From the President's Desk
An Update from President and CEO, Sean Frisbee
Judy, a WVU junior majoring in political science, competed with top students nationwide to win a plum internship in Washington, DC. This was her chance to set herself up for post-graduation. However, she had a problem. The internship didn’t pay enough for her to live in the DC metro area. What did she do? She reached out to the Alumni Association for ideas. We sent a note to our alumni and problem solved. Malene, an alumna in Arlington, VA, offered her a place to stay for the summer. Judy not only completed her internship but went on to be hired into her dream job by her internship agency. That’s one example of how Mountaineers help Mountaineers.
John, a 1994 graduate, and his family watched the news with desperation last fall as Hurricane Harvey crept toward Houston. They’d been through hurricanes before, but never one with the devastation Harvey would inflict. As Harvey stalled over Houston and the water rose ever so close to their home, it was clear they’d have to evacuate. Moving what they could to the upper floors and packing the car with as much as they possibly could, John and his family left their home not fully understanding the total devastation that would come. Twenty-five other Mountaineer families experienced similar circumstances. But they were not alone in rebuilding, Heather and Chris, the Houston Alumni Chapter leads, activated the Mountaineer network collecting food, clothing, finding shelter, and organizing work crews to help these families out. Some of the families impacted still have not been able to return to their homes, but our alumni have continued to do what they can to help over the past 8 months. Another example of Mountaineers helping Mountaineers.
Dan, a 1998 graduate, grew up working in his father’s NJ deli and found his way to Colorado after graduation to work and learn about the supply side of the business. His dream was to eventually create a deli/brewery where he could bring together the best NJ sandwiches with Colorado craft beer. He invested in a dilapidated building and over the last two-years alumni members of the Rocky Mountain Chapter volunteered to help him completely renovate the building. When he needed a shipping container for storage, Bill, our chapter lead reached out to a fellow Mountaineer in the UK who runs a shipping business. Within weeks one was delivered at a discounted price. It’s been a long road, but last month the Grateful Gnome opened for business and Dan’s dream is realized. Are you beginning to see a trend? That’s right, Mountaineers helping Mountaineers.
I could go on and on with amazing stories of Mountaineers helping Mountaineers. The stories are endless and heartening. As alumni and friends of WVU, we are part of a unique community—one that shares a passion, dedication, and loyalty to West Virginia and each other. It’s ingrained in our character.
Membership in the WVU Alumni Association is the primary means by which we’re able to build the programs necessary to help foster connections throughout the state, nation, and world. It provides the funding we need to develop our global presence through local chapters and interest groups. It’s how we’re able to build wvuconnect.com, our on-line networking, mentoring, and jobs board for all Mountaineers. It’s how we’ve been able to co-host more than 1,150 on- and off-campus activities year to date, bringing alumni and friends together for education programs, advocacy initiatives, athletic events, and more.
If you are currently a member, thank you for your support. We would not be able to provide the valuable services and programs that our alumni expect and have come to depend on year after year.
If you’re not a member, I ask you to consider joining. As a member, you’ll unlock an incredible number of benefits including discounts at over 300,000 retail stores nationwide, access to WVU libraries, invitations to special events, member-only discounts at our online Alumni Store, and a whole lot more. You’ll also empower us to continue to develop programs and services that help Mountaineers everywhere no matter where they are in life’s journey.
https://secure.give.wvu.edu/alumni-membership and join today!
Three months ago, in my December blog, I mentioned the Mountaineer Alliance and that we’re planning on rolling it out to select cities across the country. As I write this blog, I am on an airplane heading to Austin where we will begin that rollout at the end of the week. So, you ask, what is the Mountaineer Alliance?
The Mountaineer Alliance is our business-to-business network designed to move Alumni and WV forward while creating economic opportunity and a secure tomorrow for future generations. It was originally conceived two years ago by our leaders of the National Capital Area Alumni Chapter. Their idea was to find a way for Mountaineer business owners/leaders to help other Mountaineer business owners/leaders be successful in their businesses while also helping the University and the State. The founders’ vision is that by working together we can help each other grow, expand, and thrive in the business environment.
