Posted on Oct 1, 2013 in Alumni News and News
Mr. Jefferson’s “Academical Village,” now better known as the prestigious University of Virginia, this week welcomes magazine editors and designers from self-governed alumni associations across the country, including Kansas Alumni magazine associate editors Steve Hill and Chris Lazzarino.
Attendees at the annual conference of communications professionals from independent U.S. alumni associations arrived in Charlottesville from KU, Kansas State, Texas, Texas A&M, Illinois, the Naval Academy, the United States Military Academy, the Air Force Academy, William & Mary, the University of North Carolina, and, of course, host Virginia. The small, collegial gathering has over the past decade become an important opportunity for communicators to discuss challenges and opportunities unique to self-governed alumni association publications, as well as the rapidly changing arenas of digital technology, online publications and social media, and general trends in alumni communications.
The conference is also attractive to attendees and their alumni associations because there are no registration fees, and each year attendees can spend a few days getting to know more about member school’s campuses and their lively college towns. Past conferences have taken the editors to such iconic campuses as Mount Oread, Austin, College Station, Ann Arbor, Annapolis and Chapel Hill.
Monday’s opening session at the University of Virginia Alumni Association’s Alumni Hall was highlighted by Virginia magazine editors discussing the challenges they faced in delivering complete and balanced coverage of summer 2012’s tumultuous and unexpected battle between the university president and the school’s governing Board of Visitors. That was followed by an extensive, student-led tour of the university that Thomas Jefferson embraced as the capstone to his long career of public service and nation-building, and a reception in a faculty “Pavalion” home on the Rotunda’s colonnaded Lawn, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Tuesday morning’s session will include a visit with Tom Faulders, president and CEO of the Virginia Alumni Association. After a full day of discussions, the group will adjourn for a tour of Mr. Jefferson’s home, Monticello. The conference wraps midday Wednesday, with the final order of business being selection of the member school that will host the conference in 2014.