Nearly 100 alumni gathered during Homecoming week on October 21 to reflect on their role as leaders during the second annual Alumni Leadership Summit, sponsored by the Alumni Association. Speakers included University President Eric Kaler (Ph.D. ’82), Board Chair Dan McDonald (B.E.E. ’82, J.D. ’85), Alumni Association President Lisa Lewis, and 2016 Homecoming Grand Marshal and Brigadier General Clara Adams-Ender (U.S. Army Ret., M.S.N. ’69).
“We all represent various parts of the University and the Alumni Association, yet we share a common mission: to recognize that by working together with shared understanding, shared goals, and a spirit of collaboration, we can have far greater impact for each other and the University,” McDonald told the assembly.
Participants had the opportunity to dialogue with speakers and each other. Myah Walker (B.S. ’10, M.P.H. ’16), the Alumni Association’s newest board member, expressed why giving back and being a leader in the University community is so rewarding.
“Leadership, to me, means to serve. You can learn a lot about yourself in serving others. It’s so important that we are selfless in what we do and make sure we’re giving back in that capacity,” said Walker.
Akira Nakamura (M.B.A. ’92), who lives in Tokyo and is the Alumni Association’s first international board member, had not been back to campus since graduating. He said he feels his role on the board is to help connect other international alumni back to the University.
“It is difficult to attract interest from alumni living outside the U.S., but I feel like I’m playing an intermediary role between the University and alumni,” he said. “Some of my experiences and some of my words may change people’s lives. I’d like to be the kind of person who could influence other people in a positive, constructive way—so that’s my lifelong objective.”