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Lusha Peng, BA ’11, meets Joseph Arena, BS ’78, CEO of Brighton Securities Corporation, at Career Conversations event in Rochester, N.Y.
Historically, what are known as affinity programs have supplemented many alumni relations budgets, allowing alumni offices to enhance their menus of programs, benefits and services that graduates have come to expect.
Today, however, these affinity relationships (in which major corporations, such as banks and insurance companies, typically offer their services at reduced rates or pay a royalty in return for the opportunity to market to an audience) also are declining in both availability and financial return. “It’s unfortunate that these opportunities are now few and far between, because alumni get offers that are not available to the general public, or, in other types of affinity relationships, the UBAA gets a royalty,” says Jay Friedman, EdM ’00 & BA ’86, associate vice president for alumni relations.
To see and take advantage of UB affinity programs, and to learn more about our sponsors, click here.
As a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization, the UBAA is facing many of the same financial challenges that readers experience in their personal lives. “We’re trying to do more with the same, or fewer, resources,” says Friedman. “We’re fortunate we still have an affinity program, but we’ve had to branch out so we can continue our mission to serve alums to the same degree—we’ve had to get creative.”
Indeed, seeking sponsorships for alumni programs, creating additional advertising opportunities and enhancing offerings for alumni outside Western New York have become critical methods to generate revenue for programming. “A highly educated target market like UB alums is very appealing to retailers,” says Andrew Wilcox, associate director, strategic partnerships. “But we also realize that value, so we’re selective in the vendors we’re endorsing; their products, reputation and brands have been proven, thereby bringing value to our alums.”
“We’re trying to do more with the same, or fewer, resources.” —Jay Friedman, EdM ’00 & BA ’86
“Without a doubt, we wouldn’t be able to host a number of our most popular programs without this additional revenue,” says Friedman. For example, Career Conversations has expanded from New York City and is now being held in Buffalo, Rochester and Albany as well, bringing hundreds of students and alumni together for networking. Free, monthly career webinars for alums “are also a direct result of our self-generated revenue efforts,” Friedman says. Funds also support the entire student alumni association collection of programs. “I can’t stress enough how important it is to us to serve our alumni—and alumni-in-training— with programs that will in turn help them succeed,” Friedman says. “It’s just what we do.”
Photos pulled from the alumni Flickr pages show alumni enjoying varied events around the country, including a day at the races in Saratoga, N.Y. From left, Roger Roll, Mary Garlick Roll, Leslie Zielinski and Larry Zielinski.
The UB Alumni Association held an exacta of horse racing events during the summer, with chapters in Albany and San Diego hosting “days at the races” at Saratoga and Del Mar race tracks, respectively.
The Saratoga event, hosted by the Albany chapter on July 21, 2012, attracted 50 people, including 37 who traveled on a motor coach from Buffalo. The group dined at the At the Rail Pavilion just past the finish line. The Aug. 19, 2012, event in Del Mar, adjacent to the Pacific Ocean, was a sellout. Attendees viewed the Sunday afternoon card from the Clubhouse Terrace Restaurant.
Click here to see photos of other alumni and friends from recent chapter events.
Closer to home, alumni from multiple schools had opportunities to participate in two events hosted by regional colleges and universities. In professional networking opportunities dubbed “WNY Alumni After Hours,” UB, Niagara University, Buffalo State, Daemen College and SUNY College at Brockport combined efforts to enhance the power of local networking among their alumni. More than 50 professionals gathered in the Hyatt Regency Buffalo to meet, mingle and exchange business cards on May 31 and Oct. 18, 2012.
In Denver, the annual Colorado Rockies baseball game and fireworks spectacular on June 29, 2012, in Coors Field attracted 60 alumni and friends. Attendees networked at a pregame event and buffet at Lodo’s Restaurant across the street from the stadium.
As part of the UB Bulls football season opener on Sept. 1, 2012, against the Georgia Bulldogs, UB hosted a crowd of 125 for brunch in Athens, Ga. President Satish K. Tripathi and his wife, Kamlesh, attended the event, as did Danny White, UB director of athletics.
