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Joanne Mendes ’79 joins Salem State University Foundation Board

The Salem State University Foundation, Inc. Board of Directors recently appointed New Bedford resident Joanne Mendes ’79 as its newest member. Mendes brings extensive experience in public affairs and community relations management in the public and private sectors to the board of directors.

“Because Salem State University gave me so much, I believe in giving back. As an alumna, I’ve served twice on the Alumni Association Board of Directors, and as a recent retiree, I now have the time to bring my past board and career experience to the foundation,” said Mendes.

Like many other Salem State students, Mendes was a first-generation college student. Her parents, Joe and Rena Mendes, were born in the era of the Great Depression when educational opportunities were limited. Through sheer determination, sacrifice and support from her family, Mendes was able to pursue a college degree, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in political science.

Currently, Mendes spends her time as a volunteer transcriber for the New Bedford Whaling Museum and provides support to Mentoring in Action, an educational resource organization she previously consulted for. Her past professional experience in public affairs and communication will be put to good use on the foundation’s fundraising and engagement committee, which assists the board of directors in overseeing cultivation and solicitation activities.

The Salem State University Foundation, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization that engages the community, inspires philanthropy and stewards resources to invest in student success. Its 23-member board of directors includes alumni and community leaders. 

“Joanne is truly passionate about her experience at Salem State and is committed to supporting current and future generations of students,” said Cheryl Crounse, executive director of the Salem State University Foundation. “Joanne’s journey as a first-generation college student is like so many others at the university. She is a proud Viking who has continually looked for ways to keep her fellow alumni connected, and I am so pleased that her positive energy and valuable insight will grace the foundation board.”

The Salem State University Foundation, Inc.
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