For some, it takes a village. At Suffolk, there’s an entire city.
The University’s location in the heart of downtown Boston means unparalleled access to dozens of companies and institutions in Greater Boston, and Suffolk has developed ongoing relationships with many organizations to provide opportunities both for Suffolk students and the University’s partners.
“Partnership is a force multiplier, and its impact is much broader and more significant than a single connection or interaction,” said College of Arts & Sciences Dean Maria Toyoda, who hosted Suffolk’s first Partnership Breakfast celebrating these relationships.
Nearly 200 people attended the event, including students, faculty, staff, and representatives of organizations that partner with the University, including Deloitte, Boston Public Schools, the Museum of Science, Merrill Lynch, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Tufts Medical Center, law firms, ad agencies, and many more.
President Marisa Kelly thanked the partner organizations and acknowledged the impact they have in helping to “launch our students onto new pathways” by giving them valuable experiences.
Mike Wasserman, executive director of the Boston Debate League, recounted how helpful Suffolk is to his organization as it hosts debates and mentors high school students who come to campus to take courses.
“You have these amazing resources in the center of the city and a leadership team that basically always says, ‘Yes,’ to any idea we might have,” Wasserman said. “We’re incredibly grateful for the partnership that we’ve been able to build and see the richness that Suffolk brings to the city and our students.”
Sammi Elefant, JD ’18, began her remarks with what might be a summary of the entire event: “I’m standing in front of you as the direct product of a partnership between Suffolk and a Fortune 100 company.” Elefant explained that because of work she’d done as a law student with partner Liberty Mutual, she was “practice-ready even before graduating.”
Latoyia Edwards, Emmy Award-winning anchor at NBC10 Boston, spoke about the long partnership linking Suffolk’s Studio 73 and her station. Although she attended another area college, Edwards said she always marveled at the opportunities at Suffolk for aspiring TV reporters, many of whom who do live, on-camera segments every week on “Suffolk in the City.”
“We feel fortunate to be connected to the University,” said Edwards. “My station loves Suffolk so much. This partnership means so much to us, and we get so much out of it.”
Lina Cañon, BA ’13, spoke movingly about the direct line between the multiple experiences she had as a student—at the State House, with Alternative Spring Break, through the Moakley Center—and her current role in philanthropy at the Imago Dei Fund. Everything she has accomplished is “all because of Suffolk,” she said.
She said that partnering with Suffolk isn’t “just a relationship between you and the University, it’s a door that opens and allows students to enter and discover something challenging, something valuable, and something new. For some of us, it’s completely transformational. Because of these partnerships, I got to experience things I never thought I would—and I mean that: I never even knew they existed.”
In closing, President Kelly asked attendees to think of ways to deepen their relationships with Suffolk.
“As we move forward as a University, partnerships will continue to be increasingly important,” she said. “We’ll succeed in the future through our unbreakable and strengthening ties to the City of Boston and organizations within the city, across the nation, and around the globe.”