Impromptu conversation reveals proud moments of UB Alumni Association
A few months back, Tim Lafferty, B.S. ’86, asked me to tell him about the UB Alumni Association. With an opening like that, I dove right in.
I began by telling Tim that as an association, we’re doing better than ever, achieving new heights in membership and extending the benefits offered. By way of example, I told him that for three years in a row we have increased the number of dues-paying members; we now have the highest number of dues-paying alumni in recent memory. I also told him about the partnerships we initiated with two of our school-based alumni associationsthe School of Management and the School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences. Alumni can now simultaneously join both associations at a special price, a popular concept that has spurred plans for other school-based joint membership plans.
I also had a lot to brag about in terms of the UB Alumni Association’s financial performance, as we emerged in the black for the third consecutive fiscal year. While this may be the norm for other enterprises, our success was achieved via many hours of volunteer and staff time dedicated to developing up-to-date accounting, budgeting and planning systems.
Next, I took on the topic of volunteerism, noting that thousands of alumni had become involved in UB and the UB Alumni Association. The Athletic Hall of Fame induction, the Celebration of Excellence awards dinner, travel programs and Homecoming are just a few of the nearly 80 events that drew more than 8,000 alumni to the university in one way or another. I was especially proud that many of these events highlighted current faculty members and their research, or spotlighted alumni and their accomplishments. For instance, a Washington, DC, alumni panel discussion in February featured such prominent graduates as CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer, B.A. ’70 and Washington Post political cartoonist Tom Toles, B.A. ’73.
I also emphasized that the UB Alumni Association is about supporting the university and its current initiatives, a concept that encouraged the creation of the UB Alumni Ambassadors. Jim Militello, B.A. ’79, proposed the idea of using alumni influence to help attract more top students to UB. More than 100 alumni ambassadors attend college fairs, speak at high schools, hold receptions in their homes and places of work and communicate one-on-one with prospective students.
After my speech, Tim thought for a moment and replied, "I had no idea that UB’s Alumni Association was so vibrant and vitalI need to join and get involved."
I’m pleased to say that Tim is one of our new board members for the 2003–04 term.
Robert O. Davies