At a recent networking event in Palo Alto, Calif., more than 150 Cal Poly alumni stopped by to say hello, reconnect and reminisce. That’s not unusual for the San Francisco-San Jose Chapter, one of the university’s largest and most active groups, covering San Francisco, San Mateo and Santa Clara counties.
“We want our alumni to remember why they fell in love with Cal Poly in the first place,” said Sarah Storelli (English, ‘11), current chapter president. “One way to do that is to host a variety of events and activities that represent their interests.”
This thriving chapter has transformed since the ‘90s when Bassel Anber (Construction Management, ‘94) led the charge to revitalize the group through grassroots efforts. “It was an incredible pivot point for the chapter, allowing us to offer more frequent, larger and higher quality events,” Anber said.
The chapter has hosted more than 13 diverse events in the last year, including after-work mixers and volunteer events. Most iconic are their regular sporting events: an annual San Francisco Giants tailgate party and a San Jose Sharks game and dinner. Both events have been going strong for 10 years.
The frequent business networking events are perhaps most helpful to the young graduates flocking to the Bay Area. In a region where Mustangs work at companies like Google, Apple and Cisco, alumni connections are invaluable.
“Whether it’s hiring a Cal Poly graduate or helping a young alumnus find a new roommate, we want our alumni to feel like they can easily connect and remain a part of the Cal Poly family,” Storelli said.