Enhancing connections with alumni was one of the compelling reasons for CU to join the Pac-12 Conference. Numbers alone tell a story. CU-Boulder has some 38,000 alumni in Pac-12 states, and there are more than 51,000 alumni from all our campuses. In the Big 12 footprint, we had fewer than 12,000. All counts exclude Colorado.
Putting alumni faces to the numbers was our goal as we joined the Colorado Buffaloes football team for its initial road foray into the Pac-12 last fall. We hosted many pregame and alumni events, lunches and dinners, and at every one we had an enthusiastic reception from alumni and friends.
At Stanford, nearly 1,000 people attended our pregame, including two busloads of alumni from San Francisco. Stanford supporters told us our turnout was the best they had seen by a visiting team. Even a Stanford alumnus, John Elway, stopped by to wish the Buffs well.
We hosted several alumni events around Seattle, including a pregame in the beautiful setting outside Husky Stadium on Lake Washington. At a dinner hosted for my wife Marcy and me by Scott Oki (Acct’74, MBA’75) and his wife Laura, a gentleman stopped at our table to say his son was a senior on the football team. His only regret was that his son wouldn’t have four years with our new coaching staff.
While our road game results were not what we hoped (with the notable exception of the Utah win), I share the parent’s view that we have the right coaches in place with Coach Jon Embree (Comm’88) and his staff, men of integrity and skill. Rebuilding is difficult, but I am optimistic for the future.
The enthusiasm of our alumni and friends has also been inspiring. In Los Angeles, UCLA alumnus Steve Sauer hosted a great event for CU parents, where he coined the term “Bruffs,” (and had shirts made) for those with allegiance to both CU and UCLA. His daughter Molly Sauer will graduate from CU this year, and Steve is active in our parents’ association.
It was a great fall reconnecting with CU alumni and making new friends. It reminds me of the deep well of good feeling our alumni have about CU and makes me excited to connect with you in the future as our sports teams travel to Pac-12 territory.