“We tell a great story about life after Stony Brook to our students, each other, our community and the world,” said Stony Brook’s new Executive Director of Alumni Relations Matthew Colson. “I’m excited to help tell that story.”
A long-time Long Island resident (starting in College Point, Queens and now in Medford), Matthew lived for many years with Stony Brook practically in his backyard. He is now excited to become part of the remarkable Stony Brook story.
As Executive Director, Matthew oversees a staff of five with the mission of providing superior programs and services for Stony Brook’s more than 150,000 alumni worldwide. He works closely with the Stony Brook Alumni Association’s Executive Committee and with University Advancement to develop student and alumni services that will create and sustain lifelong relationships between alumni and the University.
After taking on the position at the beginning of June, Matthew notes that one of the biggest highlights of his day is reading email announcements of Stony Brook’s most notable news. “I love reading about what new discovery, groundbreaking technology, or solution our professors, students and alumni are introducing to the world,” Matthew said. “We seem to attract and breed people who strive for success,” he added.
Matthew grew up playing soccer and on the stage at regional and Off-Broadway theatres. Both experiences gave him an appetite for working as a member of a team and ensemble to create an exciting and memorable experience for others.
His professional higher-education career began at Southampton College when it was part of Long Island University where he was an admissions counselor and a NCAA liaison for recruitment, and then he went on to serve as Director of Alumni Relations and Stewardship at St. Joseph’s College.
While at St. Joseph’s, Matthew designed and implemented a comprehensive alumni relations operation; creating and executing new programs that were effective in recognizing and engaging alumni into the fabric of the College’s community.
At Stony Brook, Matthew’s aim is to sustain and grow the many volunteer and career development opportunities for alumni. For example, he hopes that many members of the alumni network become ambassadors to the University and will agree to host freshmen send-off receptions that not only welcome new students to the University, but also promotes the value and prominence of the University.
“Alumni can flex the muscle of the Stony Brook community network not only for the sake of the students but for each other.” One of his goals is to expand enriching opportunities to connect alumni with faculty, such as the Association’s “Great Minds in Your Neighborhood” program that invite alums to meet professors who are in the alumni’s town for professional conferences.
“I look forward to engaging the alumni of Stony Brook University both on campus and around the world by building meaningful relationships and programs that are a blend of intellectual, professional and social experiences,” said Matthew. “By weaving our alumni deeper into the fabric of the Stony Brook community we ensure our continued growth as a world class institution.”