Keeping Up with Alumni Relations
Story and Photo by Keeli Willis
Taking the final walk across the stage at the Texas Tech University commencement ceremony is not the end of being a Red Raider.
Lindsey Overman, a Tech agricultural leadership graduate, understands the importance of staying connected with your alma mater after graduation.
“Staying connected gives me lots of opportunities to reconnect with classmates,” Overman said.
Overman depends on the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources Development and Alumni Relations Department to keep her updated on the college’s changes and on any alumni events that are taking place.
“From a business prospective, I want to know about any sponsorship or scholarship opportunities for people that I may know that want to go to Tech,” Overman said.
The ladies working in the Development and Alumni Relations Department strive to keep the bonds made during college strong for the many years after.
Memory Bennett, coordinator of alumni relations, hosts several events throughout the year specific to CASNR alumni needs and wants. In the midst of football season is one of the bigger events, Homecoming Breakfast.
“I think it is a good time for the alumni to interact with the students,” Bennett said.
Scheduled to take place Nov. 6, 2010, the Homecoming Breakfast draws more than 300 people. The breakfast is free; however, donations are excepted that go directly toward the Marvin J. Cepica Student Ag Council Scholarship and the General CASNR Scholarship Fund.
Located at the same time and place every year, the carpet is rolled out at 8 a.m. in the Tech livestock arena. Any national championships won by any department will be unveiled and those team members are recognized.
Overman volunteered at the annual Homecoming Breakfast during her college career.
“It was a tradition for us to have to get up early and set up,” Overman said smiling. “I thought that was a cool opportunity to give back to our alumni who we knew were supporting us.”
Overman now attends Homecoming Breakfast every year because she knows it’s a great time to visit with old friends and network with people in the same field of study.
Bennett invites every one to come and is excited to see it grow every year. She said she hopes the attendance of younger alumni continues to increase, and is always glad to see everyone that attends.
Jane Piercy, CASNR’s director of development and external relations, channels her energy toward building relationships with alumni that could potentially benefit the college and current students.
“The critical aspect in my job is establishing relationships with people who might have an interest in the programs that we have here,“ Piercy said.
As director, Piercy keeps current donors aware of what is going on with the college, makes sure they know how much they are appreciated and how their investment in CASNR students and faculty is paying dividends.
Piercy said she believes the best way they are able to get more funds is by making people feel good about the gifts they have already given.
“I’m amazed at how powerful a student’s note can be,” Piercy said. “It’s so critical not only to the student, because there is nothing better than learning gratitude, and being sincerely grateful for all of your gifts, but also from the donors perspective.”
“Knowing that they are investing in that type of student who has very specific goals, but also willing to share how valuable a scholarship has been to them, is very important.”
It is truly the philanthropic people that make her job so great, Piercy said.
“I feel very privileged to meet the kind of people that are our donors. There is nothing greater than a person who is philanthropic. It’s very inspirational,” Piercy said. “Most of the time the people that are philanthropic are very grateful of the gifts that have been given to them, and that’s why they want to help someone else.”