What does it mean to be an alumnus of an organization? In practical terms, alumni are usually graduates of a college, university or other organization. To be an alumnus means to belong to something. As a sorority member, I was always taught that members and alumni of an organization are part of something greater than themselves .
Last week, I attended Cronkite Day, the homecoming celebration for alumni of the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism & Mass Communication. It got me thinking- how easy is it to graduate and move on without giving back?
Many individuals get their diploma, graduate and never look back. But I think they miss the mark on what it means to be an alumnus. It is your responsibility to return what was given to you. Along my college journey, there were countless faculty, teachers, volunteers and local professionals who poured into my experience. And I can’t wait to pour into the next generation of students who will one day become alumni.
I am lucky to be surrounded by active alumni throughout my office, especially Abbie, a speaker at this year’s Cronkite Day. Go Devils! In fact, it was quite cool to note that two of Abbie’s professors, Dr. Fran Matera and Dr. Doug Anderson, both commented on how nice it was to have her back on campus and volunteering for the alumni panel again this year.
Whether you’re an active member in an organization, or an alumnus, keep watch for opportunities to give back. You can volunteer to speak to a class or at an event, donate funds to help a student attend a conference, or mentor a student. The opportunities are there, you just have to take the time to find them.What do you think it means to be an alum?