As we approach the Thanksgiving holiday, I’ve been reflecting on this past year and the hardships and angst felt by everyone. Loss of jobs, isolation, bitter political debates, and constant worry about our family and friends’ health and welfare is enough to push anyone to the edge.
This year, however, has also made me highly aware of what I have to be thankful for, and it’s really the simple things of life. Breaking bread with my friends, a Monday morning conversation with my teammates about the recent Mountaineer game, a summer cookout with my family, in-person meetings, an impromptu happy hour with my neighbors on my front porch. I could go on and on, and I’m sure you’re missing many of the same.
In the age of social distancing and mask wearing, it can be difficult to remember that you’re not alone in the global struggle against COVID-19. As I said way back in April, connection is the new currency, which is why the Alumni Association is doing all that it can to bring Mountaineers together in a safe and uplifting way.
Whether you’re looking for an opportunity to work on professional development, learn new skills, or you’re simply trying to stay ‘in the know’, the Alumni Association has something for you. Consider checking out our recently launched Alumni Association Webinar Series where you can hear from key WVU staff and partners from varying disciplines this month.
WVU is up and running again! We successfully welcomed students back to campus and classes are underway. It’s been wonderful to see our administration, faculty, and staff come together this summer and navigate the challenges of COVID, making it possible for our students to return safely. By and large, the students have been following the COVID rules as well. Everyone is working hard to keep the community safe and healthy, and we are keeping our fingers crossed for a full football season!
As we continue to serve our alumni, we’ve been busy launching our new webinar series, expanding our outreach, and planning for the future. To do so, we launched a survey to solicit feedback from our alumni about how we can better provide more value for those who have left WVU. The response has been fantastic!
As our digital transformation continues in response to COVID-19, we’re excited to announce that the Alumni Association Webinar Series will be launching on Wednesday, August 12th!
We have national authors and speakers, WVU faculty, staff and deans, and expert alumni in a variety of disciplines who will be participating to bring their ideas, expertise, and research right to you. I think you’re going to be very impressed.
Many of you have recently received a post card from me to let you know that we’ve launched our Mountaineer Memories Oral History project. We’ve teamed up with a company called PCI to record and document the history of WVU through the experiences of our Alumni.
As with the rest of America, the last few months have been quite the experience in shifting the work we do from the physical to the digital environment. It’s actually been much smoother than I would have predicted, and frankly, it’s been good for us. I’d say the WVU Alumni Association has advanced a couple of years in just a few months.
You did it. After years of hard work and dedication, you’ve earned your degree from West Virginia University. On behalf of the WVU Alumni Association, I applaud you for reaching this significant milestone.
Last week, we hosted our Alumni Leaders Institute (ALI) annual conference, an event where we bring Chapter and Interest Group leaders, board members, and University officials together to discuss all things WVU and Alumni. Each year, 100 or so alumni return to campus to spend a couple of days connecting and learning about how the Alumni Association can be of highest value to our Mountaineers everywhere.