Since the formation of the GAA in May 1843, your alumni association has served all of Carolina’s living alumni — now numbering nearly 285,000. We maintain detailed records on all of our alumni. Our class and affinity group reunions and Homecoming welcome all alumni. Our local Carolina Clubs provide programs for all alumni. The George Watts Hill Alumni Center is open to all alumni.
Since the late 19th century, the GAA has invited Carolina alumni to become dues-paying members, and Carolina Alumni 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.
Among our most valued member benefits is this magazine, which this fall will celebrate its 100th anniversary. GAA publications and communications have earned recognition each year since 1996 and have received 41 awards over those years from the Council for Advancement and Support of Education, or CASE. The Carolina Alumni Review has long been vital to the GAA’s achieving its mission of informing and involving Carolina alumni with each other and with our University.
Increasingly, Carolina Alumni members are discovering the value they can receive from our online alumni directory. Not only can you easily locate classmates and friends, you 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. You also can check on the membership status of other alumni, allowing you to encourage anyone you discover who isn’t presently a Carolina Alumni member to join and to remind alumni that they can easily join online.
GAA programs have earned recognition from CASE each year since 1998 and also have received 41 awards over those years. Our popular alumni travel program just celebrated its 40th anniversary and remains exclusively for Carolina Alumni members. Camp Blue Heaven, our family camp exclusively for Carolina Alumni members, regularly has a long waiting list. Access to the more than 7,000 members of our Alumni Advisor Network is limited to Carolina Alumni 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.
Carolina Alumni members can take pride in the programs that member dues make possible. Since 1983, the Tar Heel Network has worked effectively 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.
Like most associations, the GAA also provides a wide range of member discounts on products and services (see alumni.unc.edu/benefits-and-discounts/member-discount-descriptions for a complete listing). Among the most popular are discounts on Carolina merchandise from Johnny T-shirt, diploma frames at UNC Student Stores, green fees at Finley Golf Course, accommodations at The Carolina Inn, entrance fees to the Biltmore Estate, membership in Carolina Kids Club and apparel at Jos. A. Bank and Brooks Brothers. Members also can receive a complimentary coaching session with the GAA’s certified career coach and free print-borrowing privileges at UNC libraries.
We work hard to keep our dues low while continuing to expand our services and member benefits. GAA records, publications and communications, and programs provide the essential foundation to identify, inform, interest and involve alumni so that you will want to make important financial investments in Carolina. Carolina’s most generous supporters consistently are Carolina Alumni members. Nearly 90 percent of the gifts from alumni to the $2.3 billion Carolina First Campaign came from Carolina Alumni members.
We again thank you for your membership. If you’re an annual member, we hope you’ll renew every year, and if for some reason you choose not to renew, we hope you’ll share with us how we can again earn your support. Please encourage family members and friends who are not members to join. Remember, we also welcome as members “friends of Carolina” who did not attend UNC. You could even consider making a gift of Carolina Alumni membership.
We hope you’ll also be an active member by attending local Carolina Club gatherings, voting in GAA elections and participating in reunions of your class or affinity groups. You also can help recruit Carolina students to apply, knowing that, in time, they’ll become Carolina alumni. And you can join our Tar Heel Network and our Alumni Advisor Network.
Carolina alumni are legendary for our passionate loyalty to our University. We each enjoyed our own special experiences and formed many meaningful and lasting relationships. UNC remains strong because of the ongoing support provided by Carolina’s former students. Your GAA will continue to serve all Carolina students — past, present and future.
Yours at Carolina,
Douglas S. Dibbert ’70