Stefani Martinez is so proud to be a University of California alumna that she wants UC Merced’s first graduating class to feel just as honored when they graduate. All three of them.
“They’re so enthusiastic about it,” said Martinez. “They’re working on the class of 2006 gift, but I don’t want to give too much away.”
As alumni affairs coordinator for UC Merced, Martinez is working with the first graduating class to build an alumni association. Martinez, who graduated from UC San Diego in 2004, knows the benefits of belonging to an alumni group.
“Through the Alumni Association, graduates can stay connected to UC Merced. It’s a great way to network,” she said.
The other advantage is that as an alumnus, you can give back to the university, she said. Graduates often find fulfillment as volunteers or donors to their alma mater.
The alumni association in Merced is still in the early phases, and Martinez is looking at other UC alumni groups as models. She will soon meet with the alumni association at UC Davis to learn about their best practices and counts the Alumni Associations of the University of California (AAUC) as her guide.
But Martinez is adamant about making UC Merced’s alumni group unique to the university and its students. She holds focus groups with students and works closely with the San Joaquin Valley UC Alumni Network - an organization of Valley-resident UC graduates from sister campuses - to develop an outstanding UC Merced Alumni Association.
Her goal is to create an Alumni Association that will instill leadership and philanthropic values in students from the moment they walk through the gates of the campus.
“I would like for students to look back at their time at UC Merced as one of the best experiences of their lives and want to give back to the community and the campus as alumni,” she said.
To learn more about the development of the UC Merced Alumni Association or to donate to the Class of 2006 gift or the SJV UC Alumni Network, please email Stefani at firstname.lastname@example.org.