Since the formation of the GAA in May 1843, the GAA has served all of Carolina’s living alumni — now numbering more than 320,000. 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 local 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 benefits 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.
For 21 consecutive years, the GAA has been recognized with a total of 113 national or district awards from the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education — 56 for Alumni Communications, including for the Carolina Alumni Review, and 57 for Alumni Programs, recognizing 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. The Alumni Programs’ awards include 28 awards from CASE’s Affiliated Student Advancement Programs.
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, which in 2012 marked its 40th anniversary, 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 Alumni Advisor 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 senior class marshals and the 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.