We decided to refine the concept by piloting the program last year in the Washington, DC metro area and, wow, was it successful! The established goals are threefold:
1. Help Mountaineer business owners/leaders, thought leaders, and experts connect with each other to add value to the individual in their professional role. Participants are able to find potential customers, suppliers, and partners, as well as receive much needed guidance, and advice. Individuals are seeing the benefits of connecting with other Mountaineers in a professional environment focused on helping them.
2. Supporting WVU in a variety of ways including internships, career opportunities, and partnerships with schools/colleges. Our graduates not only need career opportunities, but to be competitive in the marketplace they need quality internships to gain real-life experience. The Alliance is proving to be a powerful tool for Alumni to find their next generation of professionals, while at the same time helping our students. In addition, we believe there are opportunities for businesses to partner with our schools and colleges in technology development and the Alliance will help make those connections.
3. Help West Virginia solve some of its most challenging problems including economic stimulus. By harnessing the knowledge, skills, wisdom, and talents of our business professionals we believe the Alliance can be a powerful force in helping our state. Just last year we had two members of the Alliance bring high-tech jobs into West Virginia and we know there are more ahead! The Alliance will play an important role in the WV Forward project and already made strategic connections between the WV Department of Commerce and key industry experts in energy and tech.
Mountaineer Alliance members meet regularly at a member’s business location. After a short networking time, whoever is hosting the meeting has an opportunity to speak to the group about their business. This is often followed by a guest speaker discussing a timely business topic such as cyber security. The meetings generally last for 2 hours with the majority of the time spent networking. We’ve found, however, that members often hang out long after the event is over discussing business topics.
In addition to Austin, we are currently planning launch dates this spring in Columbus, OH, Boston, and Atlanta. If you live in one of those metro areas and would like to be part of the Mountaineer Alliance stay tuned for the launch date over the next several months. Charlotte, NC and Pittsburgh will follow thereafter and if you live in either of these areas and would like to discuss a leadership role with the Mountaineer Alliance, please contact me at email@example.com .
Our goals are big, and our dreams are even bigger. That’s how Mountaineers roll. Together, we will find success!
The Mountaineer experience has a way of capturing one’s heart. No matter where we called home prior to WVU, we leave with a shared passion, dedication, and loyalty to West Virginia ingrained in our character.
We see this every day at the Alumni Association as we work to provide life-long support to Mountaineers everywhere. When we do this well, we help to create greater success in the lives of all Mountaineers as well as a secure tomorrow for future generations.
This month, we selected ten students to serve as the inaugural cohort of our formal mentoring program. This brand-new initiative will be a 12-month program that includes connection to hand-selected alumni mentors and monthly life-skill seminars taught by WVU graduates.
Students are selected based on academic standing, leadership experience, career aspirations, and community involvement. This group of highly-competitive student leaders will participate in intentional networking opportunities with prominent WVU Alumni, experience training to enhance their communication skills, networking tactics, and professionalism, and learn from other leaders who will help them best prepare to transition from current WVU students to engaged WVU alumni.
Harnessing the knowledge, skills, talents, and experiences of our alumni to support the next generation of Mountaineers is one of our highest priorities. As we fine tune this program, it will continue to grow and flourish. Mountaineers helping Mountaineers is what this initiative is all about. If you would like to participate, please join WVU Connect and make sure to select the box stating you’re willing to mentor a student.
As the snow falls ever so delicately, I’ve been enjoying an unusually quiet morning with a cup of joe and a wonderful view of snow-covered Morgantown. What’s on my mind are the graduates who will walk the stage in a few days and how our Alumni Association will live up to our pledge of providing life-long support to these newly graduated Mountaineers.
This last year was a transformative one for the Alumni Association. We launched new programs such as our smartphone app, WVU Connect, and the Mountaineer Alliance. We expanded opportunities to meet fellow Mountaineers through national networking day and the launch of several new chapters. We engaged students with life-lesson opportunities through seminars and one-on-one meetings with alumni, and we tried new concepts such as our FanFest football tailgate, family adventure camp at Snowshoe, and the opening of an Alumni Store.
By all measures these were successful efforts, but we need to do more.
