Since the formation of the GAA in May 1843, the GAA has served all of Carolina’s living alumni — now numbering more than 330,000. The association maintains detailed records on all of Carolina’s alumni. It sponsors class and affinity group reunions and Homecoming, welcoming all alumni back to their alma mater. The GAA’s Carolina Clubs provide programs for all alumni, and the doors of the George Watts Hill Alumni Center are open to all alumni, every day.
Since the late 19th century, the GAA has invited Carolina alumni to become dues-paying members, and GAA members enjoy a growing menu of member perks and services. Similar to alumni associations at the universities of Michigan, California, Virginia and others, the GAA is self-governed, and members elect the GAA’s Board of Directors.
Since 1996, the GAA has been recognized with 124 national or district awards from the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education. Of those:
- 63 went to Alumni Communications, including for the Carolina Alumni Review;
- 59 went to Alumni Programs, including 27 awards from CASE’s Affiliated Student Advancement Programs; these awards recognize the association’s programming related to career services, travel, lifelong learning, reunions, Carolina Clubs, athletics, admissions, Family Camp, legislative advocacy, and programs and events for young alumni, current students and their families;
- Two awards, both awarded in 2019, went to Membership for technological advances involving the UNC Alumni App and the association’s online balloting in GAA Board of Directors elections.
GAA members increasingly rely on the value they can receive from the association’s online alumni directory. Not only can members easily locate classmates and friends, they also are able to search based on class year, geographical location, and occupational codes — making the online directory particularly useful for professional networking among alumni. As a member, you also can check on the membership status of other alumni, allowing you to encourage anyone you discover who isn’t presently a GAA member to join (and to remind them that they can easily join online).
The GAA’s popular alumni travel program remains exclusively for GAA members. Camp Blue Heaven, our family camp, regularly has a long waiting list and also is exclusively for GAA members. Access to the more than 7,000 members of the GAA’s Tar Heel Advising Network is limited to GAA members, as is membership in The Carolina Club, the on-campus dining club in the alumni center for alumni, faculty, staff and friends of Carolina.
Since 1983, the Tar Heel Network has worked to preserve the value of all Carolina diplomas through legislative advocacy. The GAA delivers a rich inventory of programs for currently enrolled Carolina students, and local clubs, the Black Alumni Reunion and GAA gifts provide needed scholarships for enrolled undergraduates. The GAA also sponsors the Clef Hangers and Loreleis, the Homecoming Committee, Senior Class, Student Alumni Association and Order of the Bell Tower.
We work hard to keep member dues low while continuing to expand services and member benefits. GAA records, publications and communications, and programs provide an essential foundation to identify, inform, interest and involve alumni in their University.