I originally planned to write this month about the UT Dallas Loyalty Fund, focused on what alumni support does for UT Dallas. However, given the current economic climate, I'd rather focus on the benefits of networks, and most specifically, our alumni network.
When I came to UT Dallas in the late 1990s, we talked a lot about how UT Dallas was “challenging the brightest to be the best.” Almost 40 years after our founding, our alumni network is full of some of the brightest and best minds in the world. That’s good news for us. We all need people who can talk with us, hear our ideas out and mentor us.
UT Dallas has over 53,000 alumni. That in itself is a pretty strong number, but it gets better. Thousands more alumni graduate every year, which means every year our network gets that much stronger, filled with new energy, talent and skills.
For the network to be useful we need ways to help us connect to each other. Some of our strongest resources for connecting are online, through social networking sites like Facebook, professional sites like LinkedIn, and the custom-built UT Dallas alumni website, which includes a searchable directory of alumni.
There are also countless opportunities to connect in person through the university’s alumni relations program. Come to a happy hour or networking event, volunteer or attend an arts performance or lecture. The alumni calendar and Comet Calendar are great sources of information about university events.
And finally, some of the biggest benefits of our continued connection to UT Dallas are the opportunities to further our education. Consider auditing a course. Attend a lecture. Brush up on your job search skills with the Career Center. Return for an advanced degree.
We have a lot of resources available to us because of our connections with UT Dallas. The stronger our alumni network, the more we all benefit. I do think there is a direct connection between the strength of our network and the amount of support we provide to our alma mater. When we give to UT Dallas, we are supporting the very programs and people that make our network so strong in the first place. Let's come together to help UT Dallas create the future.
Erin Dougherty, '03 and '07
Director of Alumni Relations and Annual Giving