Until 2013, the University of Houston Alumni Association (UHAA) operated as an independent organization closely affiliated with UH that collected dues from members. Now, membership is automatic and includes all graduates and former students of UH. Under the University’s banner, UHAA is taking on broader initiatives to better serve our fellow Coogs and create more opportunities than ever before. A more united focus has indisputably helped us further our common goals: student success and alumni connection to our alma mater.
In 2013, a collaborative, multimember task force composed of alumni, UH and UHAA administrators and community stakeholders identified “seven initiatives” that have served as the primary objectives for enhancing alumni relations at the University of Houston. Since then, our goal has been to provide alumni with events and programming that support and reflect these core initiatives.
So, how did we do?
Our goal is to provide more college-based programming and build stronger college-based alumni groups. From our brand new constituent groups and clubs to our increased presence on campus, the University of Houston alumni network has never been stronger.
Our goal is to unite student and alumni programming and provide new offerings to enhance the Cougar Experience. UHAA has increased its presence at Frontier Fiesta, providing a home base for alumni attendees. Overall, UHAA has become a greater and more recognizable presence in UH programming, and we’ve only just begun.
Our goal is to establish new alumni clubs and support current networks around the country in cities with large populations of UH alumni. With 10 out-of-state alumni geographic clubs and six in Texas, more Coogs can find their home-away-from-home than ever before.
Our goal is to organize new and improved events at UH Athletics home games, as well as road events for expanded national constituencies. A new UH tradition, Party on the Plaza, turns every home football game into a mini-reunion. Our watch parties for games continue across the country, and our road events turn rival stadiums into COOGS HOUSE. And now, every home football game is played in style at our new TDECU Stadium.
Our goal is to create more opportunities for career services via UHAA participation, including more events with potential employers. The inaugural Cougar 100 in 2014 put a spotlight on 100 of the fastest-growing Cougar-owned or led businesses and created a strong network of Cougar-to-Cougar businesses that supports myriad opportunities, including job fairs and networking events.
Our goal is to advance and strengthen ongoing alumni award and recognition events. The Annual Alumni Awards Gala is still going strong, recognizing exemplary volunteers and our highest-achieving alumni. Several alumni constituent groups also hold their own annual galas and celebrations.
Our goal is to encourage growth by improving communication, including social media presence and reach. Our alumni network is thriving thanks to online communities. We also have dedicated space in the biannual UH Magazine. Alumni stories and events are reaching wider audiences through monthly e-communications and social media activity, and a refreshed Alumline provides a unique and dedicated voice to UH’s new brand of alumni engagement.
In this report, you’ll find exciting details about what we’ve accomplished so far, and the role you play in making the future even brighter for all Coogs.
Tell us how you think we did championing the “seven initiatives” by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org with your feedback.