March 26, 2013
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Alumni activities involve more than just going to sporting events. That’s the philosophy that Thomas Stumpf ’89 (marketing) brings to his alumni chapter.
Stumpf is the head of the Buffalo, N.Y., chapter, where he is trying to diversify alumni outings. He joined the chapter at a time when several members were leaving Buffalo for new jobs. He was given the opportunity to organize an event for the chapter in 1991, and he has been the leader ever since.
“People had this idea that all the chapter does is go to Sabres hockey games,” he says. “I really wanted to broaden the base of things that we do.”
In recent years, the chapter has attended a wine tasting, visited an art gallery and taken a tour of Niagara Falls, in addition to the standard sporting events. Stumpf says that having a variety of outings is imperative to growing alumni involvement and also helps to showcase the chapter’s city to its own residents.
“Making alumni happy encourages them to promote RIT,” he says.
Stumpf, a native of Freedom, N.Y., was attracted to RIT because of the co-op program, which he says was instrumental in helping him secure a job immediately after graduation. He says that he feels more connected to RIT now than he ever has, and he returns regularly to campus for events such as Brick City Homecoming & Family Weekend and the Imagine RIT Festival.
Rollin Shoemaker ’60 became involved with the Buffalo chapter after attending a business-networking event. He saw it as an opportunity to expand his business, Career Management Systems, where he serves as president.
Through the alumni events, he has been able to make numerous business connections, but he has also become more closely connected with RIT.
“Even at the age of 74, I still have a continuing passion for my alma mater,” says Shoemaker. “I often attend events on campus, including hockey games, and I have a wonderful time every time I visit. I’m looking forward to the next Buffalo alumni event.”
For more information, contact Stumpf at email@example.com or 716-289-0170.