We still have students graduating without finding an internship or without a job in hand. We still have alumni whom we’ve lost touch with and who could use our help. We still have Deans who need us to help advance their programs. We still need to help move West Virginia Forward.
And so, we look onward to 2018 and the vital role the Alumni Association can play in the lives of our Alumni, the University and the State. Here are some of the areas we’ll be concentrating on:
· Teaming up with University Relations and Career Services to advance the recruitment of top students, grow internships and career opportunities
· Providing our Chapters, Schools/Colleges, and Special Interest Groups with dedicated Alumni Association support
· Evolving WVU Connect into a powerful system for connecting alumni, mentoring, finding events in your local area and jobs of all levels
· Partnering with Online Learning and Continuing Professional Education to grow educational opportunities that interest our alumni
· Expanding our Mountaineer Adventure Camp program at Snowshoe
· Spreading the Mountaineer Alliance to new areas of the country
· Developing a more robust alumni travel program to include educational travel
· Growing membership and the benefits that come with being a member of the Alumni Association
Whew, it’s going to be a busy and exciting year! Best wishes to each of you for a wonderful holiday season and a happy new year. We thank you for all that you do for West Virginia University and for our Alumni Association!
Have you logged into wvuconnect.com yet? You might want to check it out!
Just a few months into its launch, WVU Connect has been a powerful force by engaging Mountaineers in professional development, intentional mentorship, and social connection. In the spirit of empowering Mountaineers to help Mountaineers, we have seen the impact that our community can have when helping one other find paths to success.
Even in these early stages, we have seen exceptional numbers of WVU Alumni volunteering to serve as mentors, give back to the community, and support the professional development of others. Take a look at some of the numbers below:
933 : The number of Mountaineers of who have said they’re willing to support WVU recruitment initiatives in their region
922: The number of Mountaineers who are willing to give a testimonial or speak with students and alumni
882: The number of Mountaineers who would like to volunteer at local and national events with other WVU alumni
839: The number of Mountaineers who are willing to review a resume and provide feedback to students or alumni
679: The number of Mountaineers who would be happy to discuss internships and jobs with potential interested candidates
672 : The number of Mountaineers who would have coffee in their region with other WVU students and/or alumni
As we continue to share WVU Connect with our community, these numbers will only continue to grow. If you’re looking to get connected in one of the initiatives listed above, you can update your profile on WVU Connect under the “Me” tab. If you’d like to connect with other Mountaineers who have volunteered to be mentors, head to the “Directory” tab and use the criteria on the right side of the screen to search.
We are just getting started and we can’t wait to show you what we have in store for 2018. I look forward to seeing you on wvuconnect.com!
It’s truly incredible what we can all do together.
Each day, I am humbled by the stunning generosity of Mountaineers around the globe.
On Wednesday, November 8th, West Virginia University will host its first-ever Day of Giving. For one day, and only one day, our community will rise to the challenge to raise funds for the future of our university. In only 24 hours, we’re going to lay the groundwork to tackle our greatest obstacles head-on.
By making a contribution on the Day of Giving, you can directly support the University’s greatest priorities and opportunities, as well as the critical needs of your favorite school, college, department, or even the WVU Alumni Association, which you can designate during the donation process.
Here at the WVU Alumni Association, your gift can provide alumni with the opportunity to boost their professional development, give back to their communities, strengthen our state, and most of all—connect with fellow Mountaineers like yourself. Each gift you make, no matter the amount, helps the WVU Alumni Association enhance their programs and scholarships offered to future students, current graduates, and alumni all over the world.
You might be asking yourself, “Which programs has the Alumni Association designed to help me?” Just a few weeks ago, we launched our latest program, WVU Connect, a new online community designed to help WVU Alumni network, engage, and provide mentorship to current students and graduates. When Mountaineers join WVU Connect, they can engage in important conversations, network with professionals in their field, and get connected with Mountaineers in their region or perhaps with people they’ve graduated with years ago.
When Mountaineers help other Mountaineers, there are no limits to the challenges we can achieve.
In addition, we’ve recently launched our WVU Alumni App which provides graduates with access to our alumni base right at their fingertips, and we have a number of exciting programs to unveil in the coming months. This is only just the beginning.
