Chicago alumni gathering

More than 1,000 UMSL alumni are based in the Chicago metropolitan region, with careers ranging from sales to information technology to the arts. (Photo by Tony Webster)

While many University of Missouri–St. Louis graduates live and work in the St. Louis region, they can also be found all across the country and the globe – including a growing cluster of more than 1,000 UMSL alumni in Chicago.

That group had a special opportunity this fall to celebrate their connections and shared alma mater when UMSL alumni Steve and Ilene Novack hosted a gathering in downtown Chicago.

“This was the first such gathering for our Chicago-area alumni, and it was a real success,” said Linda Carter, associate vice chancellor for alumni engagement. “The Chicago alumni network will be pivotal in helping the university with student recruitment, facilitating student internships and networking with our current students. They raise awareness of UMSL in their own professional arenas and build pride in our great university.”

Held Nov. 20, the evening also included an update from UMSL Chancellor Tom George, who was on hand to share the latest news from campus and St. Louis.

Leechin Su (MS 1979 Arts and Sciences), president of Leadertech Systems of Chicago, said she thoroughly enjoyed connecting with fellow alumni. It also reminded her of all that she gleaned years ago as an international student at UMSL.

“It was an honor to meet a group of dedicated professionals who are so enthusiastic about making UMSL a better, bigger institution that can contribute to our society – which is very much in need of good education opportunities,” Su said. “Back in 1976 when I was accepted to UMSL, I came from Taiwan to pursue a graduate degree in biology. The most important skill sets I have today came from working with Dr. Harvey Friedman at UMSL.”

Mike Jakse, who earned his bachelor’s degree in information systems from the College of Business Administration in 2009 and moved to Chicago two years ago, said he enjoyed hearing about new construction on campus – along with other updates, such as UMSL’s response to recent events in nearby Ferguson, Mo.

“It was nice to discuss what St. Louis and UMSL were like when each of us were there – and also what’s been happening there lately,” said Jakse, who works as a lead actuarial systems analyst for the Health Care Service Corporation. “It was also interesting talking to alumni with different majors and from different eras and hearing about the various career paths they followed after UMSL.”

For more information about staying connected to UMSL, visit the Office of Alumni Engagement’s website.

The UMSL Experience

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Evie Hemphill

Evie Hemphill

Eye on UMSL: Sweet ride

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