Torchlight | Spring 2014

Alumni chapters up to the Challenge

Alumni Challenge
 Dozens of Sac State alumni join Herky on the Capitol Lawn for a celebratory photo.

Bragging rights were on the line and Sacramento State alumni responded during the inaugural Alumni Chapter Challenge in March.

Six chapters competed in the fundraising push throughout the month. The result, which netted more than $4,600 for alumni programming, was a boost in activity and the near-culmination of the Alumni Campaign.

“The Chapter Challenge turned out to be a wonderful pilot project,” says Jennifer Barber, executive director of alumni relations and annual giving. “Alumni were active and engaged in encouraging their peers to give back to Sac State and support the programs of their chapter.”

The Hornet Policy and Politics Chapter claimed the Challenge title of “Chapter of the Year” by raising the most money during the month-long competition.

“It was a good way to get people energized and focused, which is always a tough thing for any organization,” says Eric Guerra, president of the Hornet Policy and Politics group. “Sometimes it’s just one person or a few people involved so this was good to get a lot more people engaged.”

In April, dozens of Sac State alumni gathered in front of the Capitol for a celebratory photo with Herky. The Hornet Policy and Politics Chapter is galvanizing the many alumni in the political and public service realms. An engaging speaker series, lively social events and numerous networking opportunities have boosted the chapter’s membership since its inception just two years ago.

Guerra says one of his goals is to make the alumni group easily accessible and provide real value for his colleagues. Through chapter events, alumni can connect with professionals in their respective fields, and also make a difference for students and young alums entering the workforce.

“I think we all want to find a way to give back, or be a mentor to those in our field,” Guerra says. “We want to try and make it easy to participate. That’s the key to finding success with any group.”

The Art Alumni Chapter was the runner-up in the Chapter Challenge. Though small in numbers, the group is dedicated. The Challenge kicked off a flurry of spring activity for the Art Alumni Chapter. In May, the group hosted a used book sale, which is a fundraiser for the annual Art Ball—a celebration of the department’s graduates.

On June 3, the Open Membership Art Show begins in the Robert Else Gallery on campus.

“This show gives the alumni artist an opportunity to have their work seen on campus,” says Art Alumni Chapter president Florence Jones. “It’s an opportunity they may not have elsewhere.”

While building momentum and buzz for the alumni chapters, the Challenge also contributed to the $1 million Alumni Campaign.

“The Alumni Campaign was started for two primary reasons: first to raise funds for student scholarships, and second to build a solid foundation for ongoing alumni programming,” Barber says. “We want to ensure that students have the resources to complete their studies and that as alumni, we’re here to engage them for a lifetime. This campaign ensures the future of alumni engagement at Sac State.”

Joining an alumni chapter is a great way to stay connected to Sac State. For more information, visit