Dear Forensics Alumni,
We hope that this letter finds you well. As you read this letter, UNI Forensics students are beginning another school year (2011-2012) and season. Last year was one of the most successful years in team history! The speech team finished 13th at AFA-NIET, and two students placed events in the top 3 in the nation. The debate team qualified to the National Debate Tournament for the 23rd time in team history, and reached the semifinals of the National Junior Division Debate Tournament. While many forensics programs are threatened by budget and staff cuts, our team has three directors, graduate students, and volunteer coaches, as well as strong administrative support.
As forensics alumni, you are critical to the strength of our program. This year, we are working to increase alumni involvement with the program. One of our goals this year is to create alumni events that are more convenient for you to attend. We want to find the best ways to allow you to connect to your teammates. We are always happy to hear from our alumni, either in person, via email, or on our Facebook site.
This fall, we will be hosting three alumni events. First, we hosted a reception at the Iowa Communication Association Convention in Ankeny, IA on September 23. Second, we will be hosting an open house during Homecoming on October 8 from 1-3 p.m. Please join us in the squad room (Lang 218) for snacks and light refreshments. Third, we will be hosting an alumni event at NCA on November 18 in New Orleans, LA. More information will be available on exact locations in the coming weeks. We are in the planning stages of spring alumni events, specifically in the Twin Cities, and are open to hosting events in other cities if there is demand.
For alumni of the program, there are three main ways that you can help the team, and we have a new proposal to increase the power that alums have to help.
First, if you have time, we always appreciate alumni judging. We are very appreciative of alums who judge at our tournaments, and we extend the invitation to everyone. This year, we will be hosting four tournaments – the Ulrich (college policy, September 9-11), the Brindley (high school all-events, September 30-October 1), the MAFL (college speech, October 22), and the Henderson (college speech, January 21). If you are interested in helping, please let me know. We have a limited number of complimentary rooms available to our alumni who are traveling into Cedar Falls.
Second, we appreciate alumni help in recruiting. We appreciate those of you who have recommended us to students over the years. As alumni of UNI Forensics, you are in the best position to identify prospective students. Your personal and professional successes are the best advertisements for why UNI is a wonderful campus.
Third, we appreciate any and all financial support. While our budget has remained stable despite financial difficulties, it has not grown to meet the demands of our team. We have one of the smallest budgets for a speech and debate team that is nationally competitive. This year, AFA-NIET (speech nationals) will be in San Marcos, TX, and the NDT (debate nationals) will be in Atlanta, GA. Any support that you provide to the team will be used directly to support student travel and scholarships. Every little bit helps – small donations add up to help the team. If you have questions about donating to the forensics team, please contact Debra Umbdenstock in Development. She can be reached at 1-800-782-9522 or via email at email@example.com. She will help with any specific funding questions you may have. You may also contribute at our department web site and direct your support towards UNI Forensics.
Finally, we will be working this semester to create an electronic alumni advisory group to generate recommendations for alumni events. This group would work via email to help generate ideas for future alumni events. Ideally, we would like to draw from various generations of UNI Forensics alum to help best serve our alumni. We anticipate that time commitment will be minimal. If you have interest in serving in such a capacity, please contact me. My contact information is at the conclusion of this letter.
As always, we appreciate your support as members of the UNI Forensics team.
All the best,