Alumni Are Everywhere
By Dr. Aaron Conley
VP for Development and Alumni Relations
As our student enrollment continues to grow, so does the alumni population. We are proud to report that there are now more than 70,000 UT Dallas alumni!
With this many alumni, you stand a good chance of running into a fellow UT Dallas graduate at work or in your neighborhood. You may even meet one on the other side of the world. This may sound improbable, but consider the following story.
Alumni Christian Belady (right) and Yancey Hai (left) discovered their UT Dallas connection at a business meeting in Taiwan.
I first met Christian Belady MA’90 in 2009 on a trip to Seattle, which is home to about 300 alumni. At the time, he had just moved there to accept a senior position with Microsoft in their cloud computing unit. Earlier that same year, I made a trip to Taiwan where we hosted a “Hello Tour,” an around-the-world event series aimed at connecting the UT Dallas alumni community. This event was attended by almost 100 alumni and friends, including Yancey Hai MA’78. I had also visited with him earlier that day at Delta Electronics, where he serves as vice chairman and CEO.
You can imagine my surprise when Christian recently emailed me a photo of he and Yancey at a business meeting in Taiwan between Microsoft and Delta Electronics. They had never previously met and only happened upon their link as UT Dallas alumni while chatting about their college backgrounds. Can you imagine how they reacted when they realized that they are both graduates of the School of Management (SOM)?
What’s even better is that these alumni have kept in contact with the University since those first visits in 2009. Christian returned to UT Dallas in 2010 to receive the Distinguished Alumni Award. In addition to attending the ceremony, he also spoke to a class and met with faculty in the Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science. This summer, Yancey visited in Taiwan with SOM Dean Hasan Pirkul. Dean Pirkul was part of the 2009 trip and reconnected with Yancey on his return trip to Taiwan, where Pirkul is building relationships with several leading universities there.
Do you have an interesting alumni connection story to share? We’d love to hear about it! Please email us at [email protected].