“…My job is finding those dormant alumni who aren’t involved yet and show them the value of what they are missing out on.”
Jennifer Bander, ’11, came back to Michigan after working in D.C. for two years. In her words, she missed the Mitten, and U-M football games.
Once she returned home to Grand Rapids, she became involved with Unite Michigan, a team of volunteer alumni ambassadors in communities across the country, working to connect alumni to one another, strengthen our local clubs and improve our alumni’s shared experiences.
With each new member Jennifer recruits, the ability of the alumni community to make a positive impact for each other, for the University and for the world grows stronger. In short, Jennifer is volunteering her time to find fellow alumni and show them the power of membership with the Alumni Association.
Jennifer summed up why she is volunteering perfectly:
“If I’m gonna hang out with anyone in Grand Rapids, I would prefer it be University of Michigan alums. I know we are the most fun. I hung around these these people for four years, why not hang out a little more?”
Jennifer is a third-generation alumnae, and her father and uncle were previous presidents of the U of M Club of Grand Rapids. The strength of the alumni network in Grand Rapids is actually one of her biggest challenges as a volunteer.
“Because our club is so great, a lot of people who want to be involved already are. So my job is finding those dormant alumni who aren’t involved yet and show them the value of what they are missing out on.”
It is clear from speaking with Jennifer that she is passionate and excited about the Alumni Association and her role as an ambassoador for Unite Michigan. The program is being piloted in nine communities across the country, so be sure to read more about the program and get involved. You can be the one to make the U-M alumni network even stronger.