STORRS, Conn. – The UConn Foundation Board of Directors voted Friday to assume responsibility for the University’s alumni relations activities, effective April 1st.
This new relationship still requires approval by the University’s Board of Trustees, which is expected to consider this new alumni engagement model with the Foundation at an upcoming meeting.
This integrated approach—with development and alumni engagement efforts working in collaboration—is similar to models increasingly adopted by many of the nation’s top colleges and universities, and will improve services and programming for all 230,000-plus UConn alumni without requiring alumni to pay a membership fee.
“I am thrilled that the University approached us with this opportunity and that our Board recognizes the value of integration for UConn’s alumni,” said Coleman B. Levy, Chairman of the UConn Foundation Board. “This is a great day for Husky Nation.”
Under the new model, alumni would not be required to pay annual dues to gain access to alumni volunteer opportunities, resources, or other benefits. Currently duplicated services and some administrative functions can be eliminated, allowing both organizations to provide enhanced outreach and engagement.
“This is a tremendous opportunity for our alumni and UConn, and I’m pleased that the Foundation shares our vision for dramatically enhancing outreach and engagement with our alumni,” said University President Susan Herbst. “No truly great university can fully achieve its potential without a vast, supportive, and engaged alumni body, and with the full spirit of our graduates mobilized as one, there are no limits on what the future holds for UConn.”
This action comes in response to the University’s request for the UConn Foundation to consider taking on a more active role in managing institutional alumni relations, given the overlap of programs and audiences served by the Foundation and the UConn Alumni Association. Last month, the Alumni Association board voted to dissolve the independent 501(c)(3) organization.
“Integrating alumni relations into the Foundation will result in streamlined operations for both organizations, making it the best return on investment for the University of Connecticut,” said Foundation President Joshua R. Newton. “This change will lead to a more diverse and engaged alumni community, one that is free of barriers and open to all.”
“We’re excited about the potential of this expanded partnership,” continued Newton. “UConn alumni have worked hard to get to where they are, and staying connected with the University shouldn’t come at a cost. Integrating our outreach efforts without paying for membership means that it will be easier than ever before to show you’re a proud member of the UConn family.”
Those who are connected to the University through affiliation with one of its alumni chapters, UConn clubs, or the UConn Alumni Association would see no changes and still have the same access to alumni events, programs, publications, and communications. In addition, the University would intend for the Alumni House to continue serving as a home on the Storrs campus for all alumni.
“UConn needs its alumni more than ever—as advocates, fans, storytellers, and mentors,” said Newton. “For most alumni, this transition will be a seamless change. If anything, many alumni who had lost touch with the University would notice a renewed effort to re-engage them in the life of the institution.”
More services for UConn’s alumni, Waterbury Republican-American, March 18, 2015