Alumni Chapters

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Alumni Chapters

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The Alumni and Friends Association is excited to announce the recent launch of UCCS alumni chapters in Washington, DC and Phoenix, AZ. With plans for more chapter launches in the coming months, we are looking for volunteers interested in helping to organize chapters in their area. UCCS' more than 33,000 alumni span every state in the nation. Click on the map at left to view the locations of graduates with known addresses.

Ready to learn more about how you can connect with fellow graduates in your area? Contact Jennifer Hane at (719) 255-3180 for more information.

Learn More

Existing Chapters

Connect with our current alumni chapters on Facebook:

What is an Alumni Chapter?

Local alumni chapters host a variety of events from family-friendly outings to networking happy hours at the best local bar. Get involved by recruiting students in your area, participating in volunteer opportunities, networking with other alumni, or sharing your experiences with prospective and incoming students through Summer Send-Offs.

If you are moving to a new area, make sure to look up your local chapter (or start one!) for advice on anything from the best schools to the greatest local coffee.

How to Start a Chapter

The success of a new chapter depends on the commitment of the local volunteers working in partnership with staff in the Office of Alumni Relations. The process for establishing a chapter begins with these steps:

  • Establish a geographic area for the chapter in conjunction with the Office of Alumni Relations. Please contact Jennifer Hanefor more information.
    • In order to maintain a healthy chapter, it is important to have a critical mass of 200 emails. If your area lacks the critical mass necessary to form a chapter, please contact Jennifer Hane to discuss other opportunities to connect to UCCS.
    • The Office of Alumni Relations will run a report to determine the number of alumni living in the designated chapter area and the number of e-mail addresses available for the area. This will help determine initial communication with local alumni.
  • Develop a survey to gauge interest, activities and willingness to serve on the chapter leadership team. You may also want to identify a planning meeting or kick-off event and publicize this in the survey.
  • Identify a core group with whom you can have a few informational meetings to gauge interest and potential membership in the proposed organization.
  • Plan the first meeting or event to select board members / chapter officers and establish the purpose and mission of the chapter. Leadership within a chapter may vary from co-leaders to more of a formal set up of president and vice president, etc.

Managing Chapter Events

Scheduling Events

  • When deciding on a date and time, be mindful of holidays (including religious holidays) and external factors like traffic. Try to pick a date/time that is convenient for the majority of the people you hope to attract to the event. If possible, set the date for your event at least three months in advance to allow for adequate planning and publicity.

Location

  • Consider a location that appeals to a broad demographic, such as a winery, museum or historic site. The location should be easily accessible by major roads. Please keep in mind that the location should also be family-friendly (depending on the nature of the event).

Alcohol

  • Ensure that alcohol at the event (if applicable) is served legally and responsibly. Be sure that attendees who would like to consume alcohol are prepared to show proper identification. Consider having events at locations where a licensed bartender is present.
  • Promote drinking responsibly at events.

General Tips

  • Host a variety of events that appeal to a wide range of members - offer alumni an experience they can't get elsewhere.
  • Take advantage of what is unique about your city or community.
  • Keep your event cost reasonable, especially if trying to reach younger alumni.
    • A small entrance fee (around $5-10 per adult guest) could help bring in funds for the chapter.
    • (Note: the UCCS Alumni and Friends Association does not pay for chapter events; as such, we ask that you consider charging attendees a nominal fee to support the event. For example, if you organize a networking happy hour at a local bar, consider having attendees pay for their own food and beverages).
    • Keep your program as brief as possible. An hour-long program with a guest speaker or other activities plus an hour for dinner is generally long enough.
    • Don't try to accomplish everything in one event! Your attendees will become restless with a long, drawn out event.
    • Make sure to have a committee of volunteers to help with the planning and promotion and on hand at the event.
    • The UCCS Alumni and Friends Association provides chapters with an event kit full of UCCS memorabilia to use to decorate and have giveaways. The kit is free of charge to the chapter. However, we do ask that the chapter leader informs us of the event location. For noise purposes, a restaurant with a separate room available would help you develop a better relationship with the restaurant and fellow patrons.

    Chapter Event Ideas

    • Wine Tasting / Brewery Tour
      • Create a relaxed atmosphere while allowing for networking among alumni
      • Hold at a local winery / brewery with a licensed bartender
      • Keep entry cost to alumni at a decent rate. Some wineries / breweries have free tasting events during the week.
    • Family Events
      • Consider family-friendly events that develop ties between your alumni and their family members.
      • Choose a weekend date that allows for most chapter families to attend.
    • Regional Sporting Events
      • Many sports teams are happy to work with groups to get tickets at discounted prices or group seating- i.e. NBA, NHL, MLB minor league baseball, arena league football, major league soccer.
      • Meet before or after the game at a local bar or restaurant or tailgate and bring your own food to grill.
      • The Alumni and Friends Association highly recommends that the chapter have a bank account with adequate funds in order to ensure that if the chapter decides to purchase tickets and then sell them to chapter members, all tickets are paid in full. You may also explore whether chapter members can buy tickets directly from the sports team.
    • Volunteer Events
      • Work with Habitat for Humanity or another volunteer organiztion. Some areas have competitions that pit alumni chapters  against each other - this would be a great way to interact with other alumni chapters and expand networking opportunities.
      • Participate in community clean-up day/Adopt-a-road. Please make sure that chapter members have adequate safety gear such as latex hand gloves and orange vests if near a road.
      • Participate as a chapter in a local walk or run to support a charity
        • Train as a group for the race.
        • Examples: Race for the Cure, March of Dimes, diabetes and heart disease fundraisers
    • Cooking Classes / New Restaurants
      • Search in your area to see if a local culinary school or restaurant offers cooking classes.
      • If possible, block one class for chapter members only.
      • Visit a new restaurant in town with your alumni chapter.
    • Summer Send-Offs
      • Host a Summer Send-Off for incoming UCCS students and their parents (informal BBQ's or socials).
      • Meet new students and their parents who live in your area.
      • Inform parents and students of the great opportunities UCCS has to offer.
      • Barbecues or picnics are a good way to engage new students and their parents.
    • Existing Events
      • If a museum or zoo is already having themed events such as spring zoo babies, holiday decoration, etc., consider hosting a chapter event in conjunction with the larger activity.
      • Such events can make the outing more attractive and easier to advertise.
      • Contact your local zoo or museum to see if they have specials for large groups.
      • If possible, have a potluck  lunch/reception in conjunction with the event and come together as a group to promote community within the chapter.