ASense of Belonging
Significance ofclubs explored, praised at leaders conference
Class of 1952
241 annual members
256 life members
497 total members
37.9% class membership
Class of 1957
In an era of dwindling North Carolina state budget money and looming tuition increases, the work of
Carolina alumni clubs is all the more vital to the
University's future. That was a key message club leaders
heard in early March when they returned to Chapel Hill
for "Reach for the Stars," the GAA's conference for
Carolina club leaders and volunteers.
"You are all our stars, and we appreciate everything you
do," Betty Ray McCain ' 52, chair of the GAA Board of
Directors, told club leaders during a rousing keynote din-
McCain gave an entertaining recap of the continued
recovery of what is believed to be the pirate Blackbeard's
ship off the coast of North Carolina and highlighted
University milestones over the past year. As former secre-
tary of the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources, she
also spoke frankly about the state's budget crisis and
encouraged club leaders to contact legislators and do as
her preacher says: "Live expectantly."
"You don't understand how critical you all are to us,"
McCain said."We need you to keep carrying on being
just as loyal and as enthusiastic as you can be."
There are about 85 Carolina clubs throughout the
nation and the world. The conference is designed to
update volunteers on GAA and University news and rec-
ognize their work throughout the year. It also provides a
forum for club leaders to discuss opportunities and chal-
lenges, as well as training to help them lead their clubs.
This was the first such conference for Matt Hunsucker
'00, chair of the Charleston Carolina Club.
"It's important to the University's health financially and
spiritually to have cheerleaders throughout the country to
keep the level of alumni generosity and pride up during
these times, and that was really echoed a lot in what the
speakers were saying," Hunsucker said. "It renewed our
faith to be there and hear what is going on from the
movers and shakers at the University. I was very impressed.
They really let us know that they appreciate what we do."
It also was the first such conference for Jack Archey ' 93,
co-chair of the Los Angeles Carolina Club, who said that
"just hearing some good ideas from other club leaders and
GAA persol1l1el, plus the opportunity to meet them face-
to-face," were well worth the trip.
The annual gathering typically is held during a football
weekend each fall. The 2001 event, originally slated for
Sept. 14 and 15, was rescheduled for March following the
terrorist attacks. With 28 club volunteers, turnout was
somewhat lower than the average 40 attendees, but there
was representation from nine of 10 of Carolina's largest
alwnni club areas, which serve nearly 40 percent ofalumni
for whom the GAA has mailing addresses, said Keitcha M.
Royal ' 96, coordinator of alumni clubs and organizer of
tl1e event. That includes clubs from Orange, Durham,
Mecklenburg and Wake counties; and Greensboro and
Lake Norman in North Carolina; along with Atlanta, New
York and Washington, D.C.
In addition, six other club leaders attending serve regions
with 1,000 or more alumni, including Houston, Charleston,
Dallas, Los Angeles and North Carolina's Pitt and Cumberland
counties. The event also drew representation from the
newly formed Tri-Cities Club in Johnson City, Tenn., and
a prospective club for Johnston County, Royal said.
On Friday morning, the group heard an update on the
$1.5 billion Carolina First capital campaign and remarks
on Carolina's public service mission. During lunch,
Chancellor James Moeser lauded club volunteers for their
dedication. In 2001, Carolina clubs sponsored 643 events
drawing more than 13,500 people. For 2001-02, 14 clubs
donated approxin1ately $14,000 in scholarship money to
students from their regions. Moeser also praised the esti-
mated 40 clubs that took part in October's first Tar Heel
Service Day and thanked clubs for sponsoring student
receptions welcoming newcomers to the Tar Heel family.
In addition to providing highlights from September's
State of the University address, Moeser also encouraged
club volunteers to continue working to recruit the best
students to Carolina and to take key messages to North
Following lunch, guests received an update on the GAA
Web site, marketing and communications and student pro-
grams. On Friday afternoon, the event featured the first-
(See speaker events,
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