NAA Updates 2009-2010
Nebraska Alumni Association
Dear chapter leaders: As the end of the 2009-2010 academic year draws near, it seems like a good opportunity to touch base and share some highlights from recent alumni association activities. As the alumni association staff put this list together, it was exciting to see how involved chapters were in some of our most successful events, from the Holiday Bowl to a recent event with Chancellor Perlman and Tom Osborne in Phoenix. Chapters are playing such a key role in helping us engage and connect with alumni across the country. We thank each and every one of you for serving as University of Nebraska ambassadors in your communities! A brief summary of chapter and program efforts from the past six months is below:
The chapter program is experiencing a great deal of momentum! We are so pleased to welcome a new chapter to our organization, the “Big Sky Huskers” in Montana. Alumni in Hawaii, New Jersey and north central New York are also working to form chapters. Interest in affiliate groups continues to grow. Our most recent addition is the UNL ROTC official affiliate group. We held our first quarterly chapter leader conference call, Thursday, Jan. 21. These conference calls are a first for the alumni association and are a great way for chapter leaders to share ideas with each other and hear updates firsthand from us. At least 20 chapters from coast-to-coast participated. Discussion items included an optional chapter banking opportunity, new processes for football ticket distribution and enhancements to huskeralum.org for chapters. Mark your calendars for the next call, scheduled for Thursday, April 15, at 1:30 p.m., CDT. We are currently taking requests for agenda items.
Pete, Will Shields and Neil Smith attended the Huddle and shared stories of their collegiate and NFL careers. A special thanks to the North Texas Nebraskans for their help with the event, and the Oklahoma Cornhusker Club for their support! The Nebraska Alumni Association’s official tour to San Diego for the Holiday Bowl was one of our best tours ever. More than 550 alumni and friends traveled to California as part of the official alumni tour, which included a stay at the Nebraska football team hotel, tickets to the game and access to pre-game events planned in partnership with the Nebraska Athletic Department and Husker Sports Network. A special thanks to the San Diego Huskers for their help with the Husker Huddle and for hosting a reception for the alumni association and athletic department staff. We added a full-time Web designer, Claire Abelbeck, to our staff in December. Claire, a December 2009 graduate of UNL, worked previously as a Web and design intern at the University of Nebraska Foundation. For assistance with your free chapter Web site, contact Claire at cabelbeck@ huskeralum.org.
The Wick Alumni Center was the place to be this fall on Fridays before Nebraska football home games. The association’s new event series, Football Fridays, attracted lively audiences made up of university staff and faculty, alumni and Husker fans visiting Lincoln for a game. In total, approximately 2,500 people attended the seven events, including alumni from California, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas and Washington! The event received media coverage from several media outlets, including the Lincoln Journal Star, Omaha World-Herald, KOLN/ KGIN 10/11, ESPN 1480 AM and KLIN 1400 AM.
In January, the association teamed up with the Chancellor’s office to host two events in Omaha – one for young professionals and one for business leaders. During both events, Chancellor Perlman had the opportunity to share some of UNL’s points of pride and information about Innovation Campus.
The association and Scarlet Guard honored seven distinguished alumni during Masters Week in November. The masters spent two days speaking to students and faculty in classes. The culminating event was the medallion dinner on Friday night planned in cooperation with the chancellor’s office, where the masters were honored and thanked for the gift of their time.
We produced new informational material about our Huskers for Higher Education program, and marketing efforts have resulted in more than a dozen new advocates to date. The program is in full swing during this Nebraska Unicameral session.
Despite the final seconds of the Big 12 Championship game in Texas, our football tour to Dallas was a success with more than 800 people attending our Friday night event with Husker Sports Network and 1,200 people at our Husker Huddle held right outside the Texas Rangers’ Ballpark in Arlington. Former Huskers Danny Noonan, Lawrence
Scarlet Guard, our student alumni association, announced in January that 11 new members will be joining their Board of Directors in the fall of 2010. Scarlet Guard has grown from 99 general members at the beginning of the school year to more than 225 members to date.
