Columbia College Chicago Theatre Department Launches Alumni Network

The Columbia College Chicago Theatre Department, in partnership with Columbia College’s Development and Alumni Relations office, has launched a Theatre Alumni and Friends website. The Theatre Department alumni outreach initiative, aimed at former students as well as graduates of the Columbia College Theatre program, is coordinated with the college’s new Alumni Network, a dynamic community that actively shapes what’s next through creative practice, philanthropy, and leadership. The Alumni Network offers access to alumni-only events, professional development and career support, news and announcements, and much more. Membership in the Columbia College Alumni Network at both the Collaborator and Innovator membership levels facilitates alums’ connection to the college and to their fellow alumni as well as to future alumni–the next generation of creatives.

Susan Padveen (Photo: Carin Silkaitis)

The new Theatre Alumni and Friends website was announced by Susan Padveen, a longtime faculty member who is currently the Interim Allen and Lynn Turner Chair of the Columbia College Theatre Department. The website contains news of the professional accomplishments of Theatre alumni, faculty, and students, as well as information about Theatre Department productions and other events. Alumni are urged to send their own news to the Theatre Department for posting on the website and for inclusion in “The Green Room,” the Theatre Department’s blog.

In in an email sent to Columbia College Theatre Department alumni and friends, Padveen wrote:

“Eyes covered, then uncovered: ‘I see you.’ It’s a childhood game that somehow comforted us when we were children. We lost them and then found them again, even though they were right there. We were seen. In that seeing we knew we were accepted, cherished.

“I see you. It’s a powerful statement—particularly at this time in history. In our plays, in our classes, we are trying to be seen, to be heard, to let those who have traditionally found themselves to be hidden to come into the light. It’s a process that needs keen attention and an open heart.

“As we look to move forward and make changes in classes, production, management, we would love to have you be part of our present and future process—to join us in asking the hard questions, to hold us accountable to our plans, to support us.

“Please join the Alumni Network. Any donations you make as a member at the Innovator Level can be directed by you to specifically support the Theatre Department and our student scholarships.

“And, please email me with your ideas, your suggestions, your feedback. If you want to come back to the Theatre Department to visit us, to see our shows and meet our students . . . we want to see you, too!”