Photo Feature: UCCS celebrates first full year of Alumni and Friends Volunteer Program

In January 2021, UCCS launched its Alumni Volunteer Program, the first centralized initiative to help UCCS alumni give their time and talent back to the Mountain Lion family. A reception held at the Ent Center for the Arts at UCCS celebrated the first full year of the program, which created opportunities for more than 600 alumni and friends of the university to support student success from 2021–22.

Over the course of the year, volunteers helped to read and score student scholarship applications, spoke to academic classes, contributed to physical projects like planting trees and cleaning Colorado Springs’ local watersheds, wrote letters to incoming students, served on committees and offered career mentorship to current students.

The reception, which was held in April to celebrate National Volunteer Month, featured remarks from Venkat Reddy, Chancellor of UCCS; Joanna Bean, Director of the Office of Alumni Relations and the Annual Fund; Kayla Waterman, a current UCCS graduate student; and Liz Bunkers, Alumni Relations Engagement Specialist, who spearheaded the effort to build UCCS’ first-ever centralized alumni volunteer initiative.

“The truly amazing part about your volunteering is the impact is has on our students,” Reddy said at the event. “For those who were once UCCS students, you know that the smallest gesture can mean everything to a student who needs it. And your efforts for the university have not been small: those of you who participated in mock interviews and career mentorship know that strong preparation helps a job applicant stand out.”

“On behalf of all of UCCS, thank you for dedicating your time and talent to the university,” Reddy continued. “Your efforts mean the world to our students, and they mean the world to us.”

In addition to providing opportunities to celebrate and connect with UCCS alumni, the reception also invited attendees to give back. Guests brought boxes of cereal — one of the most popular food items donated to Clyde’s Cupboard, UCCS’ on-campus food pantry — to help minimize food insecurity for UCCS students.

UCCS alumni and friends interested in giving back to UCCS can create a volunteer profile, discover upcoming volunteer opportunities and track their completed volunteer hours using the Alumni and Friends Volunteer Program website.

UCCS faculty and staff can work with the Office of Alumni Relations and Annual Giving to post opportunities and recruit volunteers for special programs, including classroom engagement, career mentorship and more. Faculty and staff are also welcome to create profiles through the volunteer portal and sign up for volunteer opportunities.

About the UCCS Office of Alumni Relations and the Annual Fund

The UCCS Office of Alumni Relations and the Annual Fund manages the UCCS Alumni and Friends Association. Membership in the Alumni and Friends Association is automatic upon graduation. UCCS alumni receive the benefits of career connections, services and many opportunities to connect with campus. In addition to providing alumni with connections to their alma mater, opportunities to give back to UCCS and benefits and services, the office also works to highlight the success of UCCS alumni. Learn more about the Office of Alumni Relations and the Annual Fund online.