Alumni Association reaches 100,000 Life Member Mark, tops 165,000 members overall
GREAT VALLEY, Pa. (July 15, 2011) — The Penn State Alumni Association became the first dues-paying alumni association ever to top the 100,000 life member threshold and to surpass 165,000 total members, according to the annual census compiled June 30.
Alumni Association President Barry M. Simpson, a 1969 Penn State graduate, outlined these new milestones and other achievements of the 2010–11 academic year in the Alumni Association’s annual report to the Penn State Board of Trustees.
The Alumni Association gained its 100,000th life member on May 2 and completed the fiscal year with a total of 100,600 life members. Total membership as of June 30 also reached another all-time high of 165,182, adding more than 500 members in the last year continuing the Alumni Association’s status as the largest dues-paying alumni association in the world.
“We are proud that so many alumni make a lifelong connection with the Alumni Association and Penn State through life membership,” said Simpson. “We always strive to be inclusive and indispensible in the lives of Penn State alumni through numerous events, benefits, networking opportunities, services and so much more. This new milestone affirms that the Alumni Association is on the right path.”
Among other Alumni Association initiatives and accomplishments highlighted by Simpson were:
- The Blue & White Society, the student membership of the Alumni Association, continued its growth, increasing 47 percent in the last year and reaching an all-time high of 10,656 students. The Blue & White Society now has chapters on every Penn State campus except one and is the largest student organization across the university. The past year, a World Campus chapter was added.
- Social media efforts designed to engage alumni have continued to grow, with the Penn State Alumni Association group on LinkedIn topping the 30,000-member mark to make Penn State second only to Michigan on this professional and career networking site.
- Through its Grassroots Network, the Alumni Association actively reached out to 115,000 alumni to inform them of the proposed state appropriation and its impact. The Grassroots Network, working with three student groups, hosted a very successful Penn State Capital Day where nearly 500 alumni and students visited every legislators’ office to discuss how a deep cut would affect Penn State tuition and the university’s ability to carry out its land-grant mission.
- The Alumni Association announced that the fourth $300,000 installment of its $2.1 million gift for student scholarships will go to Penn State Altoona, Penn State Great Valley, Penn State Harrisburg, Penn State Lehigh Valley, Penn State New Kensington and the College of Information Sciences and Technology. Each college or campus will receive $50,000, which will be matched by the University as part of the Trustee Matching Scholarship program.
- A key effort in support of For the Future: The Campaign for Penn State Students is the Alumni Association’s outreach to affiliate groups to increase their student scholarship endowment book values. In the past 18 months, the groups’ book values have increased nearly 22 percent, rising from $5 million to $6.1 million.