By Shannon Hoyt —
Graduation day is a significant transition in a student’s life. However, it is not a time to say goodbye. In fact, you never have to say goodbye.
Juliet, Mesa, Maggie and Brianna, these are the names of the women who aim to engage and connect with the University of Wisconsin–Stout alumni every year.
“We are supposed to be building these relationships and making people remember their experiences at Stout and understand how much of an impact it has made in their lives today,” said Mesa Covill, the associate director of Alumni Relations,
Although the sign in front of the Alumni Association refers to those who have already graduated, for students, the association represents a look into the future: a future full of opportunity.
“It’s been amazing to have this team working on Alumni Relations because I come from an era that wants a certain thing,” said Alumni Association Director, Juliet Fox. “I have connections to a lot of people that I used to work with, and faculty that are from an older generation.”
“Mesa represents another generation but Maggie [and Brianna represent] yet another generation of people.”
From each perspective, the Alumni Association can effectively reach more alumni than ever before. With over 60,000 graduates alive today, planning events becomes a challenge.
“To find an event that fits all of those ages, every possible major, every possible living situation, people all over the country, people overseas, we want to find ways to touch everybody and to remind them about Stout and build that relationship,” said Covill.
With new events brought in and old events marked as tradition, the Alumni Association continues to surprise.
With a wide targeted age range, the foundation must plan events that can reach out to as young as 22 and to old as 109, the oldest known alumni alive today.
“We will keep some of the same events like Murray’s Social,” said Maggie Speirs, a UW–Stout student working as an events intern alongside Brianna Farwell. “An alumnus owns that restaurant, and every year we have a ton of people go, so we keep popular events like that.”
Although the association primarily reaches out to alumni, students also have a chance to get involved and become exposed by participating in the Stout FANS, the Future Alumni Network of Students, who strive to spread the word about what it means to be an alumnus.
“We’re the way you can have a relationship with this university forever,” said Fox.
Look ahead, soon you will be alumni too.