UAH Alumni Association leaders build on mission and purpose

Group image of VIjay Patel, Krista Staley, David Staley, Matanlie Trent, and David Kingsbury at the 2018 Alumni Association Annual.

"Attending the UAH Alumni Association Annual Meeting last year are Krista Staley, David Staley (BS Business Administration, '03; MBA, '09), Natalie Trent (MBA '12), David Kingsbury (BS Business Administration, '82; MS Management, '89), and Vijay Patel (BS Business Administration, Accounting '83; BS Business Administration, Management Information Systems, '85)."

Michael Mercier | UAH

Directors of The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) Alumni Association, a non-profit corporation, recently voted to dissolve its 501(c)3 status while remaining a university-affiliated organization closely associated with the Office of Alumni Relations.

Created more than 40 years ago, the UAH Alumni Association served as an independent 501(c)(3) organization initially structured as a dues-paying membership model with fundraising goals. After a careful review of the corporation’s mission and purpose, the association president and an ad hoc committee recommended to the Board of Directors that its non-profit status be dissolved, keeping the same name with a renewed focus on building alumni membership and increasing postgraduate involvement.

“Membership in the UAH Alumni Association is now automatic upon graduation,” said Natalie Wrinkle Trent (’12 MS, Business Administration), President of the UAH Alumni Association Board of Directors. “We believe this will encourage more alumni to reconnect with the university and take part in events hosted by the UAH Alumni Association. With exciting growth occurring at UAH with the planned campus expansion, now is an ideal time for alumni to get involved,” Trent added.

“The association will continue to operate with the same board structure and schedule, and fulfill the same purpose and mission as intended without any noticeable difference to alumni,” explained Dr. Everett K. Roper (’09, PhD, ISE; ’08, MS, ISE; ’97, MS, CS; ’93, BS EE). Roper is a 2017 UAH Alumni of Achievement recipient and was a member of the ad hoc committee who reviewed the structure of the 501(c)(3) organization. “This will allow the UAH Alumni Association to become a non-corporate entity of UAH and better align with the university's goals while strengthening its branding and creating a more unified partnership," Roper said.

“Now the purpose of the organization can focus on what is most important — encouraging meaningful engagement in support of UAH's mission,” said Hale, Interim Vice President for University Advancement. “It is our hope that this new structure will aid in building Charger pride and connecting more alumni with their alma mater,” she added. Hale also serves as the university’s Senior Director of Alumni Relations and Executive Director of the UAH Alumni Association.

The UAH Alumni Association’s initiatives and activities will move forward without missing a beat. A few ways that alumni can get plugged in over the next academic year are through events, volunteering, and giving. Each year, the association participates in Homecoming and hosts annual events such as Perfect Pairings, Brews Cruise, and Graduates of the Last Decade (GOLD) gatherings. Also, the association will have opportunities for alumni to volunteer on different ad hoc committees of the Board, supporting student recruitment efforts, student engagement ideas, establishing and being active members of chapters and affinity groups, and others. Alumni can also give back by mentoring current chargers or aid the college or student groups they were most passionate about by giving back financially. However alumni would like to propel the university forward and impact future Chargers, the UAH Alumni Association has many avenues in which to do so.

The UAH Alumni Association will continue to serve its alumni and promote ways in which alumni can get involved and stay connected. Alumni may continue to stay informed about the UAH Alumni Association through the monthly e-newsletter, Charger Connect, and by following the association on social media.

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Karen Brennan
UAH Alumni Association