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Daily Wildcat Staff Alumni

New program targets alumni connections


By Nicole Mott
Arizona Daily Wildcat
September 1, 2005
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UA graduates can maintain and rekindle their connection to the university with a new alumni association that is launching its membership program today.

Samantha Zipp, director of Membership and Marketing for the Alumni Association, said the membership program is a response to a market research survey that said graduates would pay to be better connected and get services unique to UA alumni.

"The UA is a school that has a lot of pride and tradition and having an alumni membership program is a great way to show it. It's a great way to support the university," Zipp said.

Before the start of the association, the UA was one of only five public universities in the nation lacking a membership network for graduates.

With the UA up to speed, alumni will now be able to bond with former classmates through newsletters, e-mail forwarding and up-to-date information about happenings on the UA campus, according to a press release.

The membership will provide benefits on and off campus, from airline discounts on Jet Blue and Southwest to discounts from Ticketmaster, as well as deals on hotel and car rentals. Additional benefits include invitations to tailgating parties and CatCard membership.

Memberships can be purchased annually at different levels for prices ranging from $35 to $50. Lifetime and founder memberships can also be bought for $1,000 and $5,000, respectively.

Proceeds from the program will go toward supporting the alumni association's scholarship students, Homecoming and UA alumni clubs nationwide.

Eric Hockins, a second-year graduate student in public administration, said he is glad to see the university has finally adopted some type of networking program.

"For UA to develop into a University of Miami or University of Michigan, we must develop an alumni support base. By offering alumni services, the base will grow," Hockins said.

The alumni membership program currently has 250 members, but it hopes to expand to 6,000 by the end of the year, Zipp said.



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