For only 24 hours on November 8th, we will tackle our greatest needs head-on and you can help make that difference.
If every Mountaineer donated even a small amount to the WVU Day of Giving fund, we could pave the way for the future of the WVU Alumni Association and enhance the lives of our 200,000 graduates, including yourself.
Together – in one day – we can all help to forge a brighter future for WVU over the next 150 years. Learn more about our Day of Giving at dayofgiving.wvu.edu and join us on November 8th.
As we watch our beloved Mountaineers on the gridiron and wait for the fall colors to arrive, we’re hard at work finding new ways to support our alumni and friends, the University, and the state of West Virginia.
Most recently, WVU joined a collaborative with Marshall University and the state called West Virginia Forward to identify opportunities that will diversify and strengthen the economy of the state. This West Virginia Forward collaborative partnered with the McKinsey consulting firm and spent the last several months traveling the state, holding workshops, and completing detailed data analysis to develop a roadmap for our future.
Strengthening the West Virginia economy will be no easy task and it will take a diverse group of stakeholders to move from roadmap to reality. The WVU Alumni Association, representing over 200,000 graduates, will play a vital role in moving West Virginia Forward while creating economic opportunity and a secure tomorrow for future generations.
Our Alumni Association is the connective tissue between West Virginia and the many graduates who have moved away to pursue their careers. In the future, we want to keep our graduates in West Virginia and the best way to do this is to enable economic growth and job creation. Harnessing the knowledge, skills, wisdom, talents and treasure of our alumni will play a vital role in helping us find innovative solutions to achieve our goals.
The first step to success is turning our 200,000 graduates and 150,000 friends into an active network. We’ve launched two programs aimed at developing that network:
WVU Connect – think of WVU Connect as LinkedIn for Mountaineers. It’s an online tool designed for Mountaineers to help Mountaineers. Need to find a mentor? Want to hire an experienced Mountaineer? Need some help learning about an industry? Want to connect with your classmates? WVU Connect is the place to go. Each of you will be receiving an invite over the next couple of weeks to join WVU Connect and I look forward to engaging with you on the site.
Mountaineer Alliance – The Alliance is a business-to-business network of Mountaineers created by our Alumni Chapter in Washington, D.C. This professional network of business owners/leaders, experts and thought leaders, and senior government officials was created to support economic opportunities for our alumni, the University and the State. It fits perfectly with the vision of the West Virginia Forward collaborative and we’re already seeing success. We are piloting this program in the DC Metro area this year with plans to roll it out to other locations in 2018.
Thank you for all you do for West Virginia and West Virginia University! I hope to see each of you in Morgantown soon!
Help Mountaineers affected by Hurricane Harvey
We've heard from alumni across the country looking to help fellow Mountaineers in the Houston area. Our Lone Star (Houston) Chapter suggests that you support the Houston Food Bank. The organization covers a large range of counties surrounding Houston and can use the assistance. As recovery efforts progress, we will continue to coordinate with members of the local chapter and provide updates.
Happy mid-summer greetings Mountaineer Nation! I hope you’re enjoying the warm weather and finding some time to relax. The atmosphere in Morgantown is still quiet, but that will change in less than two weeks when our students return to campus! In the meantime, we’ve been hard at work preparing for the fall and I wanted to give you a quick run-down on some of the programs we have planned for you.
· Football Fan Fest – Brand new this fall is a whole new tailgating experience you’re going to love! We’re hosting Football Fan Fest in the Alumni Parking Lot beginning 3-hours before game time. We’ll have outdoor games, a la carte food trucks and beverage trucks, music and a whole lot more.
· The Alumni Collection – Our new Alumni merchandise store grand opening will be the weekend of October 27th at the Erickson Alumni Center. We’ll have a pre-opening the weekend of September 9th, the first home game. Come by and check out the new merchandise we’ve been curating just for Alumni!
· WVU Alumni Smartphone App – The Alumni Association is happy to announce our new app is up and running! The app features an alumni directory so you can connect with old friends, or make some new ones! Download by searching “WVU Alumni” in the iTunes Apple Store or Google Play store.
