Alumni News: News from the FTAA Executive Director

Another Stellar Year for Alumni

2015 was another stellar year for alumni relations at Florida Tech. Our core events once again continued to develop and grow, and we added new initiatives that were a resounding success.  Homecoming was huge once again with indie darlings Matt and Kim bringing their high energy show to FIT Homecoming Fest and the football team defeated the # 1 team in the nation. Although there is too much to report in one column, here are some of the recent highlights.

The FTAA hosted a book signing on campus for General Ann Dunwoody (ret.). Over 200 people attended the event at which alumna Dunwoody talked about her book A Higher Standard. General Dunwoody related the leadership lessons of her military career in an inspirational and well received speech and remained for over an hour afterward signing copies of her book.

Thanks to alumnus and trustee, Tom Folliard, for getting the Florida Tech Panthers on the jumbotron at Gillette Stadium before a New England Patriots game. Folliard, CEO of Carmax, Inc., is a huge Patriots fan and was hosting a group of basketball alumni at the game.

The FTAA kicked off the Alumni Concert series with two concerts ZOSO (Led Zeppelin tribute band) and Matisyahu. The goal is to provide local alumni an opportunity to gather with fellow alumni and enjoy a show. The FTAA plans to host concerts on campus but is also working with the Maxwell King Center. Next up is Jay Leno on Feb. 21.

Finally, I want to extend a huge thank you to outgoing FTAA president, Duane De Freese. Duane served two years as president and oversaw a major transition of the FTAA board. His dedication and leadership were integral in the success and growth of so many of the initiatives I have been recording in this column the past two years. He leaves the FTAA in a strong financial position and with new and diverse programs that will help the FTAA continue to develop and grow.


Alumni from all over the world helped make the inaugural Florida Tech Day of Giving (FTDOG) a huge success. With a goal of alumni participation and helping increase our % of undergraduate alumni who give back to their alma mater (a metric used by U.S. News & World Report in its ranking formula), the FTDOG exceeded all expectations. The initial goal was 500 donors and by the end of the 24-hour campaign we reached 1,499. The driving force for this campaign was #participationmatters with an emphasis that no gift was too small. This message truly resonated with our younger alumni who gave in the largest numbers. The competition between the colleges really helped spur the response from alumni, and I have to give a shout out to Dean Oyman and the College of Aero alumni for getting the most donors. Our U.S. News & World Report ranking reflects on all of us and should be a source of pride for all alumni. My hope is that next year all our alumni, and especially those of you who enjoy reading Florida Tech Today, will join us on Nov. 29 and participate in our second annual Day of Giving.


The first annual REAL WORLD conference attracted 100+ students who took the opportunity to experience a conference event with break-out seminars on various topics pertaining to life after college. The conference also afforded the students an opportunity to meet with business leaders at a cocktail reception and dinner. For all those who completed the two-day conference: a guaranteed interview with a major corporation like Intel, Harris and EA Sports!

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