We're 120,000 strong, and more important than we realize
by Gregg Sanborn '66, '77G
Dear fellow alumni,
All 120,000 of us create a powerful force, a force we can use for good. Our opinions are valued as part of the discussions about the university's future. Our participation on campus is welcomed—from athletic events to career panels. Our generosity helps support UNH's academic and athletic endeavors. And off campus, graduates of our university are influential in all walks of life as they make their mark on this nation and the world.
Our individual and collective experiences at UNH—in the classrooms and dorms, performance spaces and playing fields—shaped each of us into what we are today. If you are at all like me, you continue to receive benefits from your experience here. I thank UNH for the opportunities I was given, and I regularly think about how I might repay what it has given me. How might I invest in UNH to ensure that future generations of students receive similar opportunities?
From my perspective, one important way is to stay connected to UNH. The Alumni Association serves as the university's front door for alumni. Through our programs and services, we offer a wide variety of ways to stay engaged. We strive to keep you informed about the exciting things happening at UNH and provide several mechanisms for staying connected to classmates and friends, including our web site, Wildcat World: http://www.alumni.unh.edu
Similarly, our colleagues in the UNH Foundation provide a wide variety of opportunities to help build a culture of philanthropy for the university. Alumni support scholarships, endow faculty chairs and centers of excellence, make cutting-edge research possible, fund athletic and recreational programs and contribute to building construction. Alumni also contribute directly to the education of students by serving as role models, mentors and guest speakers in the classroom—and give back to fellow alums and current students by volunteering through our online alumni networks: www.alumni.unh.edu/network.
I'm sure you have surmised that I think alumni are important contributing members of the UNH community. Alumni are also the "face" of UNH in the broader community. We are ambassadors for UNH in business, government, education, the nonprofit sector and professional fields. We are often the connection between UNH and its future students. All of us have a vested interest in the future of UNH. Alumni are part of the UNH family and have a lasting impact on this first-class research university. I'm proud to be in such distinguished company.
In the Spotlight
An alumnus helps graduates access online journals
by Rachel M. Collins '81
Today students at UNH can access articles online with a simple click, but it wasn't always that way.
In the '80s, when students still trekked to the library to read magazine and journal articles, Tim Collins '85, a sophomore at the time, started a company with his stepfather, Jerry Seaman. Popular Magazine Review offered libraries a weekly printed summary of articles from some 300 magazines.
"In business, it's called a 'solution compromise,'" says Collins, who majored in business administration and economics. "You don't realize how bad something is until you find something better. We did a good job taking something painful and laborious and making it easy."
It helped that the competition offered only "index headings" every two months. "We came out weekly," he says. "That was our niche."
It wasn't long before they realized that to stay competitive, they would have to get their product on CD-ROM, sign licenses with publishers to offer articles in full text, and expand their sales force.
To finance that growth, they sold their company to the Birmingham, Ala.-based company EBSCO, which today offers 320 online databases to libraries, as well as the largest number of full-text publications—some 90,000, says Collins, president of EBSCO Publishing.
"We got a little lucky there," Collins says of the 1987 sale. And, he adds, "We did a nice job transitioning" from one technology to the next—a transition that always has included his alma mater.
"When we [EBSCO] first had online services, we started a relationship with UNH," Collins says. "We'd have students use our products and then we'd ask them what they thought. We paid them $25 and they would tell us all the things we could do differently."
They also set up a scanning operation at UNH, where back files of magazines were, and still are, digitized.
So it was only natural that when EBSCO recently began offering databases to alumni that UNH would be one of the first to sign on.
"For years, we've had a lot of interest from alumni for these online databases," says Jennifer Carroll, electronic resources librarian at Dimond Library. "Students had all of this information when they were here, but then when they graduate they feel like they lose everything."
Alumni were not allowed online access because the library's agreements with publishers limited use to students and faculty and staff members. But then EBSCO signed agreements with publishers to create two new databases specifically for alumni—Business Source Alumni Edition and Academic Search Alumni Edition. Now any UNH graduate may log in to the alumni web site at www.alumni.unh.edu and access thousands of full-text articles and indexes.
It's free to alumni, since Collins helped the university and the Alumni Association negotiate an agreement that is affordable, even with UNH's perennially strapped finances.
"We were happy that we were able to offer this because EBSCO is our most popular database provider," Carroll says. "It's definitely something that we think is important, and we hope that in the future we will be able to offer even more."
There have been nearly 6,000 searches in the first year of use, she says. "We realized there was a niche with alumni," Collins says. "And it wasn't that hard to go across the street from the library to the alumni office to offer it." Especially since these days—thanks to technology—access can be just a click away.
For more on the online databases, see www.alumni.unh.edu/library.blog comments powered by Disqus