UWAA History

1966: Community begins The Alumni Fund


2013 Homecoming Royalty

As the Baby Boom generation became college-aged, the University had to scramble to construct new buildings for housing and classrooms to keep up with demand. Keeping college affordable for students was becoming an increasing challenge. At the same time, the UWAA was at a crossroads, seeking new ways to support the UW.

UWAA officers, regional alumni club volunteers and alumni who held no office but who cared deeply about the UW met with University representatives in 1964 for what has come to be known as the Alderbrook Congress. Some of the principles to come out of the Congress were rededications to closely-held ideals, like the notion that the UWAA was for all alumni in service to the UW, not just members. Others were confirmations that recently-started programs would continue and be strengthened, such as the UWAA’s forays into public lectures and other lifelong learning opportunities.

Most radical was the decision to engage in a systematic and continuing program of fundraising in support of the UW, an effort that came to be known as The Alumni Fund. The UWAA had engaged in fundraising before, but The Alumni Fund was the first effort towards building a sustained base of private support for the University across a broad audience. It underscored not just the University’s need of the alumni community, but also the commitment and dedication of alumni to the University.