These Are The Days
National Alumni Board president aims to bridge past, present
by Kelly Knufken

lumni may vividly recall what a fabulous time they had as students at the University of San Diego, but Josephine Bennett wants to make sure they know what’s so great about USD now.

“They have a very good perception of the university,” says Bennett ’81. “They think of it fondly, but they don’t always connect back.”

As the new president of USD’s National Alumni Board, she’s uniquely positioned to help reawaken that bond. She wants to remind alumni that USD is a dynamic campus that is always changing and growing, not least because of climbing school rankings and a growing international focus.

“The more accomplished the university becomes, the more valuable your diploma is,” says Bennett, a vice president and senior relationship manager with U.S. Bank.

She touts a recent alumni gathering in France, another coming up in October in Mexico City and another in November in Japan.

“We have gone from local to truly international at this point,” she says. “It’s very cool.”

USD is practically in her blood, with both of Bennett’s parents and four of her five siblings also having attended the university. They’re also founding members of The Immaculata. “I grew up at USD. I look at the pride, the traditions,” she reflects. “It’s that home that you can always go back to.”

Having received her education at the University of San Diego influences Bennett all the time.

“It’s an approach as to how you conduct yourself,” she says. “They encourage you to be entrepreneurial, investing in yourself and others.”

For many alumni, attending USD was the first major decision they made in their life. “Most folks choose the university; they don’t just happen to end up there. The private university experience is about more one-on-one attention,” she says. “It’s about adopting the values and traditions of a Catholic university.”

Bennett has been involved in the Alumni Board since 2003.

“I believe in the direction it’s going in, and I believe I can help make a difference.”