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DesertBronco Offline
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Post: #31
RE: Alumni Association.
Cool, parties.

I can tell you that Walsh's alumni association makes TWICE THE EFFORT than WMU's. I hope to see that change.
01-03-2012 01:49 PM
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JHoover Offline
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Post: #32
RE: Alumni Association.
Thanks for the update, Mr. Acer.

UPDATE

My friends and I have met Mr. Thomas and Mr. Small.
Mr. Small is leaving.
He was probably leaving when he arrived, since he never relocated from Oakland County to Kalamazoo.

Will Mr. Thomas be leaving for South Bend too?
Mr. Thomas doesn't return my friends telephone calls.
I never bothered, because I knew better.

Is Mr. Acer on the payroll?

Now what?
01-04-2012 03:13 PM
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JHoover Offline
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Post: #33
RE: Alumni Association.
And now for something completely different.........

In one of the earlier postings it was suggested that soliciting input and contributions from many alumni might outweigh
focusing on just major donors.
Not a bad idea.
Actually, a good idea.

But there're some people that seem to need to hit only "home runs" to self promote.
The "Little People", as Loretta Hemsley once described "them" will be happy with a few events/parties.
Input from this group is not significant, and takes a lot of creative work and effort.

My friends and I have experienced a lot of condescending attitudes and remarks over the last DECADE.

Any predictions?

New Year Resolutions?
01-06-2012 12:10 PM
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DesertBronco Offline
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Post: #34
RE: Alumni Association.
Acer on the payroll?! I doubt that, just an ass kicking booster who is incredibly supportive and positive about everything WMU.
01-06-2012 12:16 PM
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Chipdip Offline
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Post: #35
RE: Alumni Association.
To me it all comes down to the university's data base. First, target a mailing list of WMU grads with household incomes in eccess of a 100k. Snail mail and email those folks with a surveymonkey and determine where their interests are in terms of WMU, i.e. athletics, academics, no interest in the school.

There are 175k WMU alums in MI. Have 2-4 alumni gatherings per year (catered, open bar, etc) with RSVP invites. At least two of them tied in with key football games, a hockey game, a Miller event or both and 1 or 2 on the east side. Have 3 key speakers. One the Prez, two a speaker with a pie in the sky project, and three a person who can explain the tax advantages of donating as well as how this could be done via payroll deduction.

The goal, 500 people per gathering plus a spouse, with a minimum donation of a $20 a month. Donor receives various WMU related gifts based on the size of the donation.

If we received 50% compliance with the miniumum donation we're looking at 240k per year. That money is used to build the chapters. In year two we break those donors into separate groups based on the region they live in and use year 1 donations to seed those groups and build local chapters. So for example if a chapter in Northern MI emerged then they would receive money for 1 or 2 dinners and fund raisers per year.

The goal in the first 5 years should be to build chapters. The donor pool $$$ should go almost exclusively to that rather than to the school, as if we're building a business. Free grub, free WMU memorobilia, free tax advice, free quality WMU guest speakers (Dennis Archer, Prez Dunn, Hawk, Cubit, Hiller, Jennings, Dombrowski, etc.), and a free key event or two i.e. football, hockey, or Miller.

After year 5 of this plan, then the money begins to go primarily towards WMU. Hopefully by that point we have a base of 10k alums donating an average of $50 a month or around 5-6 million a year.

To me this is a very conservative estimate. The key is communication between the university and its alums. How extensive the university's data base is will determine success. My fear is it's not very extensive.
01-06-2012 04:18 PM
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acer1 Offline
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Post: #36
RE: Alumni Association.
DB, you haven't asked your insiders about that "ass kicking (kissing)" yet have you. I've turned a few tables in my affiliation with WMU. The trouble is you can't do it from the outside.

Jhoover, I'm sure that you may have been met with some resistance with some ideas, who hasn't? I just don't think that it is productive to sit and complain about things, you must get into the arena and be a part of the process. I don't know you so I can't throw stones at you and I refuse to do that, but have you served on the "Board of Directors" of the alumni association. In that forum you are likely to work within the political system and change is possible. Generally not in the manner many of us in the business world would operate, but look at our government.

