A Way to Thank All Our Student-Athlete Alumni

September 17, 2013

By Dave Brandon  | Courtesy MGoBlue.com, Brandon’s Blog


A Way to Thank All Our Student-Athlete AlumniTo generations of Michigan sports fans, the legendary names of Tom Harmon, the Wisterts, Ron Kramer, Bennie Oosterbaan, Gerald Ford and Desmond Howard have been brought back to life as the Michigan Athletic Department brings their legendary numbers back to the playing field.

Even for those who are too young to have remembered any of the great names and numbers, they now get to hear their stories as we honor those players as Michigan Legends as we did prior to our Notre Dame football game. We brought back ‘Old 98’ to the Michigan football team and paid tribute to Harmon prior to kickoff at Under the Lights II.

These Michigan Legends are indeed the best of the best Wolverine football has given us over the years, but this athletic department has been built by more than just a few names.

The legendary status of Michigan Athletics rests on the shoulders of more than 9,000 student-athletes. These individuals have strived to make this athletic department the Leaders and Best in every way, and now we must strive to show our alumni that we recognize how they helped create this great Michigan athletic tradition.

Now, the Michigan Athletic Department is creating a new initiative to engage all our Wolverine student-athlete alumni, providing opportunities for them to become more involved and further strengthen their connection with U-M Athletics.

In late August, we launched the Office of Alumni Engagement. The office is the result of a survey sent to our student-athlete alumni in the spring. The response helped shape the program and allowed us to develop a strategic initiative to increase communication between our student-athletes who are now alums and their athletic department.

This program will facilitate networking events, a letter jacket ceremony for current student-athletes, championship celebrations and graduation events. It will allow our student-athlete alumni to share stories with current student-athletes via a website and social media while showcasing the incredible accomplishments of their careers in sports — and after sports — throughout the years.

As the program grows, so will the interactions between our athletic department and all of our student-athletes who have worn the Maize and Blue. The communication will strengthen their connection to Michigan Athletics. It will also raise awareness among student-athlete alumni regarding opportunities to further engage them in the growth of Michigan Athletics.

The core values of the Office of Alumni Engagement are to:

• Foster a community;

• Recognize the holistic student-athlete;

• Remind our student-athletes that they will always be remembered.

We are looking forward to building this program and developing an even stronger community of all of our student-athletes. After all, when they leave Ann Arbor, they become part of the largest living alumni body of any university in the world.

When they look back at their athletic careers at Michigan, we want them to understand our Mission Statement for the Office of Alumni Engagement:

“We are the home for all Michigan Student-Athlete Alumni”

I encourage you to visit our website to learn more! Support.MGoBlue.com/alumni

Go Blue!

• Tom Harmon, U-M Football Legend


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