You belong: All alumni, all members of UMSL Alumni Association

A shift away from a dues-paying model to an open, all-inclusive membership means that all alumni, by virtue of their UMSL degrees alone, are members of the UMSL Alumni Association. (Infographic by Wendy Allison)

A shift away from a dues-paying model to an open, all-inclusive membership means that all alumni, by virtue of their UMSL degrees alone, are members of the UMSL Alumni Association. (Infographic by Wendy Allison)

You belong. Two words sum up the newly invigorated University of Missouri–St. Louis Alumni Association. For anyone with a UMSL degree, the message is clear: You belong.

Membership is free of charge, too. The shift away from a dues-paying model to an open, all-inclusive membership means that all alumni, by virtue of their UMSL degrees alone, are members of the UMSL Alumni Association.

“All 92,000 of them,” explains Norma Barr, MEd 1980, who is in her third year serving on the association’s governing board and worked many years in nursing administration in the St. Louis region.

Barr and her fellow board members worked with the Office of Alumni Engagement to make sure the July 1 rollout of the new membership model reached the alumni community.

Alumnae Aleshia Patterson (left) and Norma Barr stroll campus as they discuss how the new, all-inclusive Alumni Association membership helps alumni connect to UMSL. (Photo by August Jennewein)

Alumnae Aleshia Patterson (left) and Norma Barr stroll campus as they discuss how the new, all-inclusive Alumni Association membership helps alumni connect to UMSL. (Photo by August Jennewein)

“Sometimes, especially for recent graduates, money may be a barrier, and this new model allows for everyone to jump right in and become involved,” says Aleshia Patterson, BA communication 2012 and a community troop coordinator for Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri.

Whether establishing more UMSL connections, sharing talent and expertise, using alumni resources, pursuing lifelong learning or making a philanthropic difference, the association offers involvement opportunities for those at any stage in the alumni life cycle.

“It’s flexible for alumni to connect and experience membership in a wide variety of ways,” says Brian Salmo, BSBA 2006, who just recently joined the governing board.

Barr agrees and says that ways to connect may be defined by alumni themselves instead of being prescribed by the association.

“When we revised the bylaws to support this model, we tried to build an infrastructure to support this new relationship-building process,” Barr says.

And the new model is already seeing success.

“Reconnecting with UMSL has given me personal and professional relationships that have really enriched my life and career,” says Salmo, a business attorney at Polsinelli PC.

“It’s all about cultivating relationships,” Patterson says.

Members can also enjoy a number of amenities through special-access opportunities to services like those offered by the UMSL Center for Eye Care or UMSL Career Services. Membership also has the perk of discounts at the new Recreation and Wellness Center, the Triton Store, the Blanche M. Touhill Performing Arts Center, the Normandie Golf Course and more.

To get started, activate your UMSL Alumni Association membership card at umslalumni.org/newcard. Cards are printable, but alumni are also welcome to use a screenshot image of their cards on their phone.

And to learn even more about your UMSL Alumni Association membership, visit umslalumni.org/youbelong.


This story was originally published in the fall 2015 issue of UMSL Magazine.

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