Always proud to be a Bronco.
01-06-2012 04:20 PM
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JHoover Offline
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Post: #37
RE: Alumni Association.
Mr. Acer, after a decade of Chapter meetings, gatherings, presentations, Gary Fund, season tickets.........
As a twenty year former resident of Kalamazoo, former University employee........
I doubt that I would be nominated to the Board, and would never get by "you know who " for an anointment.
I'm not attacking you, but you've been more than presumptuous, "you must get into the arena".
The ten items/suggestions I e-mailed to someone who recently left Kalamazoo, I'm sure did not wind up on "The List",
but landed in the circular file.

I'm not complaining. I'm stirring the pot.

Mr. CD has a good plan. Maybe an even "Excellent Plan"!
Let's do it!! I'd vote for it, if I had a VOTE/VOICE.
If he is a person of prominence and a Major Donor maybe it could be seriously considered.

Why aren't we having this discussion at a Chapter meeting, special committee meeting, etc........
01-06-2012 07:13 PM
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acer1 Offline
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Post: #38
RE: Alumni Association.
JHoover, I'd love to meet you someday as I never avoid efforts to met and talk with passionate WMU alum.

Many of items in CD's submission above are already being worked on. I'm not sure if there are "focus groups" in other cities but that has been one

in Grand Rapids for the last year. Events done and plan as a result, Football pep rally (about 800 persons in attendance), the Bronco Epic, built around the city "Art Prize" event ( over 500 attending) and a Bronco Gala at Meijer Garden (over 800 persons in attendance). I do know that this concept would if deemed successful in Grand Rapids was going to be transferred to the Detroit and Chicago areas. The Detroit area just experienced the Bronco Bask before the Little Cesears Bowl game (estimated 2,500 in attendant).

There is a new energy, and plan in place. I credit Dr. Dunn with many of these changes. I see the university being transformed and that is all good.

Always proud to be a Bronco.
01-07-2012 12:14 PM
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JHoover Offline
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Post: #39
RE: Alumni Association.
Wow!
And the Hits keep on coming!
I'm impressed on the number of viewers to this thread.
Hopefully, more alumni will enter their opinions.
Sadly, this exchange of ideas and comments is not taking place on a University web site, or University sponsored meeting.
Since it is occurring on a predominately athletics web site, perhaps an Association of Alumni should be directed by the Western Michigan University Athletics Department?

Mr. Acer has written an interesting "press release" relating information that many of us already know, with a very positive spin.
I guess that's "OK", but my friends and I are still skeptical.
At a recent meeting in SE Michigan a WMU official referred to the audience of alumni as "YOU", as in "you people".
A social faux pas that reflects the "them and us" attitude"? This certainly didn't pass the "pronoun test".

One of the last movements that came out of the Alumni Association was the "Young Alumni" fiasco.
"What are you going to do with the "Old Alumni", take them out back and shoot them?"
Very divisive.
This is exactly what happens when you make decisions in "rooms without windows".
This is what can happen when you purposely exclude Alumni from the decision making process, and surround yourself with "Parrots and Bobble Heads".
Many of us were really pissed off about this.

What ever happened to the academic approach? You know, THE SURVEY- for Alumni input, committee meetings, measurable goals and objectives?
My friends and I are still very skeptical.
Perhaps a viewer to this thread, one of power and insight, can influence a positive outcome to all this banter!
01-07-2012 06:07 PM
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DesertBronco Offline
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Post: #40
RE: Alumni Association.
Hoover, you have your opinions and are very cryptic about some of the dynamics.

How does the "Family deal" get taken as a slap in the face instead of a step in the right direction? I'm serious. I'm in total agreement about the alumni association, it wasn't an open, inclusive group, sans a few mailers and a poorly architected web site.

How is this move a negative and why do you feel that way? I am so outside of the loop, I am truly curious. I've said it before, I'm also an alumni of a small business college, Walsh based in Troy where I put on an MS while working, they do a much more solid job in their attempts to be inclusive, the only problem is that I'm really not aligned with them or consider myself part of their community, never did.

WMU? I would love that type of attempt to "pull me into the fold" but it never really comes.
01-07-2012 06:49 PM
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