Letter from Outgoing Alumni Association President Costello Leraris

By Caitlin T. Burns | May 26, 2021

President-Elect Maya Basu Johnson ’97

Bachelor of Arts in Business/Healthcare Administration. She also holds a Master of Business Administration in Information Systems from Temple University and a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) Certification, and is an SHRM Senior Certified HR Professional. 

Maya Johnson serves as the vice president of the Arcadia University Alumni Association; her tenure as president of the Alumni Association begins June 1, 2021. Her extensive service to AUAA includes Volunteer Cultivation Committee Chair, Class of 1997 Class Representative, Class Editor, Recent Graduate Trustee Nomination Committee member, and Honors Program Mentor. Johnson has been a donor since 1998 and became an inaugural donor of Arcadia’s Jones Poundstone Society in 2020.
Fun Facts
 • One of Maya’s favorite memories from her Beaver College days was piling into a dorm room in Dilworth Hall on Thursday nights to watch Beverly Hills 90210. 
 • Maya traveled to London with the Preview program during Spring Break as a first-year student.
 • She was a student worker for Aramark during her junior and senior years and spent the summer after junior year in Atlanta working in the athletes’ dining tent during the 1996 Summer Olympics.

Like many of you, I can remember the moment that I fell in love with Arcadia University. It was 1987, and I had just traveled three hours from New York to tour the Beaver College campus. Immediately, I knew this is where I belonged. Soon after, I received my acceptance letter and with it, a generous scholarship, which my family and I so desperately needed.

That moment and the many beautiful experiences that came after changed my life. As a first-generation college graduate, I vowed that I would always pay my opportunity forward, however I could. After years of sharing my time, talent, and treasure, I had the opportunity to become President of the Arcadia University Alumni Association (AUAA). I embraced the chance to serve as another way to return the enormous gift I had been given. 

Three years later, as my presidential term comes to an end, I write to all of you to share my gratitude for all that we have achieved together. Of our countless accomplishments, I am most proud of our work to develop and implement the Arcadia University Alumni Association’s Strategic Plan, create a career mentoring program, and move to modernize the Alumni Association by simplifying our organizational structure, streamlining committees, and establishing a set of guiding principles to carry us into the future. Still, the most rewarding part of being Alumni Association president was connecting with our rich network of talented alumni. 

I promise this isn’t the end of the road for me; I’ll continue to serve on committees, volunteer, participate in alumni events, and support our alma mater in any way that I can. It is my honor to transition the presidency to Maya Basu Johnson ’97, our current AUAA Vice President. Her pride, energy, and leadership will be a gift to us all; with her guidance, we’ll build on our momentum to strengthen connections with each other and with our alma mater.

Arcadia University and alumni, thank you for three wonderful years of progress. It’s been an honor to serve you. 


Kerry Costello Leraris ’92, ’94MEd 
President, Arcadia University Alumni Association