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Paying It Forward

As a student ambassador, student government association senator and member of the phonathon program, Naqash Ali ’15 was a voice for Salem State, often engaging with alumni and donors who shared his passion for the university.

While working in the phonathon, a fundraising program that recruits student callers for alumni and friends’ outreach, Naqash was often a bridge to our greater Viking community, updating individuals on campus activities and priorities. This is when he decided to make his first gift.

“As a student, I learned that giving back didn’t mean I had to give hundreds or thousands of dollars. I could start anywhere. I never thought about it before I became connected through the program, and I quickly realized just how important it is.”

Since graduating with a degree in business administration in 2015, Naqash continues to give back to his alma mater and still stays in touch with his professors. “I’m very thankful for my Salem State experience and for the professors I had while I was in college. They’ve continued to be very supportive of me and my career aspirations.”

And not only is Naqash giving back, but he’s paying it forward. He frequently encounters prospective students in his job working at his family-run business in Peabody and encourages them to apply to Salem State. “The high school students that come into our store often talk about not knowing their next move, so I talk to them about SSU and how they can remain close to their family and save money.”

Naqash is proud of his Salem State experience and continues to be an ambassador years after graduation. “Salem State has given so much to me, and I’m happy to be able to pay it forward however I can.”

Alumni Relations
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