Fall 2011

From the President

President Richmond

That was the first summer of the new HSU Discovery Project, in which students went out and visited one-on-one with alumni. It succeeded beyond all expectations, as we found that alumni were eager and often honored to take part, share stories and connect with current students.

Humboldt Alumni, it has been nice getting to really know more of you.

On a general level, as detailed in this issue’s cover story, we already knew much about our alumni. We have addresses and degree information, and are able to contact many of you by email. Thousands of you make annual gifts to HSU, often after phone conversations with student callers.

But we have long wanted to know even more of you on a personal level. We are curious about your successes and interests, and how your Humboldt education has made a difference. This has been a challenge, given that our alumni can be found all around the country and the world.

In retrospect, the solution seems obvious. Who better to spend an hour or so talking to an alumnus—and sharing a bit about today’s university—than a current student? And because many students return home for summer break, the distance challenge was solved.

In the spring, we recruited the student ambassadors. We sent out letters to a small group of alumni telling them what we were up to and asking if they would participate.

Hundreds responded, which set off a bit of a scramble. Luckily, we had an energetic and well-organized team of students. By the end of summer break, they had met with over 350 alumni and had gathered names of hundreds more to talk to.

What did we hear?

We heard you would like to help us organize more regional alumni events, and that you are very interested in our upcoming Centennial, which we will celebrate during the 2013-14 academic year.

We also heard clearly that alumni value their experience at HSU. Many talked about the importance of personal connections with faculty, hands-on learning opportunities, and the strong sense of community at Humboldt. We heard about businesses, lifelong friendships and (no surprise) marriages that started as relationships on campus.

One student ambassador met an alumnus who had attended the same high school, and another who, like her, had played guitar in college. All of the students were changed by the experience. Alumni gave them plenty of personal and professional advice, and the students gained a broader appreciation for Humboldt.

The kickoff of the HSU Discovery Project has been a great success, and we plan to continue in the years to come. To learn more, visit alumni.humboldt.edu/discovery. To our alumni who participated, thank you.

Rollin Richmond
Rollin C. Richmond