Guest Column: Let’s Go Together

Ayanna McConnell welcomes alumni to join her on her new journey as the 12th president and CEO of the Alumni Association.
By Ayanna McConnell


Read time: 2 minutes
Ayanna McConnell speaking to audience members at the 2023 Alumni Territory Rose Bowl Pep Rally.
Ayanna McConnell at the 2023 Alumni Territory Rose Bowl Pep Rally. Photo by Jeremy Carroll.

Greetings to our distinguished, enthusiastic, and inspiring Michigan alumni community! I am excited to serve as the 12th president and CEO of the Alumni Association of the University of Michigan. I’m extending a heartfelt thanks to the U-M alumni family for a warm welcome to this role — your notes, emails, visits, and encouraging words of support mean the world to me.

I feel emboldened and empowered to lead this organization thanks to the strong foundation and leadership built by our board of directors, staff, phenomenal alumni volunteers, members, and donors throughout the world who are committed to supporting the University’s mission and vision through the Alumni Association.

I have started my tenure with a listening tour to hear directly from stakeholders about how the Alumni Association can be a relevant resource and link between alumni and the University. My vision is to elevate the role and impact of alumni, with a focus on inclusive and dynamic programs and offerings and easy opportunities for alumni to plug into the Michigan network throughout their lifetime.

This moment is important beyond our organization as we look toward the future of the University through the lens of Vision 2034 and Campus Plan 2050, crystalized under the thoughtful leadership of President Santa J. Ono and the U-M Board of Regents.

There are myriad ways for alumni to engage with the University, and I invite you to keep U-M close through your connections with affinity networks and regional clubs, programs, and volunteer opportunities, or staying abreast of cutting-edge research, scholarship, and societal innovations conceived at our beloved University. Or, simply drop a line to a college buddy to reminisce about your favorite Michigan experiences, like our football team’s historic wins at the Rose Bowl and national championship!

I love the proverb that says, “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”

Together, let’s go far.

Ayanna McConnell is the president and CEO of the Alumni Association of the University of Michigan.

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