Award-winning volunteer leads regional chapter and plans diverse slate of events
Meegan McVay ’95 enjoys coordinating the effort to keep Washington, D.C. area alumni connected with their alma mater back in Easton. After serving four years on the chapter’s executive committee, she became president.
“I focus on planning a variety of activities – receptions, sports events, cultural outings – for local alumni so that they can stay connected to one another and to [Lafayette],” she explains. “I work closely with our chapter’s two vice presidents, treasurer, web master, and other executive committee members. We have an excellent team in place, and Jamie Hughes ’05 [assistant director of alumni affairs] and Lydiah Spano [alumni affairs office assistant] in the alumni affairs office are always there to help out!”
“My four years at Lafayette were wonderful and staying connected via the D.C. chapter is both a way to be informed about the College’s myriad accomplishments as well as to give back to the College that was very generous to me,” she says.
McVay believes that chapter participation not only helps alumni reconnect with old friends, it also provides valuable networking opportunities.
“I enjoy playing an active role in the D.C. chapter and organizing events through which local ’Pards can convene and catch up with classmates, make new acquaintances, interact with professors and others from Easton who make a visit to Washington, etc.,” she says. “In my decade-plus of living in D.C., I have made many connections – with fellow Lafayette grads who were in Easton both before and after me – which I probably would not have made otherwise.”
McVay will be honored as Chapter Support Person of the Year at the annual Alumni Recognition Luncheon Saturday, Nov. 3. In addition, the D.C. chapter will be recognized as Chapter of the Year.
“Nobody exemplifies the definition of a volunteer more than Meegan,” says Hughes. “Since taking over the Washington, D.C. Chapter presidency last year, she has taken the organization to new heights. In addition to planning a diverse array of events like the recent luncheon and tour of the A Son and His Adoptive Father exhibit at George Washington’s Mount Vernon estate, this past April Meegan led the chapter’s participation in a local MS walk that raised awareness about Multiple Sclerosis.”
McVay also has been an alumni admissions representative for the last two years and serves on the Alumni Volunteer Committee headed by Ellen Weiler ’83. She helped mentor Lafayette’s first Posse class from the D.C. area prior to the group’s arrival on campus.
“Lafayette College is lucky to have such a special volunteer like Meegan,” says Hughes. “I cannot thank Meegan enough for her tireless efforts as a volunteer and congratulate her on all that she has accomplished.”
A senior development associate at the U.S. Civilian Research & Development Foundation (CRDF) in Arlington, Va., the international affairs graduate has found that the skills she developed as an undergraduate still come in handy. CRDF is a nonprofit organization that promotes international collaboration in science and technology.
“As a liberal arts major, naturally my courses consisted of significant amounts of writing assignments,” she says. “In each of my positions since finishing undergrad, the writing skills I honed at Lafayette have been invaluable.”
She also credits Lafayette’s international affairs program with nurturing her interest in the global community and giving her opportunities to explore that interest abroad.
“Professor Rado Pribic [Williams Professor of Foreign Languages and Literatures and chair of the international affairs program], who I had in class and was my thesis adviser, was terrific,” says McVay, who earned a master’s degree in international affairs from George Washington University in 1998. “He created a fabulous international affairs program, which – at least at the time – was something not found at many small colleges. Through courses, an interim session in Germany and the Czech Republic led by Professor Pribic, and studying abroad for a semester in Valencia, Spain, I developed a strong interest in international affairs, and much of my work life has centered on international issues.”
McVay previously held development and grant writing positions at American University’s Office of International Affairs and the Brookings Institution. She earned another master’s degree last year from American University.