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UW Oshkosh students talk with their peers about the importance of volunteering, under the guidance of Mike Lueder, program adviser for volunteerism at Reeve Memorial Union.

With the 2014-2015 school year approaching, the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh Alumni Association is looking for dedicated alumni to help host activities and mentor students.

Stephanie Briggs, an Alumni Board member and Emerging Alumni Committee chair,  said the committee brainstormed ways to connect alumni with current students through volunteer activities. Having alumni volunteers on campus also shows current students the benefits of being an alumnus, and it encourages students to connect with their UW Oshkosh roots after graduation.

Former Alumni Board member Walt Busalacchi agrees current students benefit from hearing about the experiences of UW Oshkosh alumni.

“In my opinion, students can benefit most from tapping into the collective ‘brain trust’ of the UWO alumni population,” Busalacchi said.

The University offers a variety of ways in which alumni can be engaged with students and the campus, including getting involved with:

Odyssey orientation

Fall Fest

Homecoming

Career Fair on the Fox

• On-campus interviewing practice sessions

• Tables of Titans

Countdown to Commencement

• Almost Alumni Lunch

• Winter Carnival

• Shamrock Shuffle

• Bye Gosh Fest

Spring and fall commencement

Move-in Day

Alumni can also become mentors for the new University Studies Program.

The Emerging Alumni Committee has been working hard to solidify an academic year calendar of events that makes alumni aware of volunteer opportunities around campus and in the community. The committee has collaborated with the UW Oshkosh Foundation to promote volunteer opportunities and to encourage alumni to donate their time to the University and its students.

Briggs and the other committee members also are in the process of developing an alumni volunteer T-shirt that will make alumni more visible to students on campus.

Busalacchi has donated his time to the University in a variety of ways over the years, including serving two terms on the Alumni Board, mentoring students, paddling dragon boats on the alumni team, participating in the Tour de Titan bike ride, speaking to undecided majors in the Professional Counseling 201 class and providing financial support for the new Alumni Welcome and Conference Center.

“I enjoyed my time at UWO and, after working for two decades on the East Coast, I was happy to reconnect,” Busalacchi said. “Like many other alumni, I had a rich career and many life experiences. I am happy to share some of what I have learned with students who might find it helpful.”

Being an alumni volunteer can be a very rewarding experience, Briggs added.

“Volunteering in general is a valuable initiative,” she said. “Serving as a UW Oshkosh alumni volunteer provides a wonderful opportunity to connect with current students and model the vision of “paying it forward”—to take what you have gained through your experience at UW Oshkosh and utilize it to give back to the campus and its current students.”

Volunteers have the opportunity to connect with the campus, as well as old friends and classmates.

“Volunteering provides an avenue for reinvesting oneself as a prideful member of the University and to encourage current students in making the most of their experience, both prior to and post-graduation,” Briggs said.

To find out how you can become an alumni volunteer, visit the Get Involved section of the UW Oshkosh Alumni Relations website, or contact the Alumni Office directly by email at alumni@uwosh.edu or by phone at (877) 896-2586.

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