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The UA's Recent Alumni maintain school pride after graduation

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Courtesy Rebecca Determan | The Daily Wildcat Two UA alums laugh while putting on fake Arizona tattoos during homecoming last year.

The Recent Alumni of University of Arizona are returning to campus for Homecoming on Sunday, Oct. 27 and hosting their event for members of the Recent Alumni Advisory Council.

A Recent Alumni is any UA graduate, traditional or non-traditional, who is zero to five years post-graduation. The term was recently changed from "Young Alumni" to better reflect the experiences of non-traditional students, according to Rebecca Determan, project specialist of recent alumni and student engagement for the Alumni Association.

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The Recent Alumni Advisory Council, a group of zero to eight years post-graduation alumni, supports and advises the Alumni Association on programming, needs, communication and better ways to serve recent alumni.

Determan has been in charge of growing the Recent Alumni Advisory Council.

“We [the Recent Alumni Advisory Council] have done all of our meetings virtually for over a year now and this is the first time we are all going to meet,” Determan said. “We are going to have them all come on campus, meet each other and they actually get to have a meet and greet with [President Dr. Robert C.] Robbins and Melinda Burke [the president of the Alumni Association].”

Outside of Homecoming events, alumni can stay connected through various chapters and clubs, which can be found on the Arizona Alumni Association website. Through these chapter networks, alumni have the opportunity to attend events in Arizona and across the nation.

Another resource available to alumni is the Bear Down Network. Bear Down Network is an exclusive resource for UA alumni and current faculty, staff and students. 

Members of the UA community can use Bear Down Network to connect with over 5,000 people already on the network, meet alumni in the same field, find or act as a mentor and stay up to date on the latest UA news.

Every UA alumnus becomes a member of the Alumni Association upon attending Grad Fest either in the spring or in the fall, according to Determan. At Grad Fest, students can purchase a “Grad Bundle,” which includes the gift of a cap, gown, tassels and a 1-year membership to the Alumni Association.

In order to continue to receive the continued perks of the Alumni Association after the first year membership is up, alumni have the option to purchase a sustaining membership for $15 a year. 

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Melinda Burke, president of the Alumni Association, advocated for the continued donations of monetary gifts from Recent Alumni and later to the Alumni Association.

“As we as a university try to increase our alumni giving rate, everybody that makes a $15 gift is contributing to that giving rate,” Burke said. “So, we try to support that giving rate by encouraging all alumni to be sustaining members at some level.”


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