UMAA Celebrates 100th
by Bill Johnston
Executive Director, UMAA
With the many events happening around the country today it is important to take a few minutes to remind ourselves about what is important in our lives. For us in alumni relations, the many friendships developed over the years with former students continue to make our jobs rewarding and fulfilling. Perhaps we have met you at an association-sponsored event in your community, at a class reunion during Homecoming or Commencement, or perhaps you have traveled with us on an international trip. It has always been and it will continue to be an honor to work with the many people who make up the UM Alumni Association.
And now it is time to celebrate. The Alumni Association has reached its centennial year. In 1901, students gathered to form a group to promote the general welfare of its members and encourage intellectual and social interaction among them. This early start, three years after UMs first graduating class of 1898, means that we are one of the oldest associations in the Northwest. The original association was a dues-paying organization; the first members paid twenty-five cents in annual dues. We continue to operate your association through your generous support as dues payers. What was started in 1901 continues today.
Our association is much larger in scope than the founders originally envisioned. We have not, however, strayed from the original thought of bringing former students together to support the University. Today, we have more than 67,000 alumni representing all fifty states and foreign countries. We have 27,600 alumni living in Montana with more than 8,700 alumni living within one hundred miles of Missoula. Support from the dues program has grown from $2.50 in 1901 after the first meeting to more than $30,000 when I started as executive director of the association in 1988. Today, the money raised through our dues program exceeds $100,000. This money supports our programs at Homecoming, Charter Day and Commencement. In addition, events held in your communities and the International Travel programs are supported through the dues program. More than 20 per cent of our alumni support the University through gifts to the UM Foundation. This number is higher than the national average.
So it is, indeed, a time to celebrate. Please celebrate your connections, love and support of our University through participation in the Alumni Association programs. Return to campus for your class reunion, join the association as a dues payer, or attend the next gathering in your area. We have much to celebrate and much to be thankful for. You are The University of Montana Alumni Association. Get Involved ... Stay Involved.
2001 Community Service Awards Presented
The University of Montana Alumni Association and UM Athletics honored twelve Montanans with Community Service Awards at Grizzly halftime ceremonies this fall. Butte residents Tom and Carol McElwain and Mike and Karen ONeill were honored at the September 22 game. Ted and Patsy Lympus from Kalispell were honored at the September 29 game; Jim and Patty Murphy from Billings at the October 27 game; Doug and Tammy Mason from Corvallis and William and Peggy Kayser from Bozeman at the November 10 game. These awards are sponsored by the University and honor the recipients dedicated service to UM and to their hometown communities.
Have Suitcase – Will Tailgate
by Betsy Holmquist
Martha Stewart — listen up. Weve got a party giver who puts you and your entire staff to shame. UMAAs Jodi Johnson Moreau throws tailgates. Not your theme-picnic-off-the-back-of-a-station-wagon tailgate. Jodi throws tailgates for hundreds, for thousands, for people she doesnt even know — weekend after weekend, in places shes never been. Tailgates where tables and chairs may arrive from fifty miles in one direction, kegs of beer and tanks of helium from the other direction, and guests from thousands of miles in all directions. She holds tailgates in the rain and snow, deep in enemy territory and in sports bars elbow to elbow with the fiercest of foe. Jodis got a bag full of Martha-tricks, too: bottles of hand sanitizer, fanny packs, a cell phone programmed with local numbers, staples, nails, scissors, tape, ribbon, extra trash can liners, film, toilet paper. Her two sixty-pound suitcases come jammed with banners, pompoms, pennants, tablecloths, balloons and fashionable Griz wear, all in perfectly matched maroon and silver. Shes a one-woman party animal and Griz fans across the country wait for her invitations. Jodis Rolodex lists caterers, porta potty dealers, beverage and brats vendors, tent suppliers, barricade and security companies, alumni directors and the best of UM alumni volunteers.
The O'Neills and McElwains receive congratulations from Bill Johnston.
None of it would work, Jodi admits, without my incredible volunteers. Even before the Griz season began this fall, alumni Nancy and Paul Caine and Barbara Lee Pollem helped plan and host pre- and post-game tailgates for a San Diego Charger football game. Former Griz great Dave Dickenson, now a quarterback for the Chargers, and his brother, Chargers assistant coach Craig Dickenson, were special guests. The following weekend Jodi repacked her suitcases and set off for San Luis Obispo. There alumni Stan and Fay Danielson, Phil Doty, Rod MacKenzie, Mark Neill and Sterling Wetzsteon helped with a tailgate featuring barbecue and lots of Griz wear. Then came Hawaii. Logistics and Hawaiian time aside, it was a great party, Jodi relates, as more than 1,500 sun-tanned fans tailgated on Maui. Fabulous, the people were fabulous, Jodi says, but I was so tired! Photos show, though, that Jodi did find time for a bit of para-sailing before heading back to the States.
Nancy and Paul Caine hosted the San Diego Charger tailgate.
Bill Johnston and Myka Schwanke pour beverages at the Flagstaff tailgate.
Shes since done her magic in Sacramento, Flagstaff, Pocatello and Bozeman. Alumni volunteers have included Jane Dennison, Howard and Marcia Hansen, Dori and Erik Johnston, Kim and Tom Lewis, Doug Miller, Kathy ODay, Denise Person and hosts for the sixty-plus Griz-Cat satellite TV parties held across the country on November 17. Its gonna be cake if we go to Chattanooga this year, Jodi promises. She did that tailgate last year and has her lists already updated should the Griz require her party skills come December.
Jodi takes to Hawaii's skies before heading home.
Eat your heart out, Martha. And . . . should you ever need help with a really big-time, maroon and silver, Griz-style party — you just might want to give our gal a call.
"What a nice surprise for us and our friends to find the Griz colors flying at the Sac State game! Your staff and volunteers were terrific. We bumped into old friends, made new ones and had a great time. Thank you so much for the time and work you spend on organizing these tailgates. Efforts such as these are why so many people are so proud to say they are UM Grizzlies. Keep up the good work! Thank you again."
Rob and Jen Turner
Proud Griz Alumni
5-18 International Travel Panama Canal Cruise
9 Alumni Event, Las Vegas
14 Charter Day, Missoula
TBA Community Lecture Series, Missoula
1 Alumni Event, Palm Desert, CA
3 Alumni Golf, San Francisco
9-17 International Travel
13 Alumni Event, Western Penn.
For more information on these events, call the UM Alumni Association: