Over the last year, each one of us experienced changes in our day-to-day lives. For the 2020-2021 MAA Board of Directors, our shared goals for the year remained constant. We came together with our Mizzou volunteers and the MAA staff to make Mizzou stronger. Together, we rose to the occasion to find new ways to engage our alumni and friends and to make the many diverse voices of our Mizzou family heard.
A silver lining through this challenging year is that our Tigers are more connected than ever. From the virtual Faculty Alumni Awards ceremony to the Griffiths Leadership Society conference and the newly launched MIZ Talks webinar series, we saw committed and enthusiastic alumni and friends joining us with Tiger spirit and smiles beaming through the screens.
Holding these events virtually allowed for all-time high attendance for the Alumni Leadership Conference as well as creating increased participation from around the country and globe in many of our programs. This year brought unexpected joys like the innovative ways we connected with Tigers who have not been able to come back to campus in decades but whose interest and enthusiasm never diminished.
And, while we’re transitioning back to in-person events, this year forced us to set aside all comfortable patterns in favor of bold innovation — and our traditions will forever be stronger and more accessible as a result.
One constant this year was the important work the board set out to accomplish. Together, we were able to refine and strengthen our MAA engagement processes and technologies to serve us well into the future. We solidified the role of the Diversity and Inclusion Committee by expanding its membership and by working with our local chapters and affiliated groups to promote educational programming. Additionally, this summer we will launch a new concept for alumni engagement – Mizzou Alumni Networks. These networks will be organized into four categories – professional, diversity, affinity and academic – allowing more alumni to connect regardless of their geographic location. And despite an unpredictable fiscal year, we have ensured our association is in a strong financial position.
My sincere thanks to the MAA team led by Executive Director Todd McCubbin, whose dedication has been an inspiration. Our work as a board has been amplified by University of Missouri President Mun Choi and, really, the entire Mizzou leadership team. Between our board, our MAA volunteers and dedicated staff, it has been an incredible team effort to ensure that our alumni were as engaged as ever.
As my term as MAA President ends, I am filled with gratitude for the opportunity to serve in this role alongside some of Mizzou's most loyal Tigers and to celebrate our Mizzou pride with over 340,000 living alumni worldwide.
I am excited to welcome Sabrina McDonnell (MBA ’15) as your new MAA President. She is an insightful and highly respected leader devoted to celebrating the meaningful role each alumnus, supporter, student, faculty and staff member brings to this place we all love – our Mizzou.
Thank you and MIZ —
Robin Wenneker, BS BA ’91 MAA Board of Directors President University of Missouri Board of Curators, District 4