Hopefully, you noticed that we have not sent our e-newsletter, @Arkansas for several months….and have missed it. The reason for our lack of presence was the installation and introduction of a new electronic platform that will enhance our ability to send emails, provide improved websites for the association, our chapters and alumni societies, and engage alumni quicker through improved event registration and online community access for members. The process began in October and included three months of 15 hours per week sessions involving seven staff members. I encourage you to visit our website at www.arkansasalumni.org for a closer look.
A lot has happened since our last newsletter including a great Cotton Bowl victory for the football hogs. The Association assisted more than 420 travelers and hosted the Hog Wild Party for more than 700 alumni and fans.
Reorganization proceedings were launched for several alumni chapters including Memphis (Mid-South), Fort Smith (Western Arkansas) and Springfield (SW Missouri). Interest in a new chapter was expressed in Tulsa. The Central Oklahoma Chapter was selected as the number one chapter and received the Board Cup for its performance.
Volunteerism served as a cornerstone of Association activities. The number of volunteers who assisted the Alumni Association in 2011 exceeded 5,000 which represented a 98 percent increase over 2010. Part of that increase included help with tornado clean-up in Joplin and Denning, Arkansas. It also included 31 volunteers who contributed 110 hours covering college fairs for the YOU of A. Heath Bowman, assistant director of alumni programs, who coordinates our “Helpin’ Like a Hog” community service program, was selected as secretary of the Arkansas Volunteer Coordinators Association.
In February, John Forrest Ales ’01, Director, Global Brand Public Relations for Hilton Hotels & Resorts, spent two days on campus as the 2012 Johnson Fellow. Established by Jeff ’70 and Marcia Johnson, the Johnson Fellows Program, brings prominent alumni to campus to meet with students in the classroom setting and smaller groups to impart a real world perspective to academics. It is a wonderful way to brag on our successful alumni. Ales received the Young Alumni Award at Homecoming.
Also in February, 39 alumni and friends took part in the annual Alumni Scholarship Program review. Reading the more than 530 applications at least three times, these volunteers helped select next year’s recipients. Thanks to the generous support of alumni through individual scholarship contributions, the Hog License Plate Program and membership dues, the Association anticipates about $800,000 in scholarships will be awarded for the 2012-2013 academic year! Truly, this program is the Association’s spotlight program.
As we move to complete this academic year, the Alumni Association staff again salutes our alumni who make it all happen through their gifts of time, talent and treasure.