The Washington, D.C. chapter hosted its annual Buffalo Bills tailgate and viewing party at Jimmy’s Olde Town Tavern in Herndon, Va., on Sept. 30, 2012. More than 70 people were in attendance to watch the Bills meet the New England Patriots and help the host and tavern owner, Jimmy Cirrito, raise $750 for the Willie R. Evans UB Alumni Association Legacy Scholarship Fund.
Two Buffalo Bills road games provided the backdrop for alumni events with pregame gatherings. Each went well for both the attendees and the Bills, who won both games, in Cleveland against the Browns on Sept. 23, and in Phoenix against the Cardinals on Oct. 14, 2012.
Meanwhile, True Blue Days, an annual fall tradition, took place Oct. 18-21, 2012. This series of events and activities celebrating UB’s Homecoming included the football game against Pitt, a Homecoming Fan Fest, Family Weekend and Open House.
John and Editha Kapoor Hall, the new home for the School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences on the South Campus, was dedicated on Sept. 28, 2012. John Kapoor, PhD ’72, who, with his late wife Editha, has given generously to UB, was present. Among those greeting Kapoor (right) was John Carlo, member of the New York State Board of Pharmacy and past president of the Pharmacists Association of Western New York.
Two programs offered for alumni who graduated 50 or more years ago were well attended. On Aug. 30, 2012, 55 alumni participated in the UB at Noon Day Trip, which included a number of stops in scenic Chautauqua County. Two of the favorites were the Blockhouse Glassblowing Studio and the YB Normal Suri Alpacas Farm.
The second program, on Nov. 14, 2012, featured Faith Gorsky, BA ’02, an author, photographer and food blogger who fell in love with the Middle East after spending six months living in the region and immersing herself in the culture. She discussed Middle Eastern cooking and why the food and culture are so closely intertwined. An exclusively Middle Eastern buffet included dishes from Gorsky’s cookbook, “An Edible Mosaic: Middle Eastern Fare with Extraordinary Flair” (Tuttle Publishing, 2012).
The UB Downtown luncheon program continues to
make good on its promise to provide a stimulating
program for UB alumni working in downtown Buffalo,
all within the lunch hour.
On Oct. 10, 2012, Carl Calabrese, MA ’03 & BA ’74, former deputy Erie County executive, longtime Town of Tonawanda supervisor and a principal in a Buffalo lobbying firm, addressed a crowd of 58. Calabrese, an adjunct professor of urban and regional planning in the School of Architecture and Planning, spoke about the 2012 presidential race and the campaign’s first debate, which was held that evening.
Kathryn B. Friedman, JD ’98, PhD ’96 & MA ’93, director of cross-border and international research at UB’s Regional Institute, as well as research professor of law and policy at UB, spoke on Dec. 5, 2012, about her role as one of four principals on the leadership team of the Great Lakes Futures Project. The crowd of 85 learned about the project that ultimately will propose a set of long-term priorities to help protect and restore the Great Lakes.
The UB Engineering Alumni Association presented two checks to students during the fall 2012 semester.
Olga Carcamo, chemical engineering major, and Alanna Olear, environmental engineering major, are members of the Engineers for a Sustainable World’s UB student chapter. The award helped them attend the organization’s What is Your Legacy conference at the University of California, San Diego, in October 2012.
Engineering Alumni Association Vice President Joe Frandina, BS ’78, presented Alvaro Giron, president of the UB chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), with a check that helped fund the group’s participation in ASCE competitions, including Concrete Canoe, Steel Bridge and Seismic Design.
Rear Adm. Rebecca McCormick-Boyle, BS ’81, spoke to UB students and faculty during U.S. Navy Week in September 2012. Chief of staff of the U.S. Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery, headquarters for Navy and Marine Corps Medicine, McCormick-Boyle discussed Navy Medicine’s humanitarian assistance, disaster response missions, battlefield medicine and role in maritime strategy. She also was selected as the School of Nursing’s 2013 distinguished alumna and will be presented with her award during an alumni and friends scholarship event slated for May 15.
