For the first time in its near 50-year history, The Santa Barbara & Ventura Colleges of Law (COL) has a joint Alumni Council to support the interests of its more than 2,000 graduates.
The Council formally came into existence this spring with the adoption of a charter to advance a mission of serving COL and fellow graduates through advisement, engagement, and service. Among the Council’s founders is Jana Johnston (JD, ’03) who also serves as Chair of COL’s Board of Trustees.
“Collectively, our graduates are at the heart of the Santa Barbara & Ventura legal community,” Johnston said. “While many of us remain connected, the Council offers us a platform to do so much more to support each other, plus future alumni of the Colleges of Law.”
Joining Johnston on the Council’s inaugural board are nine fellow graduates:
- Betty Jeppesen (JD, ‘80) Co-Chair
- Deborah Jurgensen (JD, ‘06) Co-Chair
- Virginia Fuentes (JD, ‘14)
- Marietta Jablonka (JD, ’15)
- Guneet Kaur (JD, ‘15)
- Diana Mercier (JD, ‘17)
- Bert Partida (JD, ‘06)
- Lacy Taylor (JD, ‘15)
- Walter Wood (JD, ‘15)
“This is a tremendous opportunity for us to serve our Colleges of Law community as well as the community as a whole,” said Jurgensen. “The more we can reach out and help others, the more others will know about the wonderful tradition of service we have at the Colleges of Law.”
Brainstorming for the Council began last summer and involved alumni from the 1970s to today.
Together they shaped a charter with a vision of:
- Further supporting professional development and mentorship for students and alumni
- Further strengthening the bond between alumni and COL, especially with current students
- Engaging in strategic planning activities in collaboration with COL
- Giving back to the community through service and fundraising activities
The charter declares that all graduates of COL are members of the Alumni Council with governance provided by a 15-member elected board.
“Beyond the board, there will be many opportunities for graduates to get involved,” Jeppesen added. “We will continue to spread the word about the Council and seek input from graduates and the local legal community on how we can make a greater impact. We’re just getting started. It’s exciting.”