Last week we were introduced to the IPFW Alumni Association in our blog spotlight of the organization. This week we take a closer look as we profile Mike Kanning, President of the IPFW Alumni Association. Mike works as a project manager for Medical Protective, a Berkshire Hathaway company. He obtained a Bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Purdue University in 1992 and an MBA from Indiana University in 1999. Mike was a founding member of Young Leaders of Northeast Indiana (YLNI) and is a contributor to Living Fort Wayne.
How would you describe your role with the Alumni Association?
I’ve volunteered for this organization in various capacities over the last decade, and I’m fortunate to be in a leadership role during the 50th anniversary of Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne (IPFW). These are times of reflection and rebirth, and I’m excited to help guide our Alumni organization through many changes. It’s challenging and rewarding to see the organization eschew the “same old thing” and dedicate ourselves to growth so that IPFW is flourishing for the next 50 years.
We are expanding the number of volunteer opportunities so more people can get involved in committees with a smaller time investment. 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. I invite all Alumni to reach out and see what you can do to help, no matter how big or small your contribution might be.
Why did you become involved with the Alumni Association at IPFW?
I am thrilled to have two prestigious degrees from IPFW – one from Purdue University and one from Indiana University – which I achieved while living in my hometown. My story is not uncommon to many other alumni, in that I worked full time during most of my college life. It’s awesome to find a university which can integrate into my work-life balance like IPFW does. And while the price of a college degree is skyrocketing, IPFW remains an incredible value. Having this quality, affordable education is paramount to a thriving community. Fort Wayne is blessed to have this gem in their own back yard. I want to help promote the University so that everyone realizes how special this is to our northeast Indiana region.
What have some of your visions for this upcoming year?
The Alumni Association works hand in hand with the Alumni Relations office, which is undertaking new initiatives in networking. At any stage in your career, you can benefit from knowing people who work in the same field as you do. I believe there is no more natural connection than relying on your Alumni Association to keep you connected to colleagues who share the same interests that you do. We realize that “one size fits all” is an outdated approach, so we are focusing on opportunities to bring people together in a more intimate setting.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
If you have not been to the IPFW campus lately, you owe it to yourself to check out the incredible resources we have here locally. If you are an alum, please join us for our annual Alumni Mastodon Roast on Tuesday, October 7. And no, we don’t roast a real Mastodon.
Responses edited by Tim Zink. For more information on the resources available to IPFW alumni, please contact the IPFW Alumni Relations Office at (260) 481-6807 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.