On Dec. 8, 2012, Rina Miyasaka, BA ’08, organized a networking event for UB alumni in Tokyo, Japan. Approximately 25 alumni came to the Glassarea Flamingo Cafe in Tokyo to meet and mingle with fellow alumni. The crowd also included Leandra Beharry, a current UB student studying in Japan. Miyasaka, who also hosted a Global Alumni Networking event in August 2012, works for Nissan Motor Company in its Asia HR Group-Global Talent Management Department in Tokyo.
UB Alumni Association President Tim Lafferty, BS ’86, presented a total of $8,000 in scholarship monies to six students during the UB Alumni Association scholarship dinner Feb. 8 in the Center for Tomorrow on the North Campus. “I am so proud of these students and I look forward to welcoming them into the alumni family when they graduate,” Lafferty said.
The J. Scott Fleming Scholarship, established in 1985 as a student-to-student award, was given to four individuals who promote student involvement and enhance the student experience at UB. This year’s recipients are Dominique Bertrand, Elvis Castelino, Chelsie Hinckley and Marc Pierre.
Bertrand is pursuing a PhD in anthropology, and is president of the Primatology Club and a senator for the Anthropology Graduate Student Association. Both clubs have spearheaded numerous initiatives during her tenure, including hosting an annual primate symposium, and creating a new, peer-reviewed anthropology journal.
Senior Castelino is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in computer science. He was named RA of the year for Ellicott South residence hall in 2012, and is a director of communication for the Mortar Board National Honor Society and a member of the Indian Student Association.
English major Hinckley is a student assistant in the Undergraduate Academies and is working to create a UB chapter of the American Association of University Women. She also is a winner of an Alumnae Scholarship, described below.
Pierre, who is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in English with a minor in education, is a member of the Intercultural and Diversity Center, where he helps students learn and appreciate the value of diversity at UB. He is an academic coach in the Educational Opportunity Program and also serves as vice president of Beta Sigma Kappa Afro-Latino Fraternity.
Lindsey Feuz and Chelsie Hinckley (whose bio is given above) each received Alumnae Scholarships, which are given to female students for academic and extracurricular accomplishments. Feuz, who is pursuing her PharmD degree, is a member of the Rho Chi Pharmaceutical Honor Society, Phi Lambda Sigma Pharmacy Leadership Society and Tau Sigma National Honor Society.
Ben Robinson has won the Willie R. Evans UB Alumni Association Legacy Scholarship. The UB sophomore and Eagle Scout is pursuing a degree in pharmacy and is already involved with the profession as a pharmacy technician at an area supermarket. He was on the dean’s list both semesters of his freshman year and has participated in UB’s cross-country running club. His father, David Robinson, BS ’85, is a graduate of the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.
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I joined UBAA when I graduated and found it a great way to stay connected with the university. It’s also been a great networking tool. I became even more involved in 2010 as leader of the Atlanta alumni chapter.
I’m a lieutenant commander with the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps and am based in Atlanta, Ga. As an epidemiologist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food Safety and Inspection Service, I work closely with state and local health departments, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Food and Drug Administration to investigate cases of foodborne illness outbreaks. I earned my master’s degree in public health from Tulane University in 2002.
I loved to perform, and I remember performing with the UB Gospel Choir, UB African Dance Troupe and the Caribbean Student Association all during one evening show. I was also involved with the NAACP as well as many other Student Association clubs that made UB feel like home away from home.
Chapters help build connections. I remember attending a picnic hosted by the New York City chapter prior to even completing my application to UB! It helped me feel comfortable because I didn’t get to visit the campus before moving to Buffalo for school. Today I volunteer as a chapter leader to stay connected with UB and network with alumni in the area. It’s always great to meet alumni, old and new, and to share fond memories of our college days.