A Letter from the Alumni President & Vice President
The low-residency MFA experience is a unique one. Some people come into the Stonecoast program with a lifetime of professional writing experience, others as recent college graduates not even afforded a proper summer vacation before their first residency. Most of us come from someplace in between. But one thing is the same for all of us. We entered the program as writers, and will leave as writers. As important a milestone as it might be, obtaining a Master of Fine Arts degree is simply one more stage in our lives.
While in the program–students are given much needed support as they transition to the next phase of their writing lives. Unfortunately, when this support network is gone, many of us feel adrift and alone. It is a lament we hear all too often from graduates. And no one knows better what life after graduation is like than those of us who have already been there. Despite the oft-told myth of the solitary genius, even those lucky enough to fulfill their dreams don’t get there alone.
That is why over the past months, the SCAA board members have been hard at work, making sure that that support and sense of community doesn’t have to end the moment we cross the stage, diploma (and student loan bills) in hand. We have created a space on the web where alumni can stay in touch with each other (http://stonecoastcommunity.com/), as well as an alumni directory for direct contact information. We’re working with administration to make sure that our ever-growing alumni population plays more of a role in the shaping of current students and in the recruitment of potential ones. This past summer we held an alumni conference/reunion with panels, workshops and other activities and are looking forward to holding an even more ambitious one in the near future. We continue to look for more ways that this vibrant community can stay active in the lives of each of its members and in the world at large. Just remember--you are not alone.
- Matthew Quinn Martin, President and Libby Cudmore, Vice-President Stonecoast Alumni Association