· WVU Connect – Coming this fall is our new professional mentorship/networking program designed to help you connect with fellow Mountaineers. WVU Connect will include a jobs board, a directory of Mountaineers willing to help, as well as the latest University news. Stay tuned for an opportunity to be one of the first to try out WVU Connect!
This is just a glimpse into some of the events and programs planned for you this fall. I hope to see you in Morgantown soon and when you come to town please stop by your Alumni Center and check out our new Welcome Center and store—The Alumni Collection.
I hope you enjoy the rest of your summer!
I hope you’re having a wonderful spring season like we are in Morgantown. The flowers, trees, and mountains just seem to be smiling—and so are our students! Next week is finals week and then the summer begins. In just two weeks our new graduates will be walking across the platform and beginning the next phase of their professional life.
Yesterday I was talking to a small group of students and they were all telling me their plans. Some have jobs, some are off to graduate school and some are still looking. Many without jobs are moving to cities where they want to begin their careers with the hopes of finding something once they get there.
In our discussion, we talked about the Mountaineer Alumni network. I helped them understand the importance of our Alumni Chapters and how those Chapters will provide them a friendly face and support their transition in a far-away land. Our Chapters are a great place for fellow Mountaineers to network, help each other out and simply fellowship with those who have common experiences.
If you’re not part of a local chapter, please consider taking part in their activities. Let’s help all these newly minted graduates settle into the place they will now call home. I’m sure each of us remembers that time in our lives and I’m also sure we all could have used a little extra help. Let’s welcome the newest members of our Alumni family with open arms!
You can find a list of our Chapters and points of contact on our website: http://www.alumni.wvu.edu/chapters . Our Chapter Leads eagerly await your call!
Mountaineer Alumni—Check Out this New Tradition!
H ey Mountaineer Nation, it’s been an incredible year so far, including some great alumni gatherings, remarkable success in our athletic programs, and anticipation for amazing spring weather! Now it’s time to join us for a new Mountaineer alumni tradition that will keep the excitement going—WVU Mountaineer Camps!
Need a break from the heat in July and August? Join us at a cool 4848 feet on top of Snowshoe Mountain where the average summer temperature ranges between 55 and 75. We’ve teamed with Snowshoe Mountain Resort, the Mid-Atlantic’s premier 4-season destination, to offer Mountaineers the chance to enjoy the beautiful mountains of West Virginia through a range of activities and adventures. WVU Mountaineer Camps will take place in July and August and will offer two unique experiences.
Family Camp: A Getaway for the Whole Family!
Mountaineer families are one of a kind and so is our Family Camp, a week-long program that your whole family will love. While your kids enjoy supervised activities, you choose your own adventures! Horseback riding, standup paddle boarding, RZR off-road tours, sporting clay shooting, golf, downhill mountain biking, relaxing at the lake, and much much more are all part of this all-inclusive opportunity.
D on’t worry, you’ll still get to tell your WVU tales over a lakeside campfire, enjoy chef-prepared meals, evening musical performances and other events centered on the whole family. I can’t wait for our Alumni Mountaineers to share these new experiences with our young and bright future Mountaineers!
There are two sessions for Family Camp: July 2-9 and August 6-13
We’ve Got Adventure Camp!
A dventure Camp is 4 days of pure redline adrenaline! Thrill seekers will enjoy all the adventures from Family Camp—sporting clay shooting, one of the best downhill mountain bike parks in the East, the epic Raven Golf Course, off-road RAZRs, horseback riding, hiking, paddle boarding, and on and on. Of course, all that will be topped off with craft beer, dinner and wine at one of Snowshoe’s unbelievable restaurants. Following dinner, the party goes on with good drinks, good people, and good music from the WVU Bluegrass Band. And that’s just Day 1!
A dventure Camp will take place July 13-16.
Mountaineers that Bikes, Hikes, Swims, Eats and Adventures Together, Selfies Together!
It’s a great day to be a Mountaineer wherever you may be, but it’s even better when you’re in the company of other Mountaineers!
