Letter from the UMAA Board Chair

As we prepare to welcome our UM family back for Homecoming 2018, I’m reflecting on the rapid changes we have seen over the past year and during my tenure as UM Alumni Association board chair.

UM President Seth Bodnar and UMAA Chair Wayne Nelson on the golf courseWe have a new president, Seth Bodnar – a bright, young, talented nontraditional leader who brings a business mind with an academic soul. I have been nothing but impressed every time we meet or I hear him speak. I am thoroughly convinced he is the right person to lead UM through our next phase of prosperity and achievement.

To complement his vision, Seth has sought out and assembled a top-notch leadership team over the past several months. Cathy Cole, vice president for enrollment and strategic communications, brings great experience and incredible energy into renewing UM’s enrollment and marketing operations. Jon Harbor joins us from Purdue as provost. Dr. Harbor brings a student-centered approach as chief academic officer and will lead the UM student experience both in and outside the classroom. Seth has restructured both positions to ensure we attract plenty of future Grizzlies and give them wonderful opportunities to succeed. I’m more than optimistic they will get the job done.

But, they can’t do it by themselves …

I call upon you, our 104,812 alumni across Montana, the U.S. and the world to rally behind President Seth Bodnar, his team and your University. I ask you to support us any way you can. Tell your friends, colleagues, family and prospective students that you attended an incredible institution that helped shape your life. Tell stories of your time on campus and those who influenced you. Help those people around you understand the impact UM makes. If you are inclined to give, there are hundreds of worthy entities on campus who will use your generosity to make this a better institution. Consider joining the Alumni Association to help us bring quality programming options so you can stay connected and/or volunteer with alumni in your area. We are working hard to establish Griz Chapters around the country to actively engage alums and promote UM leadership strategic goals. Vote for leaders and initiatives that support higher education.

With all the promise ahead of us, it is time to roll up our sleeves and help our new leadership bring back UM’s prominence. Go Griz!

Wayne Nelson ’83