Addicted to novelty since 2001

Let’s Talk Alumni Associations

It’s been eight years since I graduated from university, and I haven’t been to a single alumni event. I know that, as a business owner, they’re a handy networking opportunity, but I just haven’t gotten around to it.

I’m on the UVic alumni mailing list, and received an announcement of a BBQ and Vancouver Canadians game in August. It sounded like fun, but unfortunately I’ll be in Ontario for a family reunion that week.

My dear readers: have you kept in touch with your alumni associations, and has that been of social or professional benefit?

3 Responses to “Let’s Talk Alumni Associations”

  1. Dan

    I’m not sure how it is in Canada, but in the U.S. Alumni Association only brings to my mind one thing: money grubbing. After graduation the Alumni Association at my university set about to pelt me with requests to buy all manner of school spirit branded things (watches, rings, money clips, etc.), sign up for credit cards with my school’s logo on them, or contribute to various funds.

    More than once after thinking I had lost them with a move or two I got calls where some poor student had been hired to go down a list calling graduates and reading from a script to solicit money for a “general academic fund.” That really set me off. At that point I wrote letters to the head of the Alumni Association and President of the university to inquire why they needed former students to contribute to academics at the university when the State’s funds (it’s a state university) and student tuition should cover that. I wondered to them if maybe their precious athletic programs could be cut instead.

    Apparently they didn’t appreciate my candor because I’ve since been removed from all alumni rolls and I don’t get bothered by their garbage any longer. I don’t have anything against contributing back to my university, but asking me to support academics when the football team should be out having a bake sale is beyond the pale.

  2. Myron

    I graduated from a Manitoba university with a B.Mus. (gulp) 15 years ago. Two years later, and already in Vancouver, I received a solicitation to be put in the Alumni directory for a fee that served as a fundraiser for the university. After I got the directory – nothing.

    Over the years, I’ve run into several of my buds from those days, but the alumni association seems to be very disorganized – I even checked out their website to see that, beyond begging for money a dozen different ways, there’s really not much to them.

  3. Sue

    I went to an alumni reception for U of Calgary not too long ago. Very poor turnout, perhaps because it was for the business school and we’re all off making too much money to bother. (HAH). UVic seems to have managed to track down my husband, but not me, in our new address. That BBQ sounds pretty nifty though… can you forward me the details?

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