Oh, the Stories You'll Tell
Oh, the Stories You'll Tell
Did you know this magazine predates the Alumni Association? Back in 1901,
a former U of M registrar founded a journal called The Weekly to “make
the alumni acquainted with what is going on at the University at all times,
and to foster a genuine University spirit among the alumni.” It wasn’t a moneymaker, so the Alumni Association—founded in 1904 and then called the
General Alumni Association (GAA)—took ownership of The Weekly in 1906.
Over time, things changed. The GAA became UMAA and The Weekly
evolved into Minnesota Alumni. Yet, the original missions for both the organization and the magazine remain today. This didn’t happen by accident, of
course: It’s been you, and members like you for over 100 years, who made
this possible for the U of M alumni community.
Each of our alumni has a story to share. Our editor, Kelly O’Hara Dyer,
does a fantastic job packaging them together in this award-winning
magazine. But the fact is, with over 500,000 living alumni, it’s impossible to
preserve every story, memory, or reflection in a magazine format. So, the
UMAA has launched a new endeavor. It’s called Alumni Reflections.
Did you get a postcard or email from Alumni Reflections yet?
You may have already received
a postcard or email from Alumni
Reflections, our effort to compile an
oral history of the U of M. The initial
response has been amazing and we
want to hear your story, too! When
you get your card, simply follow
the directions on it to share in this
Robert Goldstein, Ph.D. ’64, shared this memory: “Even though I applied to 10 graduate schools, and got accepted by all of them, I chose the U of M because they took an interest in me and offered me a fellowship. But the personal invitation I got from the Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science was the deciding factor. They kept sending me telegrams and letters, really wanting me to come here. I was very lucky because my thesis advisor was Professor Neal Amundson, head of the department and a real icon in the field of chemical engineering.”
It’s an oral history project with the goal of preserving thousands of alumni
memories in a physical hardbound book and a digital storybook. Nobody
but you can tell the story of how the U of M changed your life. That’s why
we’re turning the microphone over to you.
Did a special faculty member have a profound impact on your life? Were
you on campus during a historical moment? Did you and your sweetheart
meet at the University? These stories and more are what we’re hoping to
preserve for future generations. Because your story is a part of the history
of this institution.
Postcards and emails have been sent your way with instructions on how
to take part in Alumni Reflections. You can also visit UMNAlumni.org/Reflections to learn more. I hope you’ll join your
fellow alumni in sharing your story and be a part of
a 121-year-old storytelling legacy.
President and CEO
Life Member and Alumni Leadership Circle Donor
University of Minnesota Alumni Association
ALUMNI! Pay it Forward and Post a Project
Give students a micro-internship opportunity.
By Caitlin Buckvold Neal
I started college in 2008 intent on becoming a writer. Then the Great Recession
struck, and I saw the writing on the wall:
foreclosure signs dotting lawns, breaking
bad news on my TV, and talking heads
pontificating about making sensible college
The writing career I planned for myself, a
first-generation college student, started feeling so remote as to be ridiculous. As former
Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan
talked about the irrational exuberance of the
markets, I looked at my dream of writing for
a living and saw the same thing.
Instead I majored in economics and
spent eight years working in a few different
industries before deciding to revisit my
urge to write for a living. I returned to the
U of M for a master’s in the Strategic Communication program.
I’m always looking for more ways to
gain experience so I was excited to see
a Minnesota Alumni post on the Projects
board in the Maroon and Gold Network for
a first-person article.
The Network is an online platform hosted
by UMAA that connects students with alumni, faculty, and friends of the organization. It
offers networking and mentorship opportunities, career development resources, and
more. Projects is a new digital hub on the
site that lets participants offer short-term
(40 hours or less), real-world experiences to
students. These micro-internships provide
an opportunity to explore different
industries and gain new skills. Projects pull
from all disciplines and sectors, with tasks
ranging from “analyzing data and extracting
insights” to designing a logo.
I applied. Without any formal writing
experience and with internships more
competitive than ever, my hopes weren’t
high. To my surprise, I was accepted!
“This is exactly what Maroon and Gold
Network Projects are for: [to] get that foot
in the door, get that entry-level experience,
whether it’s your first career or third career,”
explains Marissa Smith, UMAA director of
student & recent alumni engagement.
Projects let alumni tap into the U of M
student network for help tackling small
tasks that may be sitting on the back burner
at their organizations. Students, in turn,
gain experience and build resume skills.
Roberta Ryan, (B.S. ’14) an animal curator
at the Wildlife Science Center, has posted
Projects for overflow tasks at her organization. “We’re all biologists; none of us are
marketers or business majors or anything
like that,” she says. “Anything outside animal care and research, we’re making up as
we go along. When we have [small jobs] like
that come up, the Projects are for students
with that background.”
And when students work with alumni on
a Project, a sense of support is already built
into the partnership.
“It’s comforting to know you have at least
one major thing in common: that you both
went to, or go to, the University,” says Jessalyn Dvorak, who graduated in May with a
B.S. in developmental psychology. Dvorak
worked on a Project for a local charter
school conducting literature reviews and
presenting her findings to the administrative board. “It can be really hard and scary
to get internships, so to be able to go
through the University’s database makes it
a whole lot easier,” she says.
Bruce Mooty, a past chair of the Alumni
Association, sees both the value of the
Projects platform and an opportunity to
eliminate financial barriers for students. He
started the Mooty Internship Scholarship,
which launched in April, to offer a one-time,
$500 scholarship to students who take on
an unpaid Maroon and Gold Network Project. He hopes it will inspire other alumni to
pay it forward by posting a project.
“This is a chance to give back,” Mooty says.
“Some of the most fulfilling things in life are
when you help others maximize themselves.”
Consider it a down payment on a dream,
or maybe a sign that our futures are meant
to be a little exuberant.
As for the magazine article I wrote for my Maroon and Gold Network Project? You’re reading it. UMNAlumni.org/Projects
Welcome to the Alumni Family, Class of 2022!
More than 1,200 graduates gathered on May 4 at McNamara Alumni Center for the Send Off, presented by Huntington Bank. This event featured photos with Goldy and Paul Bunyan’s Axe, samples from alumni-owned businesses, a graduation gift, and more.