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A Letter from James P. Oates ’95

Photo: James P. Oates ’95, president of the Alumni Board of Directors, speaks at a Gaels Go Further Mentoring event.

Dear fellow alumni,

On behalf of the Iona University Alumni Association Board of Directors (Alumni Board), holiday blessings to our more than 55,000 alumni around the world. As the newly elected president of the Alumni Board, it is with great pride and gratitude that I took on this role this year. I am excited to work alongside a talented and dedicated group of alumni on the board. Each board member brings a wealth of experience and passion for fulfilling our mission.

We recently renewed the Alumni Board’s purpose to Engage, Connect, Leverage, and Benefit the Iona community. Aligned with this purpose and in support of the Office of Advancement, we set ambitious goals to do everything we can to (i) significantly increase the alumni participation rate and increase the financial support alumni can provide to the current and future generations of Iona students, (ii) promote and grow Gaels Go Further networking and mentoring programs; and (iii) reshape the way we engage our alumni through affinities and engagement opportunities. We aim to keep you informed about the latest developments on campus, provide opportunities for meaningful involvement, and ensure that your voice is heard.

These efforts are critical to leverage and build on the successes and momentum at Iona University. We welcomed the Class of 2027 to campus in September, continuing to see a year over year increase since 2019, welcomed back to campus over 1,000 alumni for Alumni Weekend in October, and celebrated the milestone anniversaries of the Classes of 1963, 1973, 1988, and 1998. Also, the Wall Street Journal ranked Iona University #66 in its list of the 2024 Best Colleges in America (out of 400 other higher ed institutions), #8 Best Catholic College in the Nation, and the #4 most highly recommended college in the Northeast by students, tied with Yale University. This exciting news comes at the heels of the launch of Iona Ireland, a new campus pilot in County Mayo. Go Gaels!

For all my fellow alumni who are already active with Iona, please accept our deepest gratitude—your efforts are contributing to these successes. For all others, we urge you to become active alumni and share in the exciting opportunities Iona has to offer, show appreciation and play a part in taking Iona University to the next level. This can include attending events, cheering for our teams, staying connected to each other by joining Gaels Connect (our exclusive networking and mentoring platform), and of course, offering your time, talents and treasure to help Iona students.

You can find all alumni-related information on Through this site, you can: get involved with the Alumni Board, read about inspiring alumni accomplishments, find out about upcoming alumni activities, learn about on-campus events, volunteer and much more.

On behalf of all of us on the Alumni Board, we very much look forward to connecting with you, learning from your experiences, hearing your feedback, suggestions and ideas and building a brighter future for our alumni community.

James P. Oates ’95
President, Iona University Alumni Association Board of Directors

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Mentees chat at a Gaels Go Further event.
Gaels Go Further Mentoring provides students with networking opportunities, support with interview best practices, direct connection to successful alumni and more.

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