Alumni Association grows to include more students

UBC's extended family is growing a little larger thanks to a change in criteria for membership in the Alumni Association.

The definition of alumni has been expanded to include students who have completed a minimum of 15 credits, or the equivalent, in a certificate or diploma program or a program that results in accreditation such as medical residency.

"This change reflects the variety of educational programs offered at UBC," says Agnes Papke, executive director of the Alumni Association. "The current reality is that we serve as an academic resource to many people in our community - not just those who are seeking a degree."

Papke expects membership to increase by 8 to10 per cent as a result of the change, building on the current alumni base of more than 160,000 members in 118 countries.

Graduates of diploma programs such as Management of Aquaculture Systems, Urban Land Economics and Forest Engineering as well as graduates of certificate programs such as Real Property Assessment, and Theatre Design and Technology will be eligible for membership in the association.

Medical graduates from other universities who are involved in UBC residency programs will also be eligible.

"We want to recognize those people who value their educational experience at UBC even though they may not have graduated from a degree program," says Haig Farris, Alumni Association president.

Papke is requesting deans to submit a priority list of groups to be admitted to the association under the new criteria. Admission to the association is at the discretion of the Alumni Association's Board of Directors, which will review the proposals for eligibility. Membership will be retroactive in most instances.

The new alumni will be identified as non-voting members of the association, consistent with the requirements of the University Act.