Nanci Isaacs '79 posing with two other alumnae

Nanci Isaacs ’79
President, Alumni Association Board of Directors 

Our participation matters. 

Our voices, our experiences…it all matters. 

I’ve learned a lot of things during this time of solitude, and one of those things is that we all need each other. We all—each one of us—matter. 

That’s why I’m so grateful for you. For every one of us. Each Emersonian, everywhere. You, yes you, matter.  

Your stories, your history, what you’ve experienced in your work, your art, your family, and your community…everything you’ve learned, everything you’ve suffered, all the things you’ve tried—it has made you who you are and built you up, stronger now, wiser. And, hopefully, softer. Tough is good, even necessary sometimes, but so is soft, flexible, resilient, gentle, empathetic.  

Nanci Isaacs sitting at a recreation of "the Wall" with her classmates

Another thing I’ve learned is that the surest way to get myself out of a funk is to help someone else.  

So let’s put those things together. Your story matters, and you can lift someone else. We’re back to participation. Where can you share something of yourself, help others, and get a lift yourself, too? 

There are lots of ways to participate in our Emerson family. You’re probably already doing several of them—calling your old roommate, texting your WERS or EVVY buddy, checking in on the friend with whom you went to DC or the Castle or did observed sessions in the Robbins Center. Getting in touch with an old friend will remind you of the person you used to be and a space you used to occupy…that place in Emerson and that place in your heart. 

Use that memory and that place in your heart to help shape how you will participate. Could you attend or initiate an online gathering of your class or club? Maybe you could spend some time on Emerge, answering questions from students or other alumni or joining the conversation in an industry or affinity group? Your story, your experience, your participation matters. Share what you’ve learned to boost others, and you’ll boost yourself in the process. 

And speaking of a boost, an important way you can participate is with your financial support. Now, I know that’s a touchy subject for us, but hear me out. We Emersonians know we are the school, the network, for our fields. But what if I told you the financial support our students receive from alumni lags sadly—strikingly—behind our peer and competitor schools? What if I told you that your participation, at any level, better positions the College to receive grants? That your participation enables us to qualify for outside support that our students need and deserve? 

You don’t need to give thousands of dollars to make a difference. You can participate with any amount that makes you feel the boost. You may have heard the saying “Give until it feels good.” 

Alumna Nanci Isaacs '79 with several other alums at a reunion event

Well, that’s what I do. I think about the gifts Emerson has given me. The gifts Emersonians have given me. The memories, the experiences, the smiles, the support. And I give. I give in thanks and in joy and in appreciation and to support today’s students and give them the boost they deserve. When I first graduated, that amount was a coffee’s worth. Then it was a pizza’s worth, then a nice dinner…and over the years I’ve continued to prioritize Emerson in my giving. And it feels good. 

You matter. Your voice, your experience, your participation matters. 

I hope you will choose to participate. To add your voice to the conversation in affinity groups. To share your experience with students and fellow alumni in Emerge. And, yes, to be a donor, at whatever level feels good. Because your participation matters. 

Let us hear from you. 

CategoriesNews Spring 2021