by Michelle (Kibiger) Fure, President
Despite an incredibly challenging year economically, Minnesota Daily alumni provided critical financial support to four outstanding Daily employees and raised additional scholarship and program funds at the annual spring banquet.
Editorial employees Holly Miller and Ashley Dresser and business employees Ashley Williams and Rance Rand each received a $1,000 Daily alumni recognition scholarship during the 2008-09 school year. These students were selected from among their peers due to their commitment to the Daily, in combination with their personal goals and financial need. Miller and Williams have been selected for leadership positions at the Daily next year.
Alumni helped organize and teach two seminars for Daily staff--a day-long clinic on reporting and editing skills and a short seminar on resume writing. The alumni board tried a new approach with the mentorship program this year, offering department mentors to assist with ongoing issues. We're hoping to expand the mentorship program in the coming year. Please let us know if you're interested in participating or if you have any ideas for improving the program.
At the annual alumni event on April 25, we inducted Star Tribune pop music critic Jon Bream into the Minnesota Daily Hall of Distinction. Bream has more than 30 years of experience with the Star Tribune and the second-longest tenure at one news organization as a writer in his field in the nation. In her nomination materials, Daily alumna Monica Bay noted, "As a writer he accomplishes a rare mix of catching the perfect detail that sharply defines the interviewee, and a steady craftsmanship that can capture a breaking news or deadline story with speed and accuracy. ... I've also been so impressed with Jon's commitment not just to his own job, but to the journalism profession. He regularly spends time mentoring students and speaking about journalism careers." The event also featured a timely panel discussion about how Daily alums have used their journalism skills in careers beyond traditional journalism, facilitated by David Brauer of MinnPost.
The alumni association has expanded its presence online, updating the alumni Web site (http://www.mndailyalumni.com) more frequently and creating groups on Facebook and LinkedIn. Our goal is to connect with more alumni and provide greater networking opportunities.
For the 2009-10 school year, we hope to connect with more alumni through the Web and in-person networking events, coinciding with Homecoming in the fall and the opening of the new Gopher football stadium, which is located just across the parking lot from the Daily offices. We're also considering ideas that other alumni groups have used: class/decade captains, geographic groups and professional groups. If you have any interest in these efforts and ideas for how to implement them, please contact me.
We'd love to hear from you; let us know what we can do to engage more alumni in supporting the students at the Daily. Connect with us through the Web site or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I'm looking forward to meeting more of you in 2009-10.