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!