Q: What is changing with the program?
A: In August of 2017, we are expanding the UNI Alumni Association to all UNI alumni and discontinuing our dues-based model. That means 2016 will be our last year of offering memberships at the annual and lifetime levels.
Q: Why is the program changing?
A: Our goal is to be more inclusive by offering programs and services to all Panthers. In the past, our membership has been steady at about 7,000 members. Over the years, the UNI Alumni Association Board of Directors has discussed and researched many options to increase engagement levels. This program change takes our membership to more than 113,000 members. We want to create a continuum of involvement for our alumni and friends that encompasses every stage of life. Nationally, collegiate alumni organizations of all sizes are shifting toward similar universal memberships that emphasize engagement over fees.
Q: What type of new programs and events will you offer?
A: Designing new offerings will be part of our planning process for the next year and a half, as our staff transitions with the new model. If you have suggestions and ideas that you’d like to see, please email us here (link). This transition will allow the UNIAA to open all current programs and events to all alumni.
Q: How will you fund the UNIAA without membership fees?
A: We will supplement with generous support from the UNI Foundation and will acquire sponsorships for events and programs.
Q: I’m an Annual Member – what does this mean for me?
A: For the next year and a half, everything remains the same. Your entertainment, restaurant and hotel discounts remain active throughout 2016. After August 2017, membership in the UNI AA will be free for everyone. At that point, the list of member discounts will be phased out. All alumni will then have access to our programs, events and services.
Q: So do I still need to pay for my membership?
A: Annual memberships will no longer be solicited after April 2016. Most annual membership benefits will be available until that annual membership expires. Lifetime members will transition later in 2017 as membership benefits phase out while new programs are opened to all alumni. Life Members will still receive a few key benefits as well as event invites if they are current on their membership. Those wishing to stop payments will still receive a brick, but no benefits will be issued.
Q: I’m a Lifetime Member – what does this mean for me?
A: Lifetime Member benefits are just that – benefits we have promised for your lifetime. In 2016, the full list of restaurant, hotel and entertainment discounts will remain active. In August 2017, that list will be phased out. While the Lifetime program will be officially closed to new members, you will continue to receive key benefits such as:
• invitation-only activities at select events
• discounts with UNI Athletics and the Gallagher-Bluedorn
• University Book & Supply discounts
• the UNI Today alumni magazine
As a Lifetime Member, your commitment to UNI has allowed us to build the program to the level where we can now actively engage all alumni and better serve the university overall. And for that, we can’t say thank you enough! To express our gratitude, we will be publicly recognizing our current Lifetime Members with an engraved brick per member in the new alumni terrace that will be built near the Campanile.
Q: Tell me more about the new alumni terrace by the Campanile. Where will it be located? Can I buy a brick?
A: The new terrace will face south and be located just behind the brick University of Northern Iowa sign (previously Baker Hall). The alumni terrace is designed to honor our Lifetime Members and their commitment to the UNIAA. Only current Lifetime Members will be listed. Each member will have their name engraved on a brick; joint member households will receive two bricks. Due to space restraints, we are not opening it to additional participants.
The brick project and re-landscaping of the Campanile will take place over the next year and a half, with project completion estimated by fall of 2017.
If you have additional questions, please email Leslie.Prideaux@uni.edu or call us at 319-273-2355.