OT - Your experiences with the Alumni Association?

Submitted by Corey on July 19th, 2012 at 2:54 PM

So it's been a few years since I graduated and I'm debating jumping into the Alumni Association pool.  What are your experiences?  If you bought a multi-year membership, have you found that it's worth it?  (What is the gold membership anyway?)  I'm not just wondering about sports tickets and things either;  Healthcare insurance, travel, etc. are also fair game for discussion.

And just because a post doesn't seem right if it a post doesn't have a picture...

Comments

FabFiver5

July 19th, 2012 at 3:09 PM ^

Haven't used a single perk in the 5 years since I graduated, but my parents bought me a lifetime membership, so I'd like to know what I can take advantage of as well.

Maizeforlife

July 19th, 2012 at 3:09 PM ^

That depends on what type of presence you would like to maintain as an alumnus.  If your interest is in networking opportunities, or even in university development (through donations/gifts/etc) it is definitely worth it.  It's also nice to help keep you involved in the campus life (if you desire such a thing).  As far as discounts on insurance and the like, check out this website

LSAClassOf2000

July 19th, 2012 at 3:23 PM ^

Aside from the networking and campus involvement, I have utilized this page quite a bit - I managed a discount on my wife's new laptop with their Dell discount, as well as the Big Ten Digital Network and some golf on occasion. I do enjoy the little things like that.

Corey

July 19th, 2012 at 3:16 PM ^

I am in the extremely populous state of Vermont, which does not have a UMAA connection that I'm aware of.  There's a chance I might move back to Ann Arbor in the nearish future though, since my significant other has wisely chosen to get her PhD at Michigan.

goblue_jb

July 19th, 2012 at 3:53 PM ^

ah well that does change the answer a bit.  There is a NH club, although its probable that any local events they run might not be entirely close to where you live. (http://newhampshire.umclubs.com/)

Outside of the regional club presence (social networking, career networking, intramural alumni sports teams, gameday watch parties, etc) there are a number of other areas where being an alumni association member can be beneficial.  There are a number of hotel/car rental/insurance/ discounts on kaplan test prep / etc types of discount codes available.  I use the car rental ones alot and it always saves some decent $$.  (http://alumni.umich.edu/join/savings-and-special-access).  AAUM membership also brings along with it access to their 'Lifelong Learning Catalog' (http://lifelonglearningcatalog.umich.edu/), online publications database & university library virtual access, access to a number of career services (http://alumni.umich.edu/jobs), michigan alumnus magazine, family camping opportunities at Camp Michigania / Michigania East (in upstate NY), just to list a few.

Worth noting that membership to AAUM is not regional specific - when you join AAUM you can become a part of any regional club.  So, if you think you may be moving around in the future, the multi-year membership will still be of use regardless of location.  Particuarly on sports and speaker related items, there are numerous opportunities to take advantage of the AAUM affiliation if moving to the ann arbor/detroit area given the proximity to campus. 

not sure if thats helpful or not...

Maizeforlife

July 19th, 2012 at 3:17 PM ^

quite true.  in my experiences in dealing with the Alumni Association, the quality of your experience varies drastically between what school you come from and what region your in currently.  My advice to you would be to see if you could possibly sit in on a few events that your regional alumni group hosts.  that way you can test the waters first.

BlueHills

July 19th, 2012 at 4:03 PM ^

The Michigania camps are absolutely incredible experiences, and the premier one is on Walloon Lake, near Charlevoix, Traverse City, Petoskey and Harbor Springs.

It's a gorgeous setting, and Ernest Hemingway's cottage is also on the lake.

Great Michigan-oriented vacation for couples and families, lectures in the evening if desired, tons of activities, in fact these are the best vacations I've ever had, including lots of top resort destinations. Great fun.

My kids were on staff there when they were in school as well. Worth joining the alumni association for this if nothing else.

Sweet Life

July 19th, 2012 at 4:09 PM ^

Best benefit from the Alumni Association - Camp Michigania.

