By Landra Davidson
Ways to serve the university do not end because of graduation. The Young Alumni Board is a new addition for graduates in the past decade. Recent graduates are being given leadership opportunities and ways that they can give back to a place that has a special place in their heart.
Assistant Director of Alumni Relations Melissa Ford gave the reason for adding the new addition.
“The purpose of the Young Alumni Board is to serve, support and strengthen ties with recent graduates in a way that is uniquely tailored to their own needs and perspectives. It also is to enhance networking opportunities and events.”
Graduates from all over are chosen to be a part of the Young Alumni Board. They must attend the meetings that are scheduled on Saturdays at the Alumni Center once a semester. The first meeting was held on Saturday, February 19th.
Alumni Brandon Skaggs graduated in 2003 and was selected to be the president of the YAB. He lives in Dallas where he works at Dallas Baptist University and is hoping to have his dissertation completed by this fall. Skaggs said it excites him to serve on a board with fellow alumni.
“I have the opportunity to give back to a university that gave me so much. Being at the first YAB meeting, I was so encouraged to be surrounded by such an amazing group of individuals, all who continue to hold UMHB close to their heart, and would be willing to serve with a moment’s notice.”
Skaggs’ goal is for fellow alumni to feel like he does about the university that he attended.
He said, “I am excited about talking with former UMHB students and finding ways to multiply their excitement for their alma mater to work to re-engage them within the UMHB family. So many of our UMHB alumni have such amazing gifts and talents, and I’d love to help them find ways to use their talents to serve again at UMHB, but now as alumni.”
The YAB is made up of 23 people. From there, the board is split into three committees: missions, communications and events. Members discuss topics such as social media, alumni clubs and recruiting, homecoming, class reunions and reviewing endowment guidelines.
One student representative is chosen to serve as the voice of his or her peers. This year junior international business major Tobin Davies is on the board.
“I was approached about the opportunity and I knew that it was something I wanted to be a part of. Having been at UMHB for almost three years now, I have grown in my love for the university, and am excited about continuing my relationships with the students, administration and alumni, even after graduation. Ultimately, UMHB is not just a place. It is a community, and this community is dependent on every one of us, even long after we graduate,” Davies said.
The YAB allows young alumni to give back to their alma mater by serving and being a part of something that not all universities offer. UMHB grows and strengthens when its alumni support it though talents, time and even finances.
Ford believes that the new board is off to a great start and will continue to thrive and grow.
“The first Young Alumni Board meeting generated a new sense of excitement and pride as a new group of alumni became directly involved with the university. This group will focus on meeting the needs of a younger generation, new avenues of communication through social media and engaging graduating seniors as they step into their role as alumni.”