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University of Missouri

Project St. Louis

The Mizzou Alumni Association ramps up Gateway City programming.

St. Louis skyline illustration

©istockphoto.com

When in 2013 the number of alumni living in and near St. Louis hit 50,000, Mizzou Alumni Association President Jim Gwinner, BA ’90, decided to take a closer look. The St. Louis and St. Charles, Mo., chapters draw about 13 percent of graduates in their areas, compared to 18 percent nationally and 22 percent statewide. Gwinner appointed an alumni task force to study the St. Louis metro area and recommend ways to boost membership:

  • Combine the St. Louis and St. Charles chapters. Members of one chapter seldom know about the other’s offerings, even though they are nearby.
  • Plan more business networking events to complement social programming.
  • Offer more programs keyed to particular stages of life.
  • Consider placing a full-time association staffer in St. Louis to facilitate alumni engagement.
  • Improve communication. In addition to the current emails to members about events of interest, launch a website that aggregates all events.
  • Consider starting corporate chapters. Several companies employ enough Mizzou graduates to form chapters that could meet conveniently for brown-bag lunches.