We Come Home
After turning the tassel and taking one last walk through the arch, Nebraska Wesleyan University students officially become alumni. But what does that mean? What does it look like to be an alumni member of the NWU community?
Nebraska Wesleyan students experience support from professors, NWU staff members and fellow students. Whether you realized it or not as a student, you also benefitted from alumni support. As an alum, you can continue these relationships in new ways.
As a valued alumni member of the NWU community, you will receive personal and professional satisfaction from continued involvement with your alma mater and your fellow alumni. You’ll find that giving of your talents and resources to NWU will keep you connected to this community of like-minded individuals as you promote ongoing exceptional student experiences. Our community’s core values stay with us. Along with NWU’s professors and professional staff, alumni help shape our ability to offer current students an excellent liberal arts education within a diverse community built on personal relationships.
There are so many ways to keep your NWU experience going, and so many ways to invest in your NWU community.
Madison Stover (’21) fondly remembers the presence of alumni in her college experience: “It wasn’t long ago that I was going to events like Backpack to Briefcase and hearing from alumni in my classes.” Madison recently represented her employer, Hudl, at this year’s Backpack to Briefcase employment event—NWU’s largest annual networking event that connects current students to employers in the area. Connections between graduates and current students set up students for career success and keep our community strong.
Angelina Cunning (’19M) and Jared Northup (’08/’11M) also represented their employer, Humanex Ventures, at Backpack to Briefcase. Jared, whose time at NWU as a first-generation, nontraditional student impacted him greatly, expressed the importance of empathy; and Angelina was eager to help connect students with career opportunities and mentors for life after graduation: “I’ve been there, and I know how hard it can be. If I can help, I will.” They know that Nebraska Wesleyan students develop maturity, personal responsibility and a strong sense of their values – invaluable skills that can enhance any workplace.
Alumni are a vital part of the larger NWU community and are always welcome on campus. By maintaining relationships with professors, you can also stay connected to the student experience. Alumni panels offer our graduates the opportunity to interact and connect with current students in a meaningful way. Jennifer Heywood (’15/’19M) participated in Dr. Rachel Pokora’s grad school alumni panel for Communication Studies seniors considering graduate school. Jennifer shared her experiences as an undergraduate and graduate student at NWU, emphasizing the fact that “NWU teaches you how to learn.” She also spoke about the support she experienced from her NWU community when she began her photography business.
NWU isn’t the same without you. It takes current students and generations of alumni to sustain our campus culture, traditions and values. Returning to campus is one of the easiest ways to stay connected with the community. Theatre productions, sporting events, music performances and many other campus activities are open to the public, and alumni support helps current students take pride in how they represent NWU. The admissions team relies on alumni to help recruit current high school students, and many campus events are fun for children of any age. Dereck Bombeck (’05) brought along his family to a recent “Alumni Day at the Mats” event, where they gathered with other Prairie Wolves supporters to cheer on the wrestling team.
Giving to the Archway Fund is the most direct way to support the student experience at NWU. All gifts made to the Archway Fund must be used during the current academic year and support a wide variety of features essential to the NWU experience. Scholarships, study abroad, academic departments, athletics, faculty and staff salaries, campus beauty, new technology and small class sizes are all possible because of the Archway Fund, and the generosity of our donors. Additionally, becoming an Archway Fund donor means you have a front-row seat to in-depth stories of your impact via our spring and fall solicit letters.
Watch your email and follow NWU Alumni on social media for event information. You can join alumni across the generations in the NWU Alumni Facebook group and keep up with student and community philanthropy by following @NWUconnects on Instagram. Upcoming events are also announced in Archways magazine. You can share your own updates and keep up with the impact students, faculty and alumni make on campus, in Lincoln and around the world.
Our role in the NWU community is what we make it! So, call up your old roommates, don your best NWU apparel and come back to campus for Wesleyan Weekend 2022, September 29–October 2, for reunions, homecoming and family weekend. Engaged alumni are a vital part of the student experience at NWU, and there’s something for everyone. By giving of your talents and resources, you continue to make an impact.
Story by Kennedy Berreckman ('22)