MSU Alumni Association launches ambitious campaign
"Vim" means exuberant spirit, energy and excitement. Taken right out of Montana State University's fight song, it's also the namesake of the MSU Alumni Association's largest campaign. We went to the university today to find out more about the program and where money from members will go.
A fog horn sounds for every new member of the Montana State University Alumni Association. That includes MSU President Waded Cruzado who became a lifetime member, Saturday.
She says Montana State is quickly becoming the fastest growing and the largest university in Montana.
"It's quite an honor when you understand that students and parents are making Montana State University their university of choice, it's also a great responsibility because it means we have to deliver because parents and students have high expectations about that degree from Montana State," explains Cruzado.
With record breaking enrollment of 15,294 students, the MSU Alumni Association has set their sights on growing the organization to the same number over the next year. That's an increase of close to 50 percent over the nearly 10,000 current members.
Cruzado tells us that money will largely go to help fund scholarships for students.
"We want to make sure that money doesn't stand in the way between our students and a wonderful education so, we make sure that those dollars will go to our brightest students but also to those students who have a need," says Cruzado.
At the Vim sign-up booth, we watched a steady flow of alumni sign up for their memberships.
"It's nice to see that MSU is growing and it's great to contribute to that," says MSU alumnus Laura Ryan.
Ryan graduated in MSU's class of 1990. She just signed up for her alumni association membership.
"Why did you wait?" we asked.
"I don't know. I'll be honest, I don't know. I've been here since '87 in Bozeman and just seemed like the time was right," Ryan replied.
Other folks we talked to tell us they've been members in the past and say they signed up again to support academics at the university.
"Education, just good education for our young people in the state of Montana and, hopefully, they'll be able to stay in the state of Montana after they receive their education and work here," says MSU alumnus Sheila Liebetrau.
Folks with the alumni association explain becoming a member also allows former students to stay in touch with their alma mater, but you don't have to be a student to join. Membership is open to anyone with an affinity for Montana State University.
MSU Alumni Association dues range from $45 for an annual membership to $600 for a lifetime membership.