Donnelley Center celebrates 20 years of helping nonprofits in New Orleans
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The Shawn M. Donnelley Center for Nonprofit Communications was able to use its own event planning skills to host the center’s 20th anniversary last night.
From past center faculty directors, current and previous staff workers and local professionals to Shawn M. Donnelley, herself, people from all over gathered on the third floor of the Communication/Music Complex to celebrate the center with music, food, a presentation of the students’ work and speeches from the current and past faculty directors.
The Shawn M. Donnelley Center for Nonprofit Communications, which was founded by Donnelley in 1996, gives students experience in providing public relations, videography, branding, social media strategies design and event planning to local nonprofits.
Bridget Burkley, assistant student director, said that she is grateful to the center for nurturing her career as a public relations specialist.
“A big part of it is that Loyola values learning by doing. When I was a first semester freshman, I was in here sitting with clients,” Burkley said. “Donnelley is helping students figure out if they want to be in PR and communications, and then from there figuring out exactly how to do it.”
Wren Overesch, the student director of the Donnelley Center, was excited that Donnelley attended the event and was able to see the progress of the center.
“This is our founder’s, Shawn, first time coming back and seeing it all since 1996, so this is a huge, huge deal,” Overesch said.
Donnelley said she was thrilled to see that the organization she founded is still thriving.
“To see the enthusiasm 20 years later, the same enthusiasm as the first day, is really amazing. The reason for its success is the students and the administrators and the professors— everyone who’s been involved,” Donnelley said.