Mountaineer Camp is a great place to meet new Mountaineers friends and reminisce with old ones. At each camp, we’ll also have WVU faculty and staff on site to talk about their latest research, provide interesting educational seminars, and talk to you about life on campus in 2017. Of course, the Mountaineer will be at each camp to lead a few cheers and I hear one of our special guests is planning on picking a camp or two to teach a bow-tying class. Who wears bow-ties these days?!?! J
I’ m looking forward to seeing you on the beautiful cobblestone streets of Snowshoe Mountain Resort this summer! For more information and reservations visit http://www.alumni.wvu.edu/events/mountaineer-camps .
Let’s Go Camping!
WVU 50-Year Reunion!
Each year our Emeritus Club hosts a reunion to honor our 50-year graduates and this year the reunion will be held Friday and Saturday, June 2-4.
Emeritus weekend is one of my favorite weekends all year long at WVU. Alumni return from across the globe to reunite with their classmates and get a fresh look at their Alma Mater. The warm embrace of a long-lost classmate, the stories of WVU from years past, and the journeys taken over the course of a career make this event incredibly inspirational.
This year we’ll be honoring the class of 1967, known as the centennial class. In 1967 WVU was celebrating its 100th anniversary and I’m told there were all kinds of events and celebrations including a special commencement ceremony. I can’t wait to hear the stories and see some of the pictures and other items our Alumni bring with them!
We will also be honoring any graduate prior to 1967 that has not had an opportunity to be awarded their Emeritus medallion. If that is you, please attend! Last year we honored a graduate from the class of 1948. It sure was a treat to meet Cova Strickland Rexroad!
For those of you who do not meet the 50+ year criteria for the Emeritus Club, you’re welcome too! I assure you that you’ll be inspired as well after meeting our Alumni legends!
Information on Emeritus weekend and registration is available on our website:http://www.alumni.wvu.edu/events/graduate-emeritus. If you prefer to talk to someone please call Christyn Hill at 304-293-4731 or e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Happy Sesquicentennial Anniversary Mountaineer Nation!
Sesqui—what, you ask? That’s the fifty-cent word for 150th. On February 7th, WVU will celebrate its 150th anniversary! I wonder what Marmaduke Dent, our first graduate and first President of the Alumni Association, would think if he could see us now?
2 017 is shaping up to be an exciting year. In addition to celebrating our 150th Anniversary you’ll want to keep your eyes peeled for some exciting new Alumni Association programs and activities.
Next month, members will receive an e-mail for how to access the new WVU Savings Network providing discounts to over 300,000 national merchants across the U.S. If there are any restaurants or retail stores you’d like added from your local area just let us know and we’ll do our best to get them included in the WVU Savings Network.
We’re on track to release our custom built WVU Alumni smartphone app in about 90 days! This is designed to be your go to app for all things WVU Alumni. It will include your electronic membership card, news from WVU and your local Chapter, listing of alumni events across the country, mobile access to the WVU Savings Network, alumni directory so you can look up your classmates and friends, and alumni spotlight videos.
T his summer you’ll have the opportunity to participate in a new tradition—WVU Mountaineer Camps! We’ve teamed with Snowshoe Mountain Resort to offer two varieties of camps: Mountaineer Family Camp and Mountaineer Adventure Camp. Horseback riding, golfing, 4-wheel ATVing, downhill mountain biking, sporting clay shooting, relaxing at the lake, and much more are all part of these all-inclusive opportunities.
Family Camp is a week-long program for the whole family to enjoy. While your kids bounce from activity to activity you choose your own adventures. Of course, you’ll still get to share your tales over a lakeside campfire, enjoy chef-prepared meals and participate in organized alumni camp events together.
A t Adventure Camp we turn up the gain for four adrenaline-filled days of pure adventuring – WVU style. Camp is all about filling your lungs, testing your limits and seeing just how much fun you can string together in the name of unbridled Mountaineer pride!
N etworking is one of the biggest benefits to being a member of the WVU Alumni Association. Our new smartphone app will make it easier than ever to network, but we’re also continuing our work on building a mentoring program. Whether you’re a senior in undergrad, at mid-career, about to retire, or anywhere in between, chances are you can benefit from the guidance and advice of others. Look for the launch of the WVU Alumni Mentoring program later in the year.
Happy New Year to all our WVU Alumni and best wishes for a fantastic 2017!