Alumni News

Ready for Takeoff
Membership for all alumni, dues for none, and The UNH Fund are all signs of a new direction

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Takeoff, illustration by Campbell Laird
Illustration by Campbell Laird

As I approach the sunset of my 38-year career at this great university—the last five years with the Alumni Association—I have been extraordinarily impressed with the growth in participation by alumni in the life of UNH. Alumni and friends are giving back to UNH on a daily basis through volunteer service and philanthropy. By the time I retire in November 2009, I'm confident that active participation will reach a new high, setting a long-time trend for future generations. Allow me to tell you why I believe this to be the case.

The Alumni Association Board of Directors and staff have developed over the past 18 months a strategic plan for the Alumni Association. This plan sets both new and enhanced objectives for the foreseeable future. Likewise, the university is setting a new course for fundraising. Both initiatives are focused on better serving you and better supporting the university.

In a major new direction for the Alumni Association, you will no longer be asked to pay membership dues. You and all your fellow alums are now, and will always be, members of the UNH Alumni Association and the UNH community by virtue of having attended our university.

We're taking this step because in order for the university to achieve its potential, even more alumni need to become actively involved. If the more than 120,000 UNH alumni living in the United States and abroad mobilized on behalf of the university—by volunteering to be online career mentors, networking with alumni at regional events, reconnecting with their departments, offering internships to UNH students, writing letters to the state legislature—they could make a significant difference in the life of the university. (For more ways to become involved, visit mobilize/.)

I would like to address myself for a moment to the thousands of alumni who have supported the Alumni Association by becoming dues-paying members. Your loyalty and support have been, and remain, irreplaceable. Life and five-year members, as well as consistent annual members, will be honored for that loyalty in an upcoming issue of the UNH Honor Roll of Donors. (CEPS Society members will receive a letter about future membership.) But we still need your involvement, and your support, which brings me to the new UNH Fund.

The university has created The UNH Fund to make it easier to make a gift to UNH. Like its predecessor, the Annual Fund, The UNH Fund will provide crucial support for everything that makes UNH such a special place. Both the change in alumni membership and the new UNH Fund will simplify and clarify the process of giving a gift to the university. To read more about The UNH Fund or to make a gift, go to

These new initiatives are positive steps in better serving you and future generations of alumni and students. And I hope they will help pave the way for future students to continue to receive the same quality educational experience that you and I had the good fortune to receive. ~

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