Updated: Jan 24, 2019
Written by René Robers (Communication BA ’08)
I once heard a leader say that when you want someone to run a 4-minute mile, you don’t chase them – you give them something to run to. Four years ago, Dr. Depoe approached a few selected UC Communication alumni with the idea of building an organization called “Friends of Communication.” The four of us (Kelly Jacob, Alli Mowrey, Chris Holtman and I) spent the fall through summer working through what it would look like and how it would come to life; building the brand architecture and organizational structure. It was a great stretch project to fold our professional experience into volunteer work and leverage learnings from my membership in the Junior League of Cincinnati to create this vision. Dr. Depoe gave us something to run towards, and by leading us with inspiration and autonomy, a strong and engaging alumni network has continued to grow.
Over the past three years since we launched the organization, I have been so impressed with the knowledge and generosity of our alumni; by the breadth of their experience which has been proof that a Communication degree supports endless opportunities, and the engagement from the Department and students. We have taken ownership of the blog and established ucfriendsofcomm.com, developed content to share the success of our alumni, and developed annual plans including relaunching the mentor program in partnership with CommuniCATS, sponsoring CommCeleb, a Graduation Celebration to honor our new alumni the day of Commencement, and also raised thousands of dollars to support scholarships for current students! There are countless other efforts that have made Friends of Communication an established and well-known organization at UC.
We understand our alumni are busy living, and giving their time, talent and resources to other worthy organizations; and we ask that you ask yourself if you have an idea, an hour or a connection you could offer to Friends of Communication; to connect back with your favorite professors, mentor a student who may have interest in your field, or write a blog post to share your knowledge.
After three years of leading this remarkable group, it’s time to pass the baton. It’s as if you have planted a tree and nurtured it, and eventually you find the time to sit in its shade. Thank you to Dr. Depoe, our current and past alumni leaders and the faculty and students who have helped us thrive. I wish the best of luck to our smart, competent incoming leadership team, and thank you all for allowing me the opportunity to learn and grow and expand our connection with the proud alumni of the UC Communication Department at the University of Cincinnati.