from 5-8 in front of the Saints Center. That is a really family friendly event. It is a free event. There will be music, there is food trucks, there is adult and kid friendly beverages. Some fun games. Our dance team is going to be dancing. As well as student activities board and other organizations and what not. That’s gonna be a fun kickoff into homecoming weekend. Then Friday we have our 50th anniversary luncheon and that will be in Steigerwald and that is for the class of 1969. We’re celebrating their 50th year and that’ll be a nice intimate lunch just to kind of welcome them into this golden year. Then that evening we have our first ever Bourbon tasting with alumni and friends that will be a fun event. That will be downtown at the Phoenix in the president’s room and that is from 7-9 p.m. and tickets you can find online on our website. That will be a really interesting event with four different types of bourbons, great menu pairings with a cash bar as well. So, that will be a fun opportunity. Then the big day is October 19 and that’s our homecoming tent party. And that is kicking off at 11 with the football kickoff at 1:30 and what people can expect will really be a fun family friendly day. There will be plenty of kid activities, plenty of food, drinks. The tent will be on the actual track as well so that’ll be fun to be close to the field. We have a bunch of alumni and friends already RSVPing so were excited to see who all can come and attend. 

SS: Yeah, that’s really cool. Tent party sounds like a lot of fun in this heat we’ve been having. 

BB: Yeah, were ready for a cold wave to come through and to kind of bundle up at the football game. 

SS: Yeah, sounds awesome. Will you guys have anything set up in the parking lot like we did for the first game or more down on the field encouraging people to come into the stadium? 

BB: Definitely encouraging people to come onto the field. We have tickets are $20 for alumni, and for family and friends they are $2,5 and kids under the age of 12 are free. So that’s a really great opportunity for people to come and connect with alums and of course you can go back to your tailgating spot and to kind of still party with your family and friends up there as well. 

SS:That’s really cool. I like that. Giving people options of the option of outside tailgating and coming in and having a pretty good view of the football game as its going on. 

BB: That’s right and the perk of this year is that we can have alcohol on the track when traditionally you can’t. So yeah so were excited that we can offer that and kind of continue the party in the stadium. 

SS: Yeah that’s really cool I think that will definitely get people more engaged and down there. 

BB: I think so too. 

SS: Cool, so you mentioned you had a wine tasting recently and have a bourbon tasting coming up. Are there any other events that are after that after homecoming that are coming up for alumni here in the future? 

BB: Yes, we have our alumni awards that will be Sunday, November 10 from 4 – 6:30. The alumni awards have traditionally been immediately following the homecoming football game. But we wanted to take that off of that weekend. Just because we wanted to have more people come and we felt like it might have been a little rushed for alums. So, we wanted to kind of bring that back into an area where they could actually have a day of an event. So, were excited to have it on Sunday November 10th. We will have four alumni, faculty, and staff awardees. So, we are actually calling them this week to let them know that they have been awarded an award. SO were excited about that and other than that we have, we actually just confirmed today that we are going to have our presidential tours. So, President Chillo and our VP of Advancement Kevin Reynolds will be going on a presidential tour starting January 1. So, what that will look like is the President and Kevin Reynolds, our VP will kind of go around the country to major cities where alumni are present and they’ll be able to kind of meet and greet them and to kind of introduce Joe and bridge the excitement of TMU all across our nation. Which is really great. 

SS: Yeah that’s really cool. 

BB: So, more information will come, more details will come but that’s kind of the next big event we have coming up so were excited. 

SS: That’s awesome. So, what’s kind of the goal of the president’s tour? Just meet and greet or is there more a reaction purpose or getting people engaged? 

BB: Absolutely I think it’s a twofold for President Chillo to meet our alumni. This is his first year so it’s important to put him on tour and for people to meet him and see the wonderful things he has planned for Thomas More. The other flip side of that is we want to engage them. We want all our alumni across the world effectively to know that Thomas More is thinking about them. That we want their engagement, we want their support were excited to kind of bridge that gap again and to get people back into the fold of being an alum and being proud to be an alum. So were excited that we get this opportunity to have a presidential tour. 

SS: That’s awesome that’s a really cool idea, I like that. 

BB: Thanks, we’re excited. 

SS: So, what would you say is the ultimate goal of alumni relations and alumni engagement? 

BB: I think the ultimate goal of alumni engagement is kind of just that. Engaging. And what I really like to do and what I love about my job is story telling right so its I get to meet hundreds of alums and to just hear their story and to figure out ways they can get involved with their alma mater. There is a variety of ways people can stay connected, whether it’s through volunteerism, whether it’s through their experience or expertise, whether that’s through a gift, whether that’s through support, there are many ways to stay connected. My job is to really figuring out ways they can and giving them opportunities that they can stay involved and that’ll hopefully lead to more engagement on their end and more excitement. That is kind of my personal goal as well as the goal of alumni relations. 

SS: That’s really cool I like that. 

BB: Thanks. 

SS: Well Thank you, Bailey for being here with us today and telling us all about the great things coming up for Thomas More alumni. Getting them to come back and give back to their alma mater and the rest of the community involved. And we hope to see you all at the TMU homecoming football game and tent party inside the stadium on October 19 starting at 11 a.m.

BB: Thanks so much, thanks for having me!