Here at the University of Oregon Alumni Association, we like to tell alumni that their membership makes the UO stronger, and that they can enjoy great rewards while helping their alma mater.
That’s all well and good, but what does it actually mean? When you pay your membership dues, what happens? What do you get out of it, and what does the university get out of it?
Here’s a handy top ten list of ways that you, as a member, can make a difference.
- DUCK PRIDE
Membership in the UOAA is the No. 1 way Ducks show their pride in the University of Oregon! Our members support alumni outreach, and help provide programming to keep Ducks connected to the UO and each other. By becoming a member you’re making an investment in the future of the UO, and together we make the university stronger.
- YOUR DUCK NETWORK
Investing in your network, whether it’s for social or career purposes, is vital to staying connected. Membership keeps you connected to Ducks in your region and across the globe, and provides you with opportunities to expand your career through the Duck Career Network. Through in-person and online networking events held by the UOAA and its domestic and international chapters, professional groups, and cultural and affinity groups, we’ll open doors that could just make you the next Renée James ’86, Oracle board member and former president of Intel; James Ivory ’51, founder of Merchant Ivory Productions; or Edwin Artzt ’51, chairman emeritus of Procter & Gamble.
- IMPACT ON STUDENTS
As a former student, you understand the importance of student support. In 2014–15 alone the UOAA and its chapters raised $48,000 to fund 24 scholarships and internships that help current Ducks. Our members are a vital part of the scholarship program, making our fundraising events possible. Additionally, the UOAA supports the Student Alumni Association, which engages more than 5,000 student members in a variety of networking and social events, leadership opportunities, service projects, and more.
- IN THE KNOW
No matter where you live, your Alumni Association will keep you informed about outstanding students, alumni, and faculty; UO athletics; and more through events, monthly e-newsletters, member-only opportunities, and more. Our e-news includes profiles of Ducks who are among the world’s best at what they do, from Pulitzer Prize winners to Hollywood game changers, as well as campus news to keep you abreast of the latest developments at the UO. If you have a hankering to keep learning after you’ve received your diploma, our science nights bring alumni and top UO researchers together over a frosty brew to discuss what is happening in fields including particle physics, zoology, plate tectonics, anthropology, and more—and members get in at a discounted rate!
Members have made a clear impact on the University of Oregon through advocating in the Oregon legislature. By contacting their legislators, members helped pass Senate Bill 270 in 2013, establishing an independent institutional board for the University of Oregon. Since then, our members have ensured congressmen and senators remain aware of the importance of financial aid programs and higher education funding, and have made their voices heard at events such as Higher Education Advocacy Day in Salem.
- DISCOUNTS AND REWARDS
As an extra perk of membership you’ll save at select local and national retailers, ensuring your dollar goes even further. You’ll also receive discounted entry to nearly all UOAA events, including science nights, where researchers present and discuss their work while Ducks relax and enjoy a cold brew; business luncheons and happy hours, where career-minded professionals can exchange business cards while networking; auctions to raise money for student scholarships; service events, where Ducks give back to the community; and wine tastings. The UOAA and its chapters held more than 300 events in 2015 alone, bringing thousands of Ducks together to celebrate the University of Oregon. For a complete list of member rewards, which are too many to list here and which are frequently updated, click here.
- EXCLUSIVE ACCESS
In addition to discounts, you will have access to football tickets before the general public; exclusive invitations to shop at the Nike Employee Store and the Columbia Sportswear Employee Store, as well as special nights at the Duck Store nights; tailgate before home and select road football games; member appreciation events, and more.
- GIVING BACK
Whether you want to get involved with your local alumni chapter, support student scholarships, or mentor fellow alumni via the Duck Career Network, there are many opportunities to do so through your Alumni Association. Our members provide positive role models for future Ducks at elementary schools, participate in community service projects to beautify their regions, and more.
- STUDENT RECRUITMENT
Are you looking for a way to give back and help high school students find out more information about the UO? Many of our regional alumni chapters host Oregon Migration send-offs each summer, meeting incoming students and their families and answering questions they may have about Eugene and the UO (you could tell them about how the UO—a tier 1 university classified by the Carnegie Foundation as a “highest research activity” institution—has produced multiple Nobel Prize winners; has just had a faculty member receive the National Medal of Science; and through its cluster hire initiative aims to bring in the world’s most accomplished researchers to strengthen areas where we are already on the cutting edge; or you could tell them about how great it is to spend four years hiking in the Cascades, enjoying the sandy beaches on the coast, tubing in the Willamette River, and cheering for the Ducks in Autzen Stadium, Hayward Field, Matthew Knight Arena, and the rest of the UO’s athletic venues).
Additionally, The Duck Alumni Recruiting Team is a perfect opportunity for alumni around the world to give back, as DART members help the UO recruit the next generation of outstanding Ducks—a generation that includes Ducks such as Annika Gustafsson, BS ’15, who discovered the closest binary black hole system to Earth as part of her undergraduate thesis research, or environmental science senior Madison Cheek, who is helping farms become more efficient with their water and energy usage.
- YOUR MEMBERSHIP MAKES THE UO STRONGER
It’s true! Membership supports the many programs, partnerships, and events the UOAA and our chapters produce to keep alumni connected and engaged, while continuing to support the mission of the University of Oregon.