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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


UA President Hart, UA Alumni Association present strategic plan

Kimberly Cain
Kimberly Cain / The Daily Wildcat President Ann Weaver Hart addresses alumni about her UA Presidential Report at the Wildcat For Life Leadership Council Meeting on Friday.

More than 100 UA alumni from around the world returned to campus on Friday morning for the UA Alumni Association’s Wildcat for Life Leadership Council Meeting.

UA President Ann Weaver Hart presented “Never Settle,” a four-part strategic plan focused on engaging, innovating, partnering and synergy.

“‘Never Settle’ is designed specifically to make sure that we as a University of Arizona community accomplish more than we could ever dream of accomplishing as individual units isolated, no matter how good we are at what we do,” Hart said.

Following her presentation, one alumna stood and asked Hart what alumni could be doing to help move the plan forward.

“We’ve actually been kind of sleepy for a few decades in holding active opportunities for alumni from the university to get together,” Hart said. “As simple as hamburgers and beer at a televised basketball game, to helping us with recruitment and once admitted, getting the great students from around the world who have been admitted to the university to actually commit.”

That yield rate is hugely important, she said, adding that the university wants to get alumni more involved in that aspect.

“We are determined,” Hart said, “to make sure that the whole alumni association becomes more deeply embedded in participating, partnering, in everything we do.”

Following Hart’s presentation was Melinda Burke, president and executive director of the UA Alumni Association, who spoke about the alumni association strategic plan.

Adopted in 2011, the vision of the plan is to advance the University of Arizona by connecting, engaging and nurturing Wildcats for Life, according to Burke.

“You all here today represent for us that last piece which is truly the most important and the lasting connecting we want to create,” Burke said.

Goals of the plan include connecting alumni to the university and to each other through various communications, including online and an alumni magazine, as well as engaging students.

The plan also aims to cultivate lifelong commitment and engagement through the university, and build a vibrant alumni community through the effective utilization of chapters, clubs and sustainable membership programs, Burke said.

Currently, the UA Alumni Association has a chapter network that extends from coast to coast and border to border, she said, as well as an active group of clubs throughout the state of Arizona.

“This Wildcat for Life Leadership Council we hope will truly be advocates and ambassadors for the University of Arizona,” Burke said, “helping us further the messaging around ‘Never Settle’ strategic plan, and supporting [the]University of Arizona Alumni Association and our activities not only on campus, but all across the country.”

Manny Teran, an alumni association member who graduated in 1999, said he thought the “Never Settle” campaign was great.

“A lot of other schools have taken leaps and bounds, and I think it’s our time,” Teran said. “Melinda [Burke] has done a great job of laying the framework and especially you know, Dr. Hart has taken the lead. Of that initiative, the UA Alumni Association is right behind her as well, so we’re pretty excited to be part of that.”

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