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Deans’ gift to WKU graduates: first-year dues for Alumni Association

Deans’ gift to WKU graduates: first-year dues for Alumni Association

WKU students graduating this weekend will be getting an unexpected present, courtesy of their academic dean: first year membership in the WKU Alumni Association.

Each of the university’s academic deans has agreed to pay the first-year dues, a $35 value, for all graduates for the next three years, according to Donald Smith, executive director of the WKU Alumni Association.

“The deans felt it was the least they could do after all the hard work the students put in to completing their degrees,” Smith said.

The idea originated with Dean Jeff Katz of the Gordon Ford College of Business and Dean John Bonaguro of the College of Health and Human Services. They approached Smith and then pitched the idea to WKU’s Council of Academic Deans. It proved to be an easy sell, Dr. Katz said.

“In my opinion, the action of the deans reflects a huge commitment for the future of our university through ongoing alumni connection and participation,” he said.

Dr. Bonaguro said the idea originated from a conversation they had about keeping graduates connected to the university.

“This is really valuable for us,” he said. “This means we can stay in touch with our alumni, keep them involved in the Alumni Association, keep them involved with the college and departments and keep them connected to WKU. We hope that once they have one membership, they will renew that membership year after year.”

Smith said word is just getting out to the students, and the response has been positive.

“They are excited to know that their relationship with WKU is not going to end when they walk across the stage at Commencement,” he said.

Smith said the proposal came at an exciting time in the history of the Alumni Association. The 30,000-square-foot Augenstein Alumni Center, under construction on the north end of campus, is on target to open just in time for the association’s centennial in 2013.

“It’s pretty special to have all three come together like this,” he said.

The program will mean the addition of about 3,600 new members to the alumni association this year. Funds raised through the dues go back into alumni programming such as Spirit Magazine and the reunion program.

“Our job is to keep those graduates involved,” Smith said.

Contact: Donald Smith, (270) 745-4395.

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 Last Modified 9/24/14