WAA President and Chief Alumni Officer, Paula Bonner

Letter from Paula Bonner

It’s been another great year here at the Wisconsin Alumni Association as we continue to find innovative ways to serve alumni and the campus more efficiently and robustly, working together to meet our shared goals.

One of the key components of our mission is to find ways to measure alumni engagement. Our new database, nicknamed ABE, is helping us to understand the nature and extent of alumni involvement. We’ve also conducted research to find out how alumni feel about the university and its initiatives. The results are helping us to be more effective in our communications with key audiences. And we’re continuing to look for more ways to measure alumni engagement and the impact that alumni have on the university.

Paula Bonner has led the Wisconsin Alumni Association since January 2000.

One way to engage alumni is through face-to-face contact. That is the mission of One Alumni Place — a remodel of WAA’s headquarters that will provide UW graduates and friends with direct access from Alumni Park and a beautiful meeting and event space, as well as a place to simply relax and enjoy the lake view with a cup of coffee. The project gained approval this past year, and the cranes and bulldozers are hard at work as I write this. Workers are also laying the groundwork for the creation of Alumni Park, which will take alumni and campus engagement to a whole new level as it highlights the contributions that UW graduates have made over the years, engendering feelings of pride and appreciation.

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank you for an amazing show of support during this past year of budget challenges for the university. As the UW faced the biggest cut in its history, WAA launched a postcard campaign to share alumni concern with legislators, and you responded in full force. You spoke up about the effects that continued budget cuts will have on the campus, and when the Wisconsin Idea was threatened, you spoke up about that, too. On behalf of everyone who loves this great university of ours, I thank you! UW-Madison was recently named the 25th-best university in the world and the 18th-best in the United States. Your support means more than you know in the effort to keep it that way.

Paula Bonner MS’78
President and Chief Alumni Officer Wisconsin Alumni Association