We hosted more than 600 alumni and friends in Phoenix in February, where they heard from UNL Chancellor Harvey Perlman and Athletic Director Tom Osborne about the latest academic and athletic news, as well as future plans for the University. Former Husker Tommie Frazier spoke about his recent USO trip to Iraq, while emcee Matt Davison kept things running smoothly and even provided a little comic relief. Those in attendance also enjoyed “Taste of Nebraska” (Continued on other side)
Nebraska Alumni Association
foods provided by Valentino’s and Runza. A special thanks to the Arizonans for Nebraska and the Southern Arizonans for Nebraska for helping with the event. Scarlet Guard was well represented at this year’s CASE ASAP District XI Conference in Ames, Iowa Feb. 12-13, 2010, where six board members participated in a two-day leadership conference and presented on student engagement and the Cornhusker Compass. We launched an official University of Nebraska Alumni Facebook fan page in February. Alumni who become fans have the opportunity to win prizes, learn about alumni events around the country and keep up on alumni news. In addition, we’ve attempted to link to all chapter facebook fan and group pages (if your chapter is not included, please let us know). Search “University of Nebraska Alumni” and join today! The Nebraska Alumni Association’s Good NUz has a new look…and a new partner. With the spring 2010 issue, mailed Feb. 15, we welcome the University of Nebraska Foundation to our publishing endeavor. Two entities that support the university have joined forces and the result is a new design and a united publication. We produced and sent more than 30,000 postcards, mailers and e-mails announcing several dozen chapter events, touching alumni and friends across the country. We welcomed one new 1874 Society member, Cindy Brennfoerder of Lincoln. We continue to enhance HuskerAlum.org to better serve alumni. Most recently, we overhauled the “Chapters & Groups” section to: better communicate the purpose of the chapter program, make it easier to find a chapter and a watch site, and create a forum for chapter leaders to share ideas. Please verify your chapter and watch site information. We have created a new style guide to better visually represent our brand. We have already updated several brochures and will work to revise all marketing materials in 2010. As part of this effort, we’re encouraging chapters to use the
new chapter logos. Contact Brooke (bjanousek@ huskeralum.org) for more information. Husker VIP packages are now available for the 2010 football season. Our VIP packages include game tickets, hotel accommodations, Champions Club passes and stadium tours the day before the game. Visit http://huskeralum.com/ travel/homegames/index.shtml for more information. The alumni association continues to explore potential career development programming. UNL Career Services estimates 30 percent of incoming calls are from alumni, and does not have the staff to handle this volume. In a December 2009 survey of graduating seniors, 70 percent ranked “career development” as the No. 1 service the alumni association could offer them. Cather Circle met March 4 – 5. The theme of the meeting was “The Fabric of our Lives” featuring keynote speaker Mary Kay Quinlan who talked about the importance of oral history. Over the past three months, Circle members also contributed more than $10,000 to fund internship opportunities for student members. We will host alumni receptions in Kuala Lumpur and Singapore later in March. I will be participating in a university delegation to visit these cities in an effort to build and renew relationships with alumni, friends and academic institutions that have interest in educational partnerships with UNL. In April, the alumni association will debut the Young Alumni eNUz, an online newsletter for recent graduates. Regular features in the bi-monthly newsletter will include career development advice, financial tips, chapter information and alumni association news that might appeal to young alumni. The Young Alumni eNUz is being created in response to 2009 surveys of graduating seniors. Those surveys consistently identified “email newsletter” as the preferred way to receive information. We hope you will make plans to attend Husker Spirit Fest/ Alumni Weekend, April 15 – 18. Mark your calendars to attend some of the many events, tours, lectures and athletic contests this weekend including the association’s Football Friday Spring Game Edition and the dedication of the new Jackie Gaughan Multicultural Center on Friday, April 16.
I would like to close by thanking each of you. We wouldn’t have been able to make such progress toward our redirected mission of connecting and engaging without the support of our chapters. Also, please remember to mark your calendars for the annual chapter leadership conference Friday, Sept. 24. I hope to see you there! If you have questions or thoughts about any of our recent programs and events, or about the chapter program, please let me know. As always, feel free to contact Brooke (firstname.lastname@example.org) for marketing, communications and special events needs, and Bob (email@example.com) with questions about athletic tickets, scholarships and speaker requests. Go Big Red!