Sunday, July 14th, 2024

‘We’re Here to Support Students,’ says President of Alumni Association

Millersville University’s Alumni Assocation (MUAA) has been around since 1861. A lot of things have changed since that timewe moved from using horses and carriages to using cars for examplebut one thing hasn’t changedthe Alumni Association’s dedication to the graduates of MU.  

“I loved Millersville as a student,” says John Helda 2002 graduate of the University and the president of the Alumni Association. “From the first day I arrived on campus for a tour, it really felt like home. And after I graduated, I missed my alma mater and realized I wasn’t done with it.” 

Held has certainly lived up to those words. In his role today as the president of the Alumni Association, he uses his years of experience as a marketing professional and work in the communication industry to help advance the cause of the organization; to be of service to the University and to perpetuate the spirit of fellowship formed during student days at Millersville University, per the association’s motto. The MUAA does this in a myriad of ways, including through raising funds for scholarships and grants. “It’s an incredibly fulfilling way to give back and that’s why we exist,” says Held. “We’re here to support the students during their time on campus and continue that support when they become alumni and move into their professional careers. 

In fact, in 2020, the association’s finance committee took a hard look their resources and recommended the creation of 10 new one-year $2,500 scholarships for athletics. “With all the hardships students are facing because of the COVID pandemic, and uncertainty around fundraising events that support athletic scholarships, it felt especially important this year to provide additional support for student athletes so we can hopefully alleviate some anxiety and they can continue with their studies as planned,” says Held. Each year, the association is able to give out between $10,000 – $15,000 to fund scholarly and creative student projects across the humanities, arts and sciences.  

There are many ways for Marauders to get involved with the work of the Alumni Association. “We have tons of events for graduates, from formal reunions to informal get togethers and committees that champion different interestsIn this new virtual world one opportunity I’d recommend alumni consider is the mentoring program led by the University that pairs alumni with current students based upon career interest,” says Held. I’m also really excited about our newest initiative to be a more inclusive Alumni Association. We’ve created a committee dedicated to this effort and have started engaging our LBGTQ+ and alumni of color in conversations to learn how we can do betterMy goal is to ensure the Alumni Association feels like home and has something to offer all Marauders. We just need you and your ideas to help bring it to life! 

The Alumni Association isn’t just for graduates, according to Held. “Alumni love it when students reach out to us when they’re looking for internships or jobs,” says Held. “And if you own a business and are hiring, I encourage you to look for Millersville grads first. Let’s all find ways to help each other and connect talented Marauders with opportunities through which we can all benefit.  

So, what are you waiting for? Get involved with the Millersville University Alumni Association today. 

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