If you have young kids and you like outdoor activites like sailing, shooting, riding, doing ropes courses, etc., it's a great vacation.  You get to have a great time while a superb staff of college students (many from UM) takes care of your kids, who are also having a great time.  Plus you have the opportunity to make friends with other alums of all ages, listen to faculty lectures in the evening if you want, and best of all, you get to stand up and sing The Victors multiple times during your week there.

Seth

July 19th, 2012 at 4:09 PM ^

They're a good way to get word out to local alumni groups, say if we're gonna do an event somwhere or whatever.

Also you can go to Michigania, which we did one year when I was a kid but stopped because they told my dad he had to jump through 30 hoops just to sail his own Laser (and made him wear a lifejacket).

I still have the Petoskey stone I buffed out. Never would have done that activity at all except my (future Sparty) snot-nosed little brother cried like hell that he had to use a beebee gun while I got to shoot a rifle and got us kicked out of the rifle range.

I got a membership and my sister in law got a membership so my brother and i can go in the future (hopefully my other two sibs who didn't get into Michigan will marry blue). My cousin's been going every year (as a counselor) since forever.

[EDIT: wow - three posts in a row about Michigania.]

Farnn

July 19th, 2012 at 5:50 PM ^

Just started?  The one in upstate New York has been around for years.  My family has been going for the last 12 years or so, though with breaks due to college and such.  Great fun and activities for all ages.  The alumni association rents out a girls camp for the last few weeks of August after the summer camp season has ended.  The councelors are camp staff from the summer and since it's a girls camp they are mostly female.  It almost gets better once you get older since you can partake in all the regular activities, plus the late night alcohol related ones.

Sweet Life

July 19th, 2012 at 4:50 PM ^

Sailing is my favorite activity at Michigania.  The boating staff are the best.  I grew up sailing on a small lake in Wisconsin, but hadn't sailed in years until I went to Michigania.  The first time I tipped a boat, there was a boating staff guy there in a whaler offering a hand almost as soon as I hit the water.  Great service, even if you are very experienced dealing with capsized boats.

I never minded the lifejacket requirement or the proficiency tests.  It's just basic risk management.  It's not good for business when campers are drowning or wrecking boats.

MGoBrewMom

July 19th, 2012 at 4:13 PM ^

With my name on it that says I graduated from the best frigging school anywhere.
Our local alumni club (San Diego) had a lot of happy hours and events (great football Saturday bar). I think you can get discounted car insurance and other such perks. Networking. Notification of special events (coaches tours and speakers from M--i.e. John Bacon), and sporting events when Michigan is playing in So. Cal. There are also group travel opportunities.

But I joined for the membership card.

Feat of Clay

July 19th, 2012 at 5:15 PM ^

My husband went to Michigania every summer as a kid and backs up the superlative comments here.  They have some weekend getaways in fall & winter, too.  

Haven't done those yet, but I have saved quite a bit of money using the hotel discounts & the one for National Car Rental.  Also got a car insurance discount which is pretty nice, but I think you just have be an alum, not necessarily a card-carrying member of the alumni association

Also your kids get 38% off tuition if they enroll at U-M.  HA HA JUST KIDDING I WISH

gotohail

July 19th, 2012 at 5:52 PM ^

I haven't used it for anything yet.. I only have a year membership since I wanted to try it out. I was just going to post a similar question since I didn't think i was going to renew or not...

ppToilet

July 19th, 2012 at 8:38 PM ^

I didn't pull the trigger right away after graduating, but did so as soon as I could afford it. You're an alumnus. You care enough to read this blog. You bleed maize and blue. It's not about what you get, it's about giving back.

Machine

July 20th, 2012 at 7:44 AM ^

Priority for football season tickets used to be determined by several factors including whether or not you were an alumni, alumni association membership (with life members getting higher priority than yearly members), and how long you had already been on the waitlist. I joined the alumni association as a life member for the sole purpose of jumping up the waitlist as far as possible. It worked too since I was able to get tickets the year I applied (93 or 94). Now the priority system has been replaced by one based strictly on donations. I don't really approve but what can you do?