By Ashley Zsedenyi, staff writer
CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky. – A group of 20 alumni from Campbellsville University gathered for the inaugural meeting of the Elizabethtown Alumni Chapter recently at Gondolier Italian Restaurant.
Shannon Clark, director of alumni relations at CU, said, “As our alumni base continues to grow, we need to take a step forward in the world of alumni relations and provide opportunities to for alumni to stay involved with CU and each other.”
Clark said her goal in establishing the chapter is to increase alumni participation in events and to keep them connected to their alma mater.
“This is the first-ever regional chapter the alumni relations office has facilitated,” Clark said. “We have many dedicated alumni in the Elizabethtown area who come back to campus regularly and support CU whole-heartedly. It’s a great place to start a tradition we hope will spread to other regions where there are large concentrations of alumni.”
She said alumni groups may have come and gone in the past, but this is the first chapter organized in conjunction with the alumni relations office at CU.
She also hopes to provide mentoring and networking opportunities for alumni and current students, assist in the development and advancement of Campbellsville University, to serve as examples of how CU graduates can make a difference in their communities, and to host activities the chapter could look forward to annually.
“Most importantly, I want this group to have fun,” Clark said.
Some suggested activities for the chapter include an annual food and toy drive during the holidays, a summer cookout, community service projects, a group ski trip, a young alumni career workshop, a golf tournament, speaking to current students at CU about the value of their education, campus volunteer projects and creating a hospitality committee.
She said regional alums and the chapters support the work of CU in specific areas by providing social and educational programs, opportunities for meeting and encouraging prospective students to attend CU, and enhancing the reputation of CU through added visibility in the community.
“Every graduate from CU has been exposed to the importance of servant leadership in our world,” said Clark. “We want to take that a step further and involve CU alumni with service projects in their communities.”
Another goal of the Elizabethtown Alumni Chapter is to establish an endowed scholarship for students in the local area.
Chuck Vaughn, director of the Big Maroon Club at CU, said a scholarship fund was set up several years ago for students in Hardin and LaRue counties, but that the funds in that account have since been exhausted.
“We want to try and get all scholarship accounts endowed so that the money for our students will always be there,” Vaughn said.
The minimum amount required to endow a scholarship is $10,000 and once the account reaches that level, scholarships are awarded from the interest earned on the account.
Alumni present at the meeting voiced an interest in offering scholarships to the Lincoln Trail area, and eventually hope to raise enough money to establish a scholarship for each county in the district.
It was also mentioned that alumni in Meade County as well as Hart County would be interested in trying to get an alumni chapter started in those areas.
Campbellsville University is a private, comprehensive institution located in South Central Kentucky. Founded in 1906, Campbellsville University is affiliated with the Kentucky Baptist Convention and has an enrollment of 2,601 students who represent 93 Kentucky counties, 27 states and 31 foreign nations. Listed in U.S.News & World Report’s 2009 “America’s Best Colleges,” CU is ranked 22nd in “Best Baccalaureate Colleges” in the South for the second consecutive year. CU has been ranked 16 consecutive years with U.S.News & World Report. The university has also been named to America’s Best Christian Colleges®. Campbellsville University is located 82 miles southwest of Lexington, Ky., and 80 miles southeast of Louisville, Ky. Dr. Michael V. Carter is in his tenth year as president.