Alumni Association eliminates membership fees


Brynn Lundy/The Lion's Roar

A university alumni poses with Roomie the Lion at the 2019 ‘Lion 4 Life’ party. Being a member of the Alumni Association grants graduates access to a variety of social and networking events.

The university’s Alumni Association has announced a new structure of initiation that will grant all graduates an automatic entrance into the alumni family.

With the elimination of membership fees, the association has opened its arms to over 72,000 alumni. This change will provide alumni with more opportunities to network with fellow graduates and attend social events.

Olivia Graziano, associate director of alumni programming, shared how the membership and its benefits will be applied.

“Beginning July 1, dues were eliminated,” explained Graziano. “Now, all graduates will automatically become a part of our alumni family, and prior graduates will also be transitioned to members. Additionally, this new structure will allow our staff to better focus resources on providing more of the innovative, career-focused programming that so many have requested.”

Becoming part of the alumni family will grant graduates with opportunities to participate in events such as reunions, football tailgates and the annual Alumni Awards Evening. 

Michelle Biggs, executive director of alumni relations, discussed the ways alumni can be active in their membership.

“All alumni are invited to participate in the core engagement activities that are at the center of what we do, including opportunities to network with fellow graduates and/or mentor a student or young alumnus on,” shared Biggs.

Upon joining the alumni office in 2017, Biggs has watched the transition of alumni relations across the country.

“Many alumni associations have been moving away from the membership model toward a philanthropic one,” said Biggs. “Our goal was to remove barriers and encourage all alumni to participate in Alumni Association programming, regardless of their membership status.”

Graziano explained how philanthropic contributions and fundraising will help upkeep the quality of the organization.

“Although previous practices did include membership fees, we now ask alumni to make a philanthropic gift to the Alumni Association to support the many networking and professional development events and programs that we provide for our students and alumni,” said Graziano. “The Alumni Association also intends to utilize fundraising techniques to remain a vibrant organization.”

As a 2015 graduate, Graziano has witnessed the changes of the Alumni Association and is excited to watch it expand.

“I am so excited to be part of this monumental transition of inclusion, as this change will allow us to better serve and strengthen our network of Lion alumni,” expressed Graziano.

Biggs assured that, in whichever avenue of involvement a graduate chooses, they will be met with welcoming arms.

“There are a myriad of ways to get involved, whether it’s volunteering at an event, coming back to campus for a reunion, speaking to a class or just joining our networking platform,, to look up former classmates,” explained Biggs. “We welcome everyone with open arms.”