Does Your Alumni Association Activate You?

How many emails a week do you get from your alumni association? Whether it is a fundraising drive, athletic tailgating gathering or special visiting professor lecture, I harvest and curate a large share of emails from Cornell and Arizona State University. I refuse to unsubscribe to either because I savor the opportunity of making my à la carte selections for which functions I will attend.

I discovered the Cornell Arizona Alumni Club when I moved to Phoenix in August 2005 knowing just a few people, and I love it because we have a dedicated small group of 35-50 active members (even though there are nearly 3,000 Cornell grads of some form or another spread across the entire Valley) who come out and participate in six to eight events a year. The friendships and alma mater camaraderie I have developed over the last few years have been great. Apparently the club had to be revived around 10 years ago, but since I have been here they have organized an excellent variety of gatherings that bring out alums from several generations, including family picnics at McCormick-Stillman Park, a Coyotes game, hiking up Pinnacle Peak, happy hour viewings of Cornell hockey or basketball tournament games and holiday potluck dinners.

I think I have tried a little bit of everything except for this weekend’s activity. We will be doing the club’s fourth annual Camp Habitat: Habitat for Humanity Day house build in Glendale on Saturday. I have often been curious about doing this one, so I finally signed up early this year as there is a limit to the number of participants who can be at the site. I am not a skilled handyman, but I am ready to learn and gain more experience with the necessary tools for the project.

I enjoy the challenge of a new community relations volunteer opportunity and I know it will be some hard work. I have a new pair of steel-toed work boots that are itching to get scuffed, and I’ll sport my well-worn Big Red visor for the group photo.

For my other alma mater, ASU, I look forward to my first Pat Tillman 4.2 mile run along with 28,000 other runners on Saturday, April 21. I’m not sure why I have failed to register in previous years, I used to run a ton of 5K races when I lived in Seattle.

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