Building bridges with the IPFW Alumni Association

MASTHEAD - one photo - spring

Graphic courtesy of IPFW Alumni Relations

As an alumnus and staff member at IPFW, it may be expected for me to say this, but “go ‘Dons!” I learned quite a bit about the resources available to alumni while writing this piece and can’t wait to see what’s in store for the future. Check it out!



Opportunities are growing for alumni!

This year is a big year for IPFW, as it celebrates its 50th anniversary, and the IPFW Alumni Association has big plans for the future with over 55,000 alumni out there and more on the way.

The IPFW Alumni Relations’s new leadership team of Debra Boggs, Director, and Christopher Riley, Assistant Director of Membership and Affinity, are working on developing chapters for IPFW alumni who now live in other parts of the country to gather today and stay connected.

Boggs, an IPFW alumna, and Riley are busy developing a beginning framework for these regional chapters, which will provide alumni with valuable networking opportunities, a sense of community, and tools to support the Alumni Association. Pilot chapters will begin in the near future for Allen County, Indianapolis, and Chicago.

Mike Kanning, a founding member of Young Leaders of Northeast Indiana, recently began his term as President of the Board of Directors for the IPFW Alumni Association after serving with the organization in various capacities over the past decade.

“I’m fortunate to be in a leadership role during the 50th anniversary of IPFW,” said Kanning. “These are times of reflection and rebirth, and I’m excited to help guide our Alumni organization through many changes.”

Getting involved!

Riley identified three major reasons alums get involved:

  1. To support their institution with their time, talent, treasure, and network
  2. To represent the institution positively and with pride, and
  3. To help recruit students to the university.

    IPFW Alumni Relations is located at the Steel Dynamics Keith E. Busse IPFW Alumni Center. (Photo/Tim Zink)

Getting involved with the Alumni Association can be as simple as coming out to an alumni event like the annual Alumni Mastodon Roast at the Steel Dynamics Keith E. Busse IPFW Alumni Center on October 7th, which will feature a hog roast, music, networking, and events for kids.

Guests can still register for this event by contacting Alumni Relations, but be on the lookout for other exciting events throughout the year like IPFW’s Homecoming Celebration on January 24, 2015, the Alumni Night at the Tincaps, new Affinity Networking Events for alumni and students, and an outdoor concert with tailgating during the fall of 2015. At these events, alumni can network, see old friends, and get updates on what’s happening at IPFW.

The IPFW Alumni Association invites everyone to become a member.  For one registration fee, members get both the IPFWAA membership, as well as membership from Indiana or Purdue as well.  There are many benefits to membership such as discounts, scholarship opportunities, networking events for members, and many more, all while supporting the members’ alma mater.

If an association member is interested in taking their involvement to the next level by volunteering, mentoring, or serving on a committee or board, contact Alumni Relations for available opportunities. Even as board president, Kanning has a manageable monthly time commitment to the organization.

“We are expanding the number of volunteer opportunities so more people can get involved in committees with a smaller time investment, said Kanning. “This way, they can check out what the Alumni Association is all about and decide if they want to take a larger role later on down the road.”

Alumni are also encouraged to show alumni spirit by purchasing an IPFW license plate from the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles.

“[An IPFW license plate] is a great way to support your alma mater,” said Boggs.

A portion of the funds from the sale of these plates goes toward supporting the IPFW Alumni Association Scholarship fund.

Businesses are invited to identify as an alumni-owned business as part of the Think. Buy. IPFW Alumni initiative where alumni are encouraged to support IPFW alumni-owned businesses.

If it has been awhile since alumni have been to campus, both Kanning and Boggs invite them back to campus to see how much it has grown.

“You owe it to yourself to check out the incredible resources we have here locally,” said Kanning.

Getting connected!

Information about the resources available to alumni, along with details on guided tours, is available by calling the Alumni Relations Office at (260) 481-6807 or emailing­­­­ at They are located at the Keith E. Busse IPFW Alumni Center, 1528 E. California Road, Fort Wayne, Indiana 46805.

Connect with the IPFW Alumni Association on their website, Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter.

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Tim Zink

Author: Tim Zink

Director-at-Large of Communications for Young Leaders of Northeast Indiana. Adviser to current Living Fort Wayne leadership team. Contributor to Living Fort Wayne since April 2014.

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