Chapter Development Empowers Local Alumni Chapters
by Kim Jones Sneed
Director UAPB&AM&N National Alumni Association
Alumni Chapters are the heart and soul of the UAPB/AM&N National Alumni Association. They not only represent University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (UAPB) alums, but they help undergird “Dear Mother” in numerous ways.
Chapter Development is an important aspect of the National Alumni Association. On the second Tuesday of nearly every month, chapter officers and assigned representatives meet to be informed and updated about critical matters, events and activities. The overall goal is to empower local alumni chapters to serve their members with effectiveness and excellence.
Ardren “AJ” Jones, a member of the National Alumni Association’s Board of Directors, has served as chair of Chapter Development for several years now. He is assisted by Kim Jones Sneed, director of the National Alumni Association, who is an ex-officio member of the Board of Directors. She prepares the agenda, schedules the video conferenced meeting and regularly emails information.
Crystal Burns, administrative assistant of the National Alumni Association, conducts the roll call and provides input when necessary. In previous years, she recorded meetings, transcribed notes and distributed them to chapter presidents and representatives. Thanks to the power of technology, the video conferenced meetings are recorded with replays made available.
Some meetings feature guests from UAPB’s Chancellor’s Office, Executive Cabinet, Athletic Department, Office of Recruitment and much more. Others offer a time of sharing concerns and challenges faced as chapter leaders. The environment is kept positive with solutions to problems and plenty of encouragement being regularly provided.
Chapters provide alums with an opportunity to unite, fellowship and come up with creative ways to fundraise. These monies often provide scholarships that help UAPB students in need of financial assistance.
Joining a local chapter is a simple process. Contact the president or representative and let him or her know that you are interested in joining. Dues are typically affordable and can usually be paid annually.
If there is not a local chapter in your area, perhaps you can join one in another city or state. Consider getting involved with a chapter in your hometown or in a city where you grew up. Another option is to join a chapter that you feel is doing the type of projects that you want to work on.
The global pandemic ushered in an increased use of technology. Many chapters meet via conference calls and video conferencing. Some chapters meet in person but might move meetings around to different locations to accommodate their members.