As a dedicated Alumni Association member and longtime alumni volunteer, Wendy Forrest Edgar understood as well as anyone the benefits of membership. She also knew there was room for improvement in the membership experience—improvements that, thanks to the association’s new membership model, her fellow members can now enjoy the benefits of themselves.
“It’s about simplifying the membership experience, getting rid of ambiguity, and opening up more opportunities for everyone,” says Edgar ’92 Nur, who chaired the volunteer committee dedicated to the new model. “I’m so excited to see it come to fruition.”
The key words for the new model are access and engagement. As of July 1, Alumni Association members automatically have access to any group relevant to their Penn State experience, including regional chapters where they live or work, college and campus societies, and alumni interest groups. With no more chapter-specific dues, members will be automatically affiliated with the chapter closest to their residence, but they’ll still have full member access to other chapters. Maybe you live in Delaware County but want to attend happy hours near your office in Philly. Or maybe you’re retired outside Pittsburgh but spend the winters in Florida. Wherever you are, you’re a member.
The new model also makes it easier—particularly for recent alumni—to find and link up with affinity groups based on Penn State interests, down to the level of colleges, majors, and student organizations. Whether it’s attending social events, career networking, or reconnecting with classmates, members will now have more opportunities. Says Matt Eichelberger ’07 Com, regional director for volunteer services at the Alumni Association, “We want to reconnect you with your affinity to Penn State.”
Edgar says the new model will be particularly helpful to chapter and group leaders, who will benefit from a new tech suite that will “allow them to focus on programming and less on administrative tasks—give them more time to do the fun stuff with their chapters.” That tech platform, rolling out over the coming months, will offer more benefits to all members, including a new portal offering discounts through Alumni Association partners. For more, keep an eye on your email for updates, and check out