Alumni Profile: Jessica Colligan

Submitted by Virginia Weir, Assistant Director of Advancement Communications on October 4, 2012

From classmates, to friends, and now to colleagues, we’re all part of a tight-knit community and share a permanent bond. Fairfield will connect us forever, and I think there’s something very special about that.

Jessican Colligan ’03

Director of Regional Engagement
Fairfield University Office of Alumni Relations

Hometown: Bridgeport, Conn.

Program: Communication

Favorite memories of Fairfield

I was really nervous about going away to college, and I very clearly remember a night, about two weeks into freshman year, when I was sitting on the floor of a friend’s room in Kostka eating pizza and hanging out with my new friends. As I looked around the room, it suddenly clicked for me that I had made a little “home” for myself and everything would be just fine. That may seem like such an unremarkable moment, but I am still friends with that same group of people today, and my best memories from those four years involved them.

I also loved my senior year, when my brother was a freshman at Fairfield, and Thursday was family dinner night. He and his friends would come over to my apartment for a homemade meal and it was so much fun for me to have my brother right there on campus and to be able to get to know his friends.

Who was an important influence on you at Fairfield?

Julie (Coyle) Davis ’94, who was the Director of Advancement Services at the time. She was my boss when I was a student worker in that department, and when I graduated, she recommended me for the full-time position of Assistant Director of Annual Giving. Julie was my boss again a few years later when I moved into the position of Manager of Constituent Relations and when I became Director of Stewardship, so we’ve worked together quite a bit and I have her to thank for getting my Fairfield career started!

What did you learn/discover at Fairfield that you take with you today, both personally and professionally?

The importance of community. I was a student here during a unique time in history, through some extraordinary events including September 11, 2001. The sense of community at that time—the way everyone banded together to pray and to mourn—is something I’ll never forget. There is a good deal of ugliness in the world, yet throughout my 13 years on this campus, I’ve been reminded time and again that there are wonderfully kind and caring people who offer hope and happiness. From classmates, to friends, and now to colleagues, we’re all part of a tight-knit community and share a permanent bond. Fairfield will connect us forever, and I think there’s something very special about that.

Tell us a bit about your new role as Director of Regional Engagement in the Office of Alumni Relations

I have worked at the University in a number of different roles over the past nine years, and I was excited for a new challenge as part of the Alumni Relations team. The AR Office is always extremely busy, but the whole staff works hard together and manages to have fun doing it. In the short time since I moved into this role, I’ve already met some really great alumni, and I look forward to meeting many more!

I will be working to continue to grow our alumni chapters across the country and help strengthen the connection that our alumni have with the University. Just because they’re not on campus every day anymore doesn’t mean that Fairfield can’t continue to be a large presence in their lives! I hope everyone will get involved with their local chapter by attending events, volunteering to be a chapter leader, or even just following their chapter’s Facebook page. I encourage all of our alumni to visit www.fairfield.edu/getinvolved to see how they can become more active with the University, and of course I’m always open to suggestions as to new ways to engage our alumni!

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