The UNO Alumni Association put on another award-winning performance during the annual CASE VI Conference, held Jan. 8-10 in Denver.
CASE — the Council for Advancement and Support of Education — is the professional organization for advancement professionals who work in alumni relations, communications, marketing, fundraising and other areas. Case VI is comprised of institutions from Nebraska and seven other Midwest states.
Three UNO Alumni Association programs earned honors at the conference.
“Our hard work with alumni programming is pushing the envelope of innovation, and it’s gratifying to see those efforts recognized as outstanding by our peers and others,” says Alumni Association President Lee Denker. “We competed against programs produced by institutions with significant resources, including Big 10 and Big 12 schools. I am proud of the effort put forth by our team to earn recognition for UNO.”
A review of the three programming awards the association received:
• GOLD, Excellence in Institutional Relations Project — UNO Homecoming Tailgate Party
UNO Homecoming featured a twist in 2011: for the first time in 80 years it centered on a hockey game off campus. Despite that logistical challenge, the Alumni Association attracted a large crowd to campus with 900 Maverick fans attending the UNO Homecoming Tailgate Party in Sapp Fieldhouse. That included alumni and their families, students, faculty, staff and prospective students touring campus. Free lunch was provided, as were games, music and entertainment. The association also sponsored free shuttle bus rides to and from the hockey game. Several news stations and the Omaha World-Herald reported on the event.
• GOLD, Special Group Programming — UNO Young Alumni Academy
• BRONZE, Excellence in an Institutional Relations Project — UNO Homecoming Office Decorating Contest
The UNO Young Alumni Academy facilitates networking and professional growth for alumni 40 and younger, delivering participants an insider’s view into the administration of UNO. Meetings are held at unique locations on and off campus, and UNO leaders address members on topics such as athletics management, student focus and community engagement. More than 60 young alumni have participated in the academy in its two years.
As part of UNO’s homecoming festivities the UNO Alumni Association sponsored a campus-wide office decorating contest that incorporated homecoming’s circus theme — “The Greatest Week on Earth: Under the Big Top!” Bonus points were awarded for environmentally friendly decorations. All participants received a bag of “decorating goodies” to help them get started and a traveling trophy was issued to the winning office. Nearly 30 offices participated, up from 22 the previous year.
“These awards recognize a lot of hard work by a lot of people, including staff, alumni and numerous volunteers,” says Elizabeth Kraemer, who coordinated the award-winning programs. “Through their efforts we were able to successfully engage alumni with each other and with the university, many for the first time.”
Kraemer and Denker, a member of the CASE VI Board of Directors as secretary, also made a presentation at the conference on the UNO Young Alumni Academy, explaining how to cultivate deeper, more meaningful relationships with young alumni.
The association in 2011 received five CASE awards. Information on those is at www.unoalumni.org./caseawards2011
Pictured: Lee Denker, Elizabeth Kraemer and District VI Board Chair Kevin Thompson.