Diversity in her student experiences led London McCloud, Kogod/BSBA ’02, to equally varied and enriching experiences as an alumna. By day, London is a trade specialist, working to ensure maritime compliance of international development projects financed by the US government.
Also still a fixture on campus at AU, London finds time to serve on the Alumni Board and to involve herself in the lives of many current students. “I think people often associate giving back with making a financial contribution,” London says, adding “when, in fact, the most valuable way of giving back is by volunteering.”
Studying abroad and meeting new people while at AU led London, a native Washingtonian, to think about the world in a whole new light. “I met so many different people from different backgrounds and from all over the world. I made lifelong friends,” she says. “To be in an environment such as AU where we can all benefit from cultural exchange and come together was one of the most influential experiences of my life.”
London is still mixing worldly experience with people at AU. In addition to her service on the Alumni Board—and as chair of its affinity outreach committee—London mentors current students and was recently nominated for the American University NAACP Mentor of the Year award. “I was very proud of that,” she says, “because that means my interaction with students has been a positive experience for them. You will be amazed how encouraging words can influence a student’s experience at AU.”
“I’m for giving back,” London says. “Life takes all of us through stages and phases. This is my time for giving back. I value my time and experience at AU more than ever before. And I tell students it’s so important to stay connected, to find ways to give back. Giving back is part of who I am, but I give to AU because I had such a positive experience.”
“Positive doesn’t mean perfect,” she adds of student experience, “but I very much value the environment, the people, the professors, the experience, and the opportunities.” And to prospective alumni volunteers, she says earnestly: “Find a passion project and pursue it....it’s beyond rewarding!”