Home / Friar Life / Faculty / Alumnus of the Issue: Matt McManus ’08

Alumnus of the Issue: Matt McManus ’08

McManus came back to Malvern earlier this school year to take a job as the Director of Alumni Relations and Athletic Development as well as Assistant Varsity Basketball coach.

Malvern’s Director of Alumni Relations and Athletic Development Mr. Matt McManus ’08 said that he knew he wanted to work at Malvern someday when he was still in high school.

“I knew it as soon as I went to school, and as soon as I graduated school,” he said.

When a role came open in Malvern’s Development Office, McManus jumped at the opportunity. “I said ‘this is no doubt the door that’s opening for me, I’ve got to jump in it while I can, it’s my opportunity to get back to the school full time,’ so I did,” he said.

As Director of Alumni Relations, McManus is responsible for building and maintaining relationships with Malvern graduates.

“A lot comes out of thin air,” McManus said. “For instance, in the fall one of our oldest alums drove up from Tennessee without any notice and just showed up. You drop everything, ask them what they want to do, show them the campus, that type of stuff.”

“Math always proved difficult, thank God Mr. Stinger liked basketball and I was a hoopster so he let me off the hook a few times.”

McManus said that on a day-to-day basis, his primary alumni role involves outreach. “On a day to day, I normally try to reach out to alums, to meet them, pick their brains about their thoughts on the school, if they want to get involved in the school in some capacity,” he said.

His role as Director of Athletic Development, on the other hand, deals with raising funds for athletic teams.

“The Athletic Development piece is working with virtually all of the sports teams to get them the funding that they need to do the things they want to do throughout their season and offseason,” he said.

“For instance baseball wanted to raise money last year to buy new batting cages, which they have now,” McManus said. “[the teams] have a few items that they want to have for the immediate future, and then a few years down the road, so I have a hand in that.”

He is also enjoying his job as Assistant Varsity Basketball coach, “You get to know the kids, you get to know the parents, and I love that aspect of getting involved in different ways.”

Only seven years removed from high school, McManus is colleagues with many of his former teachers.

“It’s funny because now you’re on the other side of things, so they’re all trying to say ‘hey, call me by my first name’ but it’s still very difficult to get past four years of calling them ‘Mr. so-and-so’ or ‘Mrs. so-and-so,’” he said. “I’m not used to that aspect but I’m slowly starting to get used to it.”

“Now that I’m on this side of things and I’m a colleague with them, these are just normal people,” McManus said. “They like to have fun, go out, and they’re just so down to Earth and care so much about the kids, but it’s hard to see that when you’re 14-18 years old and you have so many other things going on. The perception drastically changed.”

McManus said that there are several things that get him excited to go to work every day. He said that going to work every day “doesn’t even feel like a job.”

“What’s not to like about coming back to this campus, getting to see the kids, the unbelievable staff and faculty that we work with. It’s the type of situation where you don’t feel like you’re going to school or going to a job every day, waking up saying ‘aagh, I’ve got to get up and go to work,’” McManus said. “I get to wake up and go back to the high school I went to, and it’s a place I love, so it’s easy for me.”

While at Malvern as a student, McManus said that his favorite class was Spanish.

“I liked Spanish a lot, I won the Spanish award freshman year,” he said. “[I] might have been a bit of a troublemaker back in the day, but looking back at it. I always enjoyed Spanish.”

Conversely, McManus said that math was his least favorite.

“Math always proved difficult, thank God Mr. Stinger liked basketball and I was a hoopster so he let me off the hook a few times,” he said.

Beyond the classroom, McManus was involved in basketball and track, “[I played] basketball all four years, [I] ran track senior year. Thinking back on it, I didn’t do as many things as I would have liked to have done, so I definitely have regrets.”

“After being in the workforce for the past three or four years and seeing what it’s like working at a massive corporate company, it’s very much based off [of] what you’re starting to learn here.”

He also claims to have had the shortest commute to Malvern of any student.

“That grass field over in the top right corner of campus, there are 12 houses in that development and my mom and dad still live at the top,” he said. “I lived closest to the school, yet freshman year I led the entire school in lates because my one brother was a senior and he was driving. He had open periods first period, so he wasn’t really concerned with getting to school on time, and I was a freshman trying to make a good name for myself. Mr. McGuire was not very happy with my homeroom attendance.”

Outside of Malvern, McManus says that he likes to keep moving.

“Now that I live downtown there’s so much to do,” he said. “I love trying new spots to eat. Going down to the beach in the summers, playing hoops. I hit the gym every morning before work. [I enjoy] other types of exercising too, whether that’s biking or playing hoops, tennis, just staying outdoors and staying active. [I’m] always on the move.”

McManus says Malvern has changed a lot since he was in high school, both physically and in pedagogy.

“From a school standpoint, the kids are a lot more forward-thinking and futuristic in the way that some of the things that I know they’re doing on campus with projects that are helping real-world issue,” he said. “That’s something we never dealt with [when I was in school],” he said.

“The collaborative effort that I see them doing now is so much different than what I had going to school,” McManus said. “After being in the workforce for the past three or four years and seeing what it’s like working at a massive corporate company, it’s very much based off [of] what you’re starting to learn here.”

McManus said that the friends he made are one of the things that come to mind first and foremost when he thinks about Malvern.

“When you’re 13 [or] 14 it’s so hard to wrap your head around ‘oh, that kid’s gonna be the best man at my wedding,’” he said. “They set you up for life, and that’s something that you can’t teach, but it’s very much a huge part of what Malvern does.”

McManus said that he hopes Malvern students who have graduated remain aware of the fact that their actions reflect on others. “The last thing that I would want to hear is that a kid who went to Malvern was out doing something that he shouldn’t have been doing, because that reflects poorly on the rest of us,” he said.

“I hope that they understand that once they leave campus, that the Malvern brand doesn’t really leave you. I hope they hold themselves with a certain amount of responsibility and pride in the school.” he said.

McManus says that Malvern students should realize that the Alumni office is a resource to students who have not only graduated from Malvern, but also from college.

“Don’t lose that connection with Malvern. We’re always here as a resource for guys in college and guys who have graduated college, don’t ever hesitate to come back,” he said.

“I talk to guys who are in college all the time looking for internships or jobs and I’m hooking them up with alums who are looking to hire these guys, so don’t get lost out there. Jump into college and have a great time, but always know [that] we’re here for you,” McManus said.

McManus also shared some advice for current students, “Get involved in as many things as you can, because you don’t want to be like me where you look back and say ‘I wish I would’ve tried that,’ or ‘I wish I would’ve done that’. Get involved and jump into it without any regret,” he said.

He also added the need to be thankful for Malvern’s surroundings and circumstances.

“We are unbelievably fortunate to go to a school like this, and we are in a very, very small percentage of people who get to come get an education, meet these people, have these sorts of resources laid out for us,” he said. “We should never take that for granted and give back and help those who are less fortunate than we are as much as possible.”

About Ethan Rowley

Check Also

J-Term becomes more defined

As the year comes to a close, next year’s J-Term becomes more concrete.

School Nurse Mrs. Catherine McGettigan moves to part-time

As she prepares to work part-time and eventually retire from Malvern, McGettigan feels gracious about her time at Malvern.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *