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June 30, 2010
MARYVILLE, Mo. - Membership in the Northwest Missouri State University Alumni Association has reached an all-time high, and when coupled with the continual increase in alumni chapters being established throughout the country, University officials are optimistic about engagement levels of the Bearcat family.
At the June 30 conclusion of the 2010 fiscal year, the Northwest Alumni Association boasted 6,737 members and 17 active alumni chapters.
Steve Sutton, director of alumni relations, said the national benchmark for alumni and friends membership is 8 percent of a university's total alumni and friends.
"Northwest has 61,000 alumni and friends, so at 11 percent, we've well exceeded that benchmark," Sutton said. "In the past year, membership has grown by 1,248 individuals."
The Northwest Alumni Association, which includes an 18-member volunteer board of directors, aims to foster lifelong relationships through initiatives and opportunities that advance the University and its alumni, future alumni and friends, and Sutton said there were several elements in place this past year that cultivated that mission.
"Positive things have been happening at Northwest, and that certainly translates into increased engagement by alumni and friends," he said. "Not only did our football team bring home another national championship, but so did our cheerleaders. We have record enrollment, students are doing fascinating work inside and outside of the classroom, and we've got a new president who has done a phenomenal job of reaching out and interacting with alumni."
The alumni director also said his office has made a concerted effort to increase its social media presence and communication with alumni and refine its database as well as collaborate with on-campus offices and members of the business community.
"When you combine these and so many other outstanding happenings at Northwest, the result is what we're seeing now, and our goal is to continue that positive momentum," he said.
This momentum was evident this spring when the Eastern Iowa Alumni and Friends Chapter, based in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, was chartered, making it the association's 17th chapter.
"There are more than 1,100 Northwest graduates living in the eastern Iowa region, and the interest by these alumni in establishing a chapter in this area was extraordinary," Sutton said. "Bearcat Nation continues to thrive thanks to dedicated Northwest alumni and friends who appreciate camaraderie with fellow alumni. They also value the education they received and want to ensure those same opportunities are available for future generations of Bearcats. That's what the Northwest Alumni Association is all about."
In addition to the Eastern Iowa Chapter, several alumni chapters are based in the Midwest, such as Kansas City, St. Louis and Central Iowa, but the Northwest Alumni Association also includes chapters in areas such as Southern California, Colorado, Chicago, Arizona and Japan. In the past year alone, alumni chapters have made an impact at Northwest and within their own communities. For example, chapter members have raised money for Northwest scholarships, volunteered at food banks, conducted canned food drives, donated toys to children during the Christmas season and supported the Special Olympics. They've also gathered at watch parties to cheer on the Bearcats, hosted a variety of family outings such as baseball games, hayrides, campfires and pizza parties, and marched in parades displaying their Bearcat banners.
The Northwest Alumni Association annual membership investment is $50 for individuals or $85 for a joint membership. Any gift made to Northwest at or above these levels, with the exception of donations to KXCV or the Bearcat Booster Club, qualifies for membership. For more information or to join the Northwest Alumni Association, visit www.nwmissouri.edu/alumni/joinnow.htm or call 660.562.1248.
Mark Hornickel, Media Relations Specialist
firstname.lastname@example.org | 660.562.1704 | Fax: 660.562.1900
Northwest Missouri State University
215 Administration Building | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468