Alumni Relations

Unit Annual Report





Vivian Heltemes — Director (100%) 7/1/02 to 6/2/03

Pat Gannon — Director (100%) 6/61/03 to 6/30/03

Laura Thielke — Principal Accounts Specialist (50%) 

Alisande Allaben — Senior Office Assistant (50%)

Jill Hahn, Community Program Assistant, summer 2002

Jill Schreck, Alumni Homecoming Intern, fall 2002

Sandy Little, Senior Data Entry Operator, (temporary appointments for database conversion tasks through September 30)

Lonnie Bradford, Theresa Johnson, Jennifer Mages, Kevin Peterson, work-study at various times during the year                                                  



To develop and maintain the active, ongoing interest and support of UMM and WCSA alumni.



To advance UMM's overall alumni efforts by:

1) Coordinating and maintaining communication to and among UMM, West Central School of    Agriculture, and Minority Student Program alumni, and assisting their respective Boards of Directors,

2) Maintaining and providing accurate alumni information to campus and external constituencies,

3) Assisting the campus community in maintaining strong alumni relationships,

4) Representing alumni concerns on campus and within the University community.



Alumni leadership is provided by the following groups:

UMM Alumni Board of Directors

The Alumni Association Board of Directors sets overall vision and strategy for alumni activities.  This past year the group spent significant time discussing the future of the UMM athletics program.  They were also very much involved in the legislative process, requesting funding for the Social Science Building renovation.  About one-fourth of over 800 alumni surveyed commented on the need for the renovation.

Blaine Hill '87, Breckenridge, President

Clare (Dingley) Strand '76, Morris, Vice President

Thomas Westman '74, South Haven, Secretary/Treasurer

Don Brabeck '84, St. Paul, Past President

Robert Boedigheimer '85, Stillwater

Carol Eckersen '80, Minneapolis

Kurt Hoehne '90, Montevideo

Alana (Christensen) Petersen '91, Minneapolis

Michael Peterson '89, Chanhassen

Anna Ronhovde '98, St. Paul

Kenneth Traxler '89, Bemidji

Juli (Yauch) Wagner '98, Eagan

West Central School of Agriculture Board of Directors

The WCSA Board provides leadership in the planning of their alumni events, communications, and activities. Their philanthropic interest in regard to the UMM Capital Campaign is centered around the Rural Students Scholarship Fund.  The board is especially pleased that progress is being made toward including more campus buildings affiliated with the Ag School on the National Historic Register, a project they initiated.

Les Bensch '59, Ashby, President

Les Dehlin '46, Alexandria, Vice President

Floyd Eliason '53, Alberta, Treasurer

Shirley (Hagen) Wendland '56, Fergus Falls, Secretary

LaVay (Schmock) Borresen '59, Spicer

Darwin Danielson '63, Rothsay

Arlys (Mitchell) Mumm '51, Montevideo

Harriet (Vaala) Payne '60, De Graff

Ronald Schoephoerster '53, Wheaton

MSP Board

The Minority Student Program Alumni Association is a component of the overall UMM Alumni Association.  Their purpose is to assist the current MSP program and current MSP students. 

Alumni Events

July 20 - WCSA Reunion and Annual Meeting

Sept 9 - WCSA Alumni Board Meeting

Sept 20-22 - UMM Homecoming & UMMAA Annual Meeting

Oct 12 - UMM MSP Alumni Event, Chicago Firehouse Restaurant, Chicago

Nov 16 - UMMAA Board of Directors Meeting

Feb 3 - WCSA Alumni Event, Mesa, Arizona

Feb 20 - UMMAA Board of Directors Meeting, Twin Cities

Feb 14 - MMEA Reception, Minneapolis Hilton, sponsored in part by UMMAA

Feb 15 - Alumni Event In Florida

March 18  - Senior Salute, in conjunction with Special Events

April 2 - UMM Alumni Night at Timberwolves Game

April 5 - UMMAA Board of Directors Meeting, Jazz Fest Alumni Event, Morris

May 31 - WCSA Alumni Volunteers Plant Garden

June 30 - WCSA Alumni Board Meeting



In conjunction with the Chancellor's Office the Office of Alumni Relations published three issues of Profile, a UMM communication sent to all alumni, parents of students, friends and donors and distributed throughout the campus and Morris community.  A bi-annual newsletter is mailed to WCSA alumni.

Appropriate mailings and email were sent to notify UMM and WCSA alumni about on- and off-campus events, breaking news about the campus, and to request their assistance during the legislative session. 


The former director was a member of Morris Kiwanis and on the Morris Dollars for Scholars Board of Directors.  She also served on the UMM Student Services Committee and is a University of Minnesota Grievance Hearing Officer.


Evaluation and Changes Recommended

UMM's alumni program is growing in two ways:  through an increase in numbers each year of between 350-400 graduates and through an expansion of activities.  The alumni database includes over 10,300 graduates and 6500 former students. 

Alumni Events - Homecoming 2002: a special reunion was held for KUMM alumni.  They were invited to be guest dj's on the air, be interviewed for historical perspective of the station. A change to the pre-game 'tailgate' party at the football field was to invite student groups to sell food items as a way to make money for their respective organizations. 

A remarkably well-attended MSP event occurred in Chicago on October 12.  Over 60 alumni and friends attended.  Taking Bill Stewart was a real drawing card.  Having Admissions representatives, MSP representatives and alumni work together on this project was a real testimony of 'working together for the greater good of UMM.'

Awards - The UMMAA Teaching Award was given to Nancy Carpenter, associate professor of chemistry.  This past year the UMMAA board of directors established.  The first Distinguished Alumni Awards were be given during Homecoming 2002. The recipients were Bob Gandrud, Lue Her, and Bruce Johnson.

Communications - Paramount to good communications with alumni is having a comprehensive database of good information.  It was determined early in the year that the only feasible answer to removing the alumni database from the VAX was to integrate our data into the database used by the UM Foundation (DMS).  The alumni staff has provided the leadership necessary for this undertaking.  Assisted by programming staff from the Foundation, new demographic screens for events and volunteer activities were developed for use by the entire University of Minnesota.

The alumni board website committee conducted a survey to determine interest in, usage, and improvements to the alumni website.  Results are being tallied.



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