Connect with alumni through student association

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Jacob Holmes
Students coming to Troy in the fall of 2015 will get a chance to join a re-energized Student Alumni Association, said spring 2015 President Morris Turner, a finance major from Mobile who plans to graduate in 2016.
“During my tenure so far, we have been more focused on restructuring the organization and preparing for next fall,” he said.
The fall semesters are generally the biggest focus for the organization because of the effect football has on bringing current students and alumni together through tailgating.
The organization also wants to better connect students with alumni working in their fields of study through small events such as dinners, Turner said.
The organization will even serve nonmembers by taking them by golf cart to the stadium or other requested locations on game days.
Erik Groat, membership and chapter development coordinator for Troy University Alumni Affairs, emphasized the connection that comes from attending and graduating from Troy.
“We all have something in common here, being a Trojan,” Groat said. “Being an alumnus is about giving back to the school and leaving a legacy for future students.”
Groat also said he wanted to focus on not just connecting students with alumni, but also developing them into good alumni.
“I wanted to focus on the transition from freshman year to senior year,” said Groat, who was hired in January 2014. “Those are the years when you really find yourself as a person and transition from a teenager to an adult.”
Groat set out to clarify the purpose of the Student Alumni Association, which he summed up as “an opportunity to grow as an individual and meet great people, to learn what it is to be a Trojan.”
Turner called Groat a “fuel of change” for the organization, crediting him with the rise of the group’s activity level.
“Before he was involved, the group just existed,” Turner said. “There were people in positions that weren’t doing anything.”
One of Turner and Groat’s joint ventures was establishing stronger officers’ roles and clarifying their responsibilities. Now that the seven major officer positions are in place, Turner and Groat are working to establish a strong “leadership council,” which will have 40 members.
Turner said the organization’s initial benefit to incoming students would be the connections and events that they can become involved in, but students would get more benefit through working with and leading in the organization as they become upperclassmen.
For more information, students can contact Alumni Affairs at troy.edu/alumni or follow the SAA on Facebook or Twitter.

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