DU Alumni

Alumni come together for inaugural Day of Service

Alumni in Denver helped with the Marade on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

Alumni in Denver helped with the Marade on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

More than 125 University of Denver alumni in chapters around the country came together in spirit in January, volunteering their time as part of the inaugural DU Chapter National Day of Service organized by Alumni Relations. The new tradition is slated to continue in January 2016.

Planned to coincide with Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Jan. 19, the weekend of activities found DU alumni doing everything from helping with Denver’s Marade, organized in honor of the slain civil rights leader, to volunteering with Friends of Trees in Portland, Ore., and packing food for children’s snack programs with Marin Food Bank in San Francisco.

“We definitely established a feel of community,” says Michael Tedford (BA ’04), a Washington, D.C., area alumna who joined her fellow pioneers at the Capital Area Food Bank, sorting donations into boxes to be delivered to local shelters. “It was a good opportunity to establish new relationships, as well as reconnecting with people you hadn’t seen in a while.”

Alumni Relations provided special DU T-shirts to all the volunteers, a detail that didn’t go unnoticed by D.C.-area alumna Carolyn Anders (MS, MBA ’07).

“I thought it was neat that we all had our DU shirts on, so you could look up and see everybody from DU all around the room and everybody as a unit helping together,” she says. “People kept coming in and sharing when they went to school and how long they’d been in D.C. — it was a great shared experience, and it was great getting to help out our community. That was the best part about it.”

Alumni in Atlanta, meanwhile, got to hang out with adoptable animals after their day of animal care duties, structure repair and cleaning at PAWS Atlanta, a no-kill rescue shelter for cats and dogs.

“It’s always good to see a group like that come together,” says Mickey Desai (MA ’95), head of the Atlanta chapter, who organized a group lunch after the volunteer event. “People immediately have common things to talk about once they sit down at the table, even if they’re not part of the same graduating cohort.”

Desai says the number of chapter activities in Atlanta has grown in recent months — in February he helped organize a watch party and pregame reception for a DU vs. Duke men’s lacrosse game in nearby Kennesaw, Ga.; upcoming events include a spring networking event and a Gwinnett Gladiators minor league hockey game.

Atlanta is a great example of a chapter that helps alumni get the most out of their DU experience, says Brian Elizardi, director of alumni chapters at DU.

“From our standpoint, it’s about increasing the equity value of their degree,” says Elizardi, noting that chapter activities also are open to parents of current students and friends of the University. “By helping alumni build their networks, advance their careers, enjoy the cities they’re located in, and find neat and fun things to do, we increase the value of their degree.”



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