What is the Forever Buffs program?
In November 2008 the Alumni Association unveiled the Forever Buffs program by discontinuing its membership dues program and welcoming all 230,000 alumni and 24,000 undergraduates as lifelong members. Being a lifelong alumni member is an enduring investment in CU, one that begins before admission, builds during undergraduate years, flourishes after graduation and continues through retirement. Forever Buffs instills within alums and students what it means to be a Buff, including an expectation of supporting the university, other alums and students.
The non-dues membership plan was developed in response to the perception that the Alumni Association existed for paying members only. This was inconsistent with the university and Alumni Association’s goals of engaging all alumni from the time they first set foot on campus through all their alumni years. Students enrolling at CU-Boulder expect a more comprehensive full-time experience and ongoing institutional relationship than those who are seeking to “just take classes,” and Forever Buffs actively supports a culture of giving back that begins in the undergrad years. Forever Buffs allows the CU-Boulder Alumni Association and the campus to significantly expand student and alumni engagement by including all alumni, undergraduates and friends who are interested in supporting the university as members.
What is the goal?
By being inclusive, Forever Buffs fosters lifelong CU relationships between students and alumni, creates stronger professional and social networks, develops a culture of giving and service among students, the university and alumni and engenders a stronger sense of CU pride. There are three themes Forever Buffs strives to bring to students and alumni: engage, contribute and celebrate.
Who is a member of the CU-Boulder Alumni Association under Forever Buffs?
All alumni, former students and current undergraduate students are Forever Buffs. Friends may join the family of Forever Buffs for a one-time payment of $99 and receive the benefits of CU-Boulder Alumni Association membership.
When did the new membership program start?
Forever Buffs officially began on Nov. 1, 2008.
Will Forever Buffs have membership levels?
Yes. Non-alumni make a one-time contribution of $99. A Directors Club membership is $900, be it for a single or dual membership.
What is the future of paid Lifetime membership?
When Forever Buffs was launched and the Association welcomed all alums and undergraduates as lifelong members, the Lifetime membership program was discontinued. Alumni who had previously become Lifetime members, although only a small proportion of our total alumni (1.5 percent), continue their special relationship with us and the university — special because they have made a long-term commitment to the university by paying for a lifetime membership. These alumni will receive benefits (i.e. the annual wall calendar, recognition, special event offers, etc.) beyond what is received by the regular membership.
Why are former students who did not graduate from CU allowed to be Forever Buffs?
The theme of Forever Buffs is inclusiveness and engagement. We want all of those who hold CU near and dear to belong, no matter their relationship to the institution. CU-Boulder Alumni Association membership is not based on a transaction where members receive special services in exchange for fees. It is regarded as an opportunity to stay connected, get involved, advocate and give back to the university.
Is there an alumni ID card?
Yes. You can download it from your account on the Forever Buffs online network at alumni.colorado.edu. If you don’t have access to a computer, please call our office at 800- 492-7743 or 303-492-8484
Why were Alumni Association membership dues eliminated?
During the fall of 2008 the Alumni Association membership dues program was discontinued in order to promote alumni affinity and service to the University, rather than having to annually solicit alumni for dues. We feared that this process often pushed alumni away. There was also the sense that alumni dues weakened annual giving rates to the university. We want to inspire a lifelong loyalty and relationship with the university on the part of students and alumni from undergraduate years throughout retirement. And as always, we consider people who attended CU but did not graduate as alumni just the same as CU graduates.
How does the Alumni Association fund itself?
In fall 2008, the chancellor of the Boulder campus at the time, Bud Peterson, agreed to the dues elimination model and funded the lost net revenue for the 2008-09 academic year. Until then your membership dues and campus support financially sustained the Alumni Association.
Starting with the 2009-10 school year, the new-student fee was increased $70 for entering freshmen and transfer students and this amount is going to the Alumni Association. The increase was passed by the UCSU (University of Colorado Student Union) legislative council as well as the ultimate governing body of the university, the regents and was supported by the CU-Boulder administration.
This fee helps support the expanding programs the Alumni Association is implementing to better connect students with alumni and the university to cultivate lifelong CU relationships and guarantee a lifetime of services from the association. The tenets of this program are engage, contribute and celebrate. The fee goes a long way towards supporting the goals of the Alumni Association: providing inclusive and lifelong services to students and alumni, including expanded job-seeking support to alumni in partnership with Career Services, a two-day Alumni College, football pregames, the Forever Buffs online network, a Smart Lunch series featuring CU faculty, the Coloradan alumni magazine and a national network of alumni chapters.
Another new source of revenue for the Alumni Association is our corporate sponsorship program, launched in fall 2008.
What types of alumni programming/services does Forever Buffs offer?
Forever Buffs is a network within which alumni contribute and are supported. Whether alumni live in New York City, Los Angeles or any place in between, Forever Buffs programs and events aim to connect alumni back to CU and encourage them to support the success of students, their alumni peers and their alma mater. The Alumni Association provides the vision and structure for Forever Buffs through its programs and services, such as:
- Coloradan magazine
- The national network of alumni chapters that sponsor events and offer relocation advice year round.
- Buffalum Notes e-newsletter,
- Our partnership with Career Services, which offers all alums free access to the Career Services Online database, as well as support from a career counselor dedicated only to serving alums
- The Forever Buffs Network, a CU-Boulder alumni and student only online network at alumni.colorado.edu
- The international Roaming Buffaloes travel program
- A two-day Alumni College featuring contemporary topics such as health care
- Football pregames at home games and away games
- The Smart Lunch series in the Denver/Boulder area featuring some of CU’s brightest and best professors,
What types of student programming and services does Forever Buffs offer?
For all students, the Alumni Association serves as an entry into a lifetime of services and benefits. The association works to better connect students with alumni to increase social and professional networking opportunities. For instance, it provides the Forever Buffs Network online networking tool. The network features exciting opportunities like Ask A Buff expert, which enables students and alums to contact one another with questions regarding professional decisions, graduate schools and relocating to a new city.
Other benefits include:
- Prior to enrollment: admissions recruitment, scholarships, summer sendoffs and convocation welcome
- Also: mentoring, scholarships, professional networking, internships, employment opportunities and relocation advice post-graduation.
The Alumni Association has created the Student Alumni Advisory Council to bridge the gap between alumni and students and works closely with the Senior Class Council. It hosts Night of Networking events with the Senior Class Council to connect alums with students and launched an e-newsletter in collaboration with the Senior Class Council to establish a relationship with seniors and help deliver Forever Buffs messages, as well as news specific to soon-to-be graduates.
In partnership with the Association, the SCC hosted the first Forever Buffs 5k run on April 25, 2009, before the spring game to raise money for the senior class gift. We hope this will be an ongoing tradition.
The Alumni Association has more than 6,000 student members in the Herd, the fee-based student arm of the Alumni Association. The Herd’s mission is to provide CU students with positive memories and connections with others through their events. It brings students together, gets them involved and spreads Buff pride. Attending Herd events ensures a memorable college experience and keeps students connected to CU and the Alumni Association. The Herd hosts Camp Colorado, CU Idol and St. Baldrick’s Day, as well as pregame football events and other fun student programs that also sometimes have a giving-back component.