By Michael Bald
Managing and Design Editor
Photo by Michael Bald
The Tyler Junior College Alumni Association is restructuring its events for the 2021 spring semester.
Due to the outbreak of COVD-19 last spring, the Alumni Association has had to reorganize events for alumni activities at TJC. The Alumni Association has been looking at rules and regulations so they can organize safer events.
“The Alumni Association’s focus has been reviewing the organization’s bylaws to ensure the document best reflects the intent of the organization and the working structure of the Alumni Association within the framework of the college,” Amy Cunningham, a member of the Alumni Board of Directors, said. “In addition to this project, we’ve done our best to continue to promote student engagement. For example, being involved in the TJC Virtual Spirit week in October 2020.”
The Alumni Association has used Zoom for their meetings in discussing further plans.
“We’ve continued to meet via Zoom and continue work on our projects and stay updated on-campus events, including the Performing Arts Campaign,” Cunningham said. “It’s been challenging to connect during the pandemic.”
With the cancellation of events in the 2020 spring semester, the Alumni Association has been working to reschedule those.
“We had to cancel planned 2020 alumni events, including a 50th anniversary celebration for Dental Hygiene, our biannual Sports Circle of Honor event and all of the in-person fall Homecoming activities, including the annual Alumni Awards Dinner,” Susan Farrington, TJC director of alumni relations, said. “We are in the process of trying to reschedule those and other new alumni events in 2021. We have not released that schedule because it is still in review as are all or most public events.”
While the Alumni Association Board of Directors discusses plans for the future, they are waiting for more information before putting plans on the calendar.
“The coronavirus pandemic is still generating concerns and requirements relative to in-person social gatherings, ” Farrington said.
The Alumni Association has been reaching out to past students in order to keep them in the loop of events.
“I think we’re on the road toward keeping more recent former-students better plugged-into the affairs at TJC, However, the task of locating and re-connecting with past students from the previous 50 years is a much steeper hill to climb,” Doc Deason, TJC Alumni Board member, said. “College-aged kids are very transient. And, TJC normally catches many of them on the front end of their journey, which is even more of a challenge if you hope to keep up with those former-students. Thankfully, nowadays we have the help of social media, which can cast a large net.”