Lucas Dart, Director of Alumni Relations

Renee Ballenger
Q. What are some of your objectives in your new position?
Targeted outreach to all alumni to keep them informed of what’s good for, and at UNK. I want to create an environment—relationships—in which alumni think of UNK often, and always positively. Alumni are extremely loyal; I want to serve them by equipping them with useful
information that increases the value of their degree. My job is all about ushering good feelings about UNK, and making people feel good about their alma mater. I think I’m the luckiest guy on campus. It is very fulfilling to facilitate alumni’s connection back to their past. When I update them on their former professors, or how the buildings they spentso much time in are being upgraded, it brings a smile to their faces.Q. What are some of the ideas you’ve initiated or advanced since your time as Director?
I’ve been here eight months now, and come from more than six years at the Foundation office. I think what I bring to this position is an understanding of what alumni want out of their institution. Alumni are major influencers in a prospective student’s decision-making process on where to go to
college. I’m working to broaden our network, promote UNK, and contribute to an increase in student
inquiries. As an alumnus of UNK myself, I am an automatic member of UNK’s Alumni Association.
We are not a due-paying organization, so we’ve been keeping in touch, and rekindling relationships
through an expanded electronic communications program, including Facebook and Linked In. We’ve
seen a dramatic increase in involvement and correspondence with our alumni, by electronic means.Q. What benefits do alumni receive from their membership in UNK’s Alumni Association?
We are aggressively increasing our regular engagement with alumni. We know where 36,000 of our alumni live, and 25,000 of those are in Nebraska. We are making a concerted effort to embrace more of this low-hanging fruit, if you will, and we’ve gotten great feedback on our “home” efforts, even from our alumni right here in Kearney.Q. What are some other programs you hope to enhance in the coming months and years in
UNK’s Alumni Office?
We want to engage recent graduates sooner and more often. My job is very fun, but it’s not easy. We have limited resources on all levels to reach a vast audience whose age range spans from 22 to 90-years-old, or more. All of these groups communicate differently and have different needs and wants from their alma mater. Each is important; we would like to give them the kind of special attention they deserve. We’d also like to get to a point where we practice regular pre-alumni relations. We’d like to elaborate upon our mentoring program, and enhance the features and services in the affinity groups program. Someday, too, a kind of alumni benefits package would be wonderful, including a card program. Basically, I want to do anything that enriches Loper Pride.Q. How can some of our current Lopers, i.e. UNK employees, contribute to the mission of
Alumni Relations?
Everyone on campus is in the advancement business, whether they realize it or not, because they are the frontline ambassadors of UNK. They already have the relationships, or are among the first to form relationships, founded during a most influential time in a student’s life. My office doesn’t always know about those special relationships. I very much want to improve the communication flow between my office, faculty and staff, and students. Employees can help promote alumni activities, laying ground for that pre-alumni relationship now. Everything we do in Alumni Relations is meant for the benefit of all of the campus community.

If you have ideas or stories or reports related to Alumni Relations, Lucas encourages you
to share. Call, or email, or stop by the Alumni House anytime.