What a year! As 2013 winds down, the Arkansas Alumni Association reflects on a year of successes, new programs and new faces at the Janelle Y. Hembree Alumni House. The following are just some of the highlights:
- Hogs Care Week – The year kicked off with the inaugural Hogs Care Week in February presented by the Arkansas Alumni Association, University of Arkansas’ Division of Student Affairs and Razorback Athletics. The purpose of Hogs Care Week is to honor the University of Arkansas through service and acts of kindness. Students, faculty/staff, alumni and friends across the world participated by committing a random act of kindness such as buying someone a cup of coffee on a cold day. These acts of kindness were shared via social media to help spread the word and to inspire others. Stay tuned for news about Hogs Care Week 2014!
- Dallas Chapter Annual Banquet – The March event broke both attendance and fundraising records. In 2012, the chapter raised a little more than $4,000 for their chapter scholarship fund. This year, the chapter collected more than $10,000 in sponsorship revenue with about 120 in attendance.
- Business Hogs Directory – The new online business directory, BusinessHogs.com, launched in March as a way for alumni to do business with other Hogs. In July, the Alumni Association also began offering a new business membership level designed to connect businesses with alumni and friends of the University of Arkansas. Any business or nonprofit organization can become annual business members for a low rate. Business memberships give members access to marketing and networking opportunities, such as sponsorships, advertising and perk partnerships, at a lower rate. In addition, business memberships will include a subscription to BusinessHogs.com.
- Johnson Fellows – In April, alumna Amy Tu JD’96, chief counsel for commercial aviation services at Boeing, the largest aerospace company, returned to campus as the 2013 Johnson Fellow, a program endowed by Dr. Jeff BA’70 and Marcia Johnson. Tu was selected based on her outstanding accomplishments for mergers and acquisitions, finance and global corporate governance experience. She shared her experiences with classes in law, engineering, journalism, political science and business.
- Black Alumni Society Reunion – Thousands of alumni and friends returned to The Hill in April for the 11th Black Alumni Society Reunion following the theme “Look Back, Think Back, Come Back, Give Back.” The weekend included a scholarship golf tournament, an awards banquet, old school parties, a step show and a church service. Planning has already begun for the 12th reunion in 2015!
- San Francisco Bay Area Chapter’s Inaugural Crawfish Boil – The San Francisco Bay Area Chapter started a new “tradition” on May 4 when it hosted the first ever crawfish boil event in the shadow of the Golden Gate Bridge. The group engaged 74 alumni, students, parents and friends at the boil. Although it was not intended as a fundraiser, the event raised a total of $600 in profit, which went to the Earnest J. Wong Chapter Scholarship Fund. The chapter’s scholarship endowment now stands at more than $110,000!
- Arkansas Alumni National Board of Directors – In July, six alumni were welcomed to the board for a three-year term. They include: New board members – John Forrest Ales BA’02, Washington, D.C.; Laura Jacobs BA’95 MED’05, Fayetteville; Emanuel Banks BSCE’87, North Little Rock; Susan Gilbert Kemp BSHE’73, Mountain View; Lott Rolfe IV BSE’94, Maumelle; and Roger H. Sublett BSE’64 MA’65, Mason, OH.
- Arkansas Alumni Association staff – During 2013, the Alumni Association welcomed four new staff members: Alyssa Strodel, student programs coordinator; Ashlee Gloede, assistant director for facilities and special events; Ryan Miller, assistant director for student and young alumni programs; and Felicia Garner, administrative support specialist.
- Northwest Arkansas Chapter Pig Sooie Scramble – The scholarship fund-raiser, presented by WealthPath Investment Advisors, is the chapter’s largest scholarship fundraiser event. The need-based scholarship is awarded to rising juniors and seniors from Northwest Arkansas. The chapter has awarded more than $70,000 in scholarships since 2000, and this year it brought in roughly $26,000. This year’s tournament also saw a record number of golf teams. The newest addition to the chapter’s golf tournament was the Pig Sooie Par-Tee at the Janelle Y. Hembree Alumni House the evening before the tournament.
- Volunteer Summit – In September, the Alumni Association hosted nearly 100 volunteers from different parts of the country who are “Charting a New Course.” The one-day session provided volunteers with information about upcoming changes for association’s affiliated groups, best practices for planning events, and the opportunity to engage with other volunteers.
- Hog Wild Tailgates – Razorback fans gathered at the Janelle Y. Hembree Alumni House prior to each Fayetteville football game to enjoy food, frozen custard and entertainment from the Razorback band and spirit squads. The last tailgate of the year was the largest as Lowe’s paid everyone’s entry fee and provided a Lowe’s VIP Lounge, Lowe’s My Party Piks and a Build and Grow workshop for the kids.
- Razorback Road Trip to New York City – A large crowd of diehard Razorback fans traveled to the “Big Apple” in September to watch the Hogs play Rutgers. The Alumni Association, the Greater New York Chapter and the Razorback Foundation teamed up to host a weekend of events in Manhattan and at the Rutgers University campus.
- University of Arkansas Homecoming – With the theme “Super Hogs,” the 2013 University of Arkansas Homecoming left a lasting, positive impact on campus and the surrounding community. During the week long events, nearly 1,000 units of blood were donated to American Red Cross; 14,466 food items were donated to Full Circle Campus Food Pantry; $14,484.61 was donated to the local March of Dimes organization; 24 boxes were sent to Arkansans deployed in the Horn of Africa through “Hogs for Heroes;” leftover meals from the chili cook-off were donated to the 7Hills Homeless Shelter; more than 5,290 students, alumni, faculty and staff attended 12 official Homecoming events; and the Student Alumni Association engaged about 410 student, alumni and community volunteers.
- Arkansas Alumni Awards Celebration – In October, the Alumni Association honored 11 alumni and faculty who represent the University of Arkansas’ tradition of excellence. For the first time, the celebration was held at the Fayetteville Town Center with more than 300 in attendance. A silent auction raised $3,500 for the Alumni Association’s scholarship fund. Read more about the awardees.
- Member Night at The Dickson – On Nov. 1, Alumni Association members were treated to a reception at The Dickson, the tallest building on Dickson Street with amazing views of Old Main and the entertainment district. While checking out the view, members enjoyed food, beverages and received a keepsake photo with family and friends with Old Main in the background.
- Hog Tags – Drivers in Arkansas are showing their Razorback pride with more than just car decals and window flags. Since its launch in 1994, the Hog Tags program, also known as Razorback License Plates, has provided 1,300 scholarships to students attending the University of Arkansas. More than 25,000 Hog Tags are in circulation.
- Arkansas Alumni Scholarship Fund – In November, about 150 alumni scholars, volunteers and staff celebrated a scholarship milestone. For the first time, the Alumni Association distributed 450 scholarships totaling $1 million in a single academic year. The endowed scholarship program started in 1991 when just two scholarships were awarded that year.
- @Arkansas & Alumni Matters — The new and improved @Arkansas monthly e-newsletter exclusively for members launched in October. In addition, the newly created Alumni Matters e-newsletter was distributed to non-member alumni for the first time in November. A quarterly e-newsletter, its purpose is to engage and create awareness about the Alumni Association, as well as inform non-members of the value of membership.
While looking forward to the approaching holiday break, the Alumni Association staff is also preparing for a busy 2014. In January, the staff will hit the ground running with the motto “New Look, New Year!” Watch your inbox for your monthly issue of @Arkansas to keep up with all of the exciting new things on the horizon. And remember… your alumni connection starts here!