What does the alumni association stand for? This is a question I have heard from alumni during my term as president this past year.
If you’ve found yourself asking this question, then you’ll be glad to know that members of our board of directors have adopted a strategic plan and core values, which are “Serving WSU, Alumni, Students and Our Community,” “Honoring Shocker Pride,” “Fostering and Maintaining Relationships” and “Valuing Higher Education.”
Getting our values down to four phrases was an arduous process, but worth the effort. These values will guide everything we do as an association.
It is likely no surprise to see one of our values is service, which we define broadly to emphasize that we not only serve the university and alumni, but students and the wider community. WSU and its alumni association are integral parts of our community.
We honor those with Shocker Pride and encourage its sharing and celebration, and we work hard to bolster Shocker relationships.
Identifying yourself as an alum is indicative of a relationship; identifying yourself as a member of the alumni association is an even greater relationship. Putting a Shocker license plate on your car is a relationship; volunteering as a mentor or helping with an event is a relationship. We are all about relationships.
This association puts great value on higher education. We know how a quality education gave us opportunities and enriched our lives.
We know it can do the same for others — but only if Kansans support their institutions of higher learning and only if we do not succumb to the temptation to value the diploma more than the education or bow to the financial pressure to price a segment of the population out of the ability to get an education at a public university.
As alumni, we must keep policy-makers aware of the value of higher education to the quality of life in our state.
My year as your president has come to a close. It has been grand. My heartfelt appreciation goes out to the top-notch Shockers on our board. I am proud to have served with them.