With plans for Alumni Socials already under way in three communities across the state, Dr. Linda Beene Ballard and other members of the University of Central Arkansas Alumni Association Board are enthusiastic about the revival of these once-popular events
“Our effort this year is to reinstate these events which formerly were statewide. The goal is to bring alumni and former UCA students together to share information about all the exciting and progressive developments at UCA,” Beene Ballard said.
Beene Ballard said the socials, planned for late April and early- and mid-May, are expected to draw alumni, business people and even parents of current students “just to make sure they know all the exciting things that are going on at UCA.”
“Our having these events in the spring is a good first step as the people who are actually responsible for recruiting students come in the fall so that’s a good partnership,” Beene Ballard added.
Mr. Ron Patterson, Director of Undergraduate Admissions, said his department is partnering with the Alumni Association Board in the socials as a means to reach alumni for recruiting of potential students.
“Our role in this is basically asking our alums to partner with us to assist us in recruiting back in their local high schools, businesses and organizations in their local communities,” Patterson said. “We feel this is a great opportunity to keep our alums connected and a part of UCA long after they have graduated.”
Beene Ballard, who graduated in 1972, said she is eager to work with the admissions department and with alumni in informing them of all the happenings on campus.
“It is all about connecting with the alumni,” Beene Ballard said, who added that it was the vision of Alumni Association Board President Karen Sullards to reinstate the socials.
The first three socials will be held in Stuttgart, Hot Springs and Harrison, beginning at 5 p.m. to give plenty of time for business people and community leaders to attend the events. Beene Ballard said UCA President Tom Courtway had expressed interest in attending some of the socials.
The success of the first three socials will lead to expanded events next spring. Beene Ballard said those attending should expect a casual atmosphere.
“When President Coutway is able to come, he will be our star in making contact with local alumni,” Beene Ballard said. “We will make it possible for him to say a few words, and otherwise it will just be visiting and catching up and making sure that we get alumni’s help in getting more alumni engaged.”
Engaging alumni is also a goal of the undergraduate admission department.
“These socials are a great opportunity for us to reach alumni,” Patterson said. “I have been involved in this type of recruiting before and one of the things that I was excited about when coming to UCA was the chance to begin an admissions alumni program here, knowing the value that it brings not only to undergraduate admissions, but also to the university.”
Patterson added that when alumni recruit students, they are able to share and display the same school spirit that won them over and encouraged them to attend UCA.
The socials are planned for the following dates and places:
- Grand Prairie Center, Room C
UA Phillips Community College, Stuttgart
5 – 7 p.m.
- Atrium, Dierks Nursing Building
National Park Community College, Hot Springs
5 – 7 p.m.
- Durand Center, North Arkansas College
First Federal Bank Room
5 – 7 p.m.
Alumni interested in attending the socials or assisting in recruiting can receive more information by contacting the UCA Alumni Association and the Undergraduate Admissions department. For more information visit uca.edu/alumni.