by Keith Stichtenoth, associate executive director
Ask anyone what an alumni association does, and you may hear about homecomings, reunions and tailgating. For the University of Cincinnati Alumni Association, those things are true, but there is so much more.
"UC has more than 230,000 alumni, and it's a tremendously diverse group," says Myron Hughes, Bus '86, executive director of the UC Alumni Association. "There are countless ways they can be involved with UC. It could be with the university directly, or with current or future students, or through their places of work, or the vast network of fellow University of Cincinnati alums.
"No matter who they are, everyone stands to gain from this engagement and vibrant interaction; there is no downside. It stimulates the whole UC family, as well as the broader community. It delivers tangible and intangible benefits. It enables the university to do more. It enhances the equity of all our UC degrees.
"That's what we're all about," Hughes says. "That's what makes the UC Alumni Association special and indispensable --and something worth supporting." Hughes and the organization's volunteer Board of Governors are overseeing a strategic transformation that will allow the Alumni Association to better meet the changing needs of students and alumni, as well as the evolving university itself.
Included is a redefined, philanthropic model of Alumni Association membership. Different levels of engagement with the university and Alumni Association will lead to different tiers of benefits and opportunities. Watch for more information about membership in the near future.
"We believe we have a strong story to tell and a truly unique role to play," Hughes says. "If you agree it's important for UC to have a vibrant alumni association, then we encourage your support and active engagement."
The association's goal-oriented approach
In its service to alumni and the university, the UC Alumni Association strives to deliver on six strategic goals:
Build a culture of collaboration and cultivate partnerships -- At its core, the UC Alumni Association is all about establishing and strengthening mutually beneficial relationships. The organization works with a vast array of UC stakeholders in a variety of ways to create the infrastructure that enables these relationships --whatever will lead to a more vibrant UC alumni community.
Develop meaningful programs and services -- The UC Alumni Association provides its constituents with many compelling reasons and opportunities to be engaged with their alma mater. According to alumni's interests, motivations and location, UC-related programs, services and events are available to facilitate this ongoing involvement.
Develop and maximize various sources of funding -- A tremendous void would exist in the UC landscape if the UC Alumni Association could not continue to do its good work and grow to meet the emerging needs of the university and its alumni. So it's important to cultivate various channels of financial support that can sustain the organization and enable it to flourish. UC is a great university, and it needs a great alumni association.
Develop and implement a comprehensive plan to market the UC Alumni Association locally, regionally, nationally and internationally -- UC is a global entity in terms of its student recruitment, scholarship, research efforts and alumni contributions to society. Consequently, the UC Alumni Association must reflect this expansive footprint. Thirty regional alumni networks across the U.S. provide a national profile, and more will be done to take UC's alumni message around the world via innovative marketing channels.
Increase staff, volunteer and alumni involvement in the community -- An essential part of UC's institutional nature is its full integration with the communities it serves. This special quality is a point of emphasis, a chance to add greater value while modeling one of the university's greatest virtues.
Develop organizational resources for volunteers and staff -- To fulfill its mission and accomplish these strategic goals, the UC Alumni Association itself must be equipped accordingly. Meeting the needs of a thriving university and more than 230,000 alumni requires a range of resources applied where they will have the most benefit.