michelle philo

Michelle Philo ’03: Alumni Association President Builds New Alumni Opportunities

Michelle Philo ’03 says the best part about her new role as alumni board president is the opportunity to engage with fellow alumni.

“The breadth of the Chapman experience is very different for every individual I talk to,” she says. “Whether it is alumni who are part of the 50 Year Club or alumni who have just graduated, there is a commonality in the Chapman experience. I enjoy learning how Chapman has played a role in the journey of each alumnus’ lifetime.”

When reflecting on her own time at Chapman, most of Philo’s favorite memories come from life in the residence halls.

“Whether it was having to wear flip flops to trudge through flooded Walnut Street when it rained, cramming 20-plus people in a small dorm room to watch ‘South Park’ together every week on a 20-inch television box, late-night conversations with fellow students or the Resident Advisor orientation and retreats, it was a time I look back on fondly,” she says.

Philo, who is the principal at Philo Law Firm, P.C., first joined the Alumni Board of Directors in 2018, after a classmate invited her back to campus. 

“It was such a wonderful experience to be able to tour the new facilities and explore all Chapman had to offer to current students,” she says.

When she learned about the Alumni Board, she thought it would be a perfect opportunity to give back to Chapman and current students. Since joining, she served in various capacities including vice president of development and vice president of strategy and operations before being elected as president in 2023.   

“This year’s Alumni Board is a fantastic group of alumni with energy and initiatives that will carry forward through the next couple of years,” she says. 

Many of the ideas generated over the past few years are now being implemented, she says, including an alumni-to-alumni recognition project, ongoing Chapman learning experiences and representing Chapman alumni at various school and community events.

“I encourage all alumni to find a way to become involved in Chapman,” Philo says. “Make sure your contact information is up to date with Chapman so you can receive updates when the Chapman on the Road series is in your town or when there is a Chappy Hour near you. Offer to mentor a student through the new Panther Network. If you are local, be sure to stop by campus for an event and mingle with fellow alumni — several events on campus now feature alumni mixers beforehand.”

Alumni who want to help implement these initiatives can join an alumni board committee, or even become a board member — the application will be available in the upcoming months.

“In short,” says Philo, “there are a number of ways for any alumnus to not only contribute to Chapman, but to still experience the community that brought us together.”  

Learn more about how you can become involved with the Alumni Association

Staci Dumoski

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