Penn State Smeal Alumni Society Board President Carole McCabe said she had every intention of staying connected to the University when she graduated with a degree in marketing in 1986, but career and family took precedence.

She said that while she returned to campus for an occasional conference or recruiting event, it took an email inviting alumni to Impact Smeal Day, a semi-annual event that offers graduates a chance to interact with students, faculty, and other alumni, to truly re-engage with the college.

“I sat on a panel about networking, listened to some great speakers, and learned about the Alumni Society and the various ways Smeal graduates could get reconnected,” she says. “It was great to learn how I could help.”

Carole McCabe
Carole McCabe

McCabe joined the Mentoring Committee, which she says quickly reminded her how much fun it could be to work on things outside of her career and family responsibilities.

She was elected to the Alumni Society Board in 2017 and began her two-year term as president in July 2021.

“It seemed like a natural progression to get more involved and influence the ways alumni could engage with the college and its students,” McCabe says.

As president, she said she wants to make it easier for Smeal alumni to get involved.

“They can start by just showing up: Attend virtual and in-person events or join alumni groups; volunteer to help students with their professional development through a variety of initiatives, including the Smeal Alumni Mentoring Program; or serve on one of our Alumni Society Committees for Alumni Engagement, Mentoring Program, and Student Success,” she says.

When talking about her own service to the college, McCabe says she is thrilled to be doing this work and getting more involved. “I’d love to have more alumni, including recent graduates, volunteer at Smeal. It’s incredibly rewarding.”

McCabe spent more than 20 years with Vanguard before becoming a business consultant in 2012. She founded Trinity Wellness Advisors Inc., a financial wellness education firm located in West Chester, Pa., in 2020.