As I mentioned in last month’s entry, summer session has begun on campus and while things are quieter and traffic is thinner on the streets of Morgantown, our WVU Alumni Association team has entered our busy months supporting alumni chapters and interest groups in communities near you. Last month, we had the pleasure of hosting volunteer leaders from around the country at the Alumni Leaders Institute (ALI). We were more than excited to welcome them back to campus for this three-day event, packed with information about campus happenings, best practices for connecting with Mountaineers in their areas, and getting to know each other better in an in-person capacity. Due to the pandemic, the program had been postponed and moved to a virtual setting the last several years. We valued that virtual engagement, but there is nothing like having our leaders on campus reconnecting with our campus and each other.
It is inspiring to meet with dedicated longtime leaders continuing their mission of connecting Mountaineers and energetic new ones that have ambitious plans for their communities. They do such an incredible job representing our University by providing opportunities for engagement, supporting current students and spreading the word about world-changing initiatives taking place at their alma mater.
Our alumni chapters and interest groups play a vital role in providing local alums with events, networking opportunities and scholarship fundraising for future Mountaineers. In addition to informative sessions on those topics and others that were spread across the conference, our volunteer leaders also interacted with University leadership including WVU President E. Gordon Gee and Wren Baker,Vice President and Director of Athletics. Thank you to all who took part in ALI 2023 and helped make it such a success - we can’t wait to do it again next year!
Throughout the summer, our chapters host signature events that connect graduates and friends in their areas. They also raise funds for scholarships, send off current and incoming students to WVU and provide valued service in their local communities. There are great memories to be made and moments to be celebrated at chapter activities taking place the next few months! If you haven't attended one of these events, keep an eye on your inbox for an email from a chapter or interest group about one that may be happening in your community this summer. You can also learn more about planned events by visiting the WVU Calendar here.
Regarding our 80 alumni chapters and interest groups, I realize some may not be aware of all they have to offer. I promise there is something for you regardless of how recently or long ago you may have graduated from WVU. Here’s a few reasons why connecting with Mountaineers in your local area through an alumni chapter or interest group can be beneficial to you:
Networking: Alumni chapters can be a great way to meet other Mountaineers in your area and connect with people who share common interests (obviously WVU!) and career goals. This can be especially helpful for recent graduates looking for jobs or trying to build their professional network.
Community involvement: Our chapters organize volunteer events and community service projects, which can be a great way to give back in your local area and meet fellow alums who are passionate about making a difference. Check out last month’s From Down the Hall to see how our chapters volunteered their time during WVU Day of Service!
Social events: From game watch parties to happy hour socials to family-friendly events, alumni chapters organize social activities that are a fun way to make new friends and stay connected with other Mountaineers.
Scholarships: Want to help change someone’s life by making the dream of achieving a WVU education possible? Our chapters raise funds for their scholarship programs so students feel less financial burden in pursuit of a college degree.
At their core, alumni chapters and interest groups embody our Mountaineer values and spirit. If you’ve never been involved or haven’t been in a while, I encourage you to engage with one of these valuable networks.
Recently, our Director of Volunteer Engagement Geoff Coyle embarked on a trip in the WVU alumni truck to visit alumni chapters in four states. During that journey, he supported chapter events and met with group leadership and members. It was a great opportunity to connect with alumni, share ideas and discuss opportunities for increased engagement. The insights that our volunteers provide will continue to make our organization stronger in support of you, our alumni. Below are a few pictures taken during the trip. We hope you enjoy some of the marvelous sights and scenes from his travels.
Old Town Winchester, VA.
If you ever see us at an event or on the road, be sure to say hello and share your WVU story. Hopefully, we’ll be seeing you at a chapter or interest group event in the near future.
As always, thank you for your dedication to our University. It’s because of loyal alumni and members like you that we’re able to carry out our mission of supporting the interests of our alma mater and engaging alumni with WVU and each other around the globe. Here’s to an eventful summer!
Let’s Go!Kevin Berry ('94, '95)
WVU Vice President of Alumni Relations
CEO of the WVU Alumni Association, Inc.