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September 04, 1980 - Image 71

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1980-09-04

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

The Michigan Daily-Thursday, September 4, 1980--Page 17-A

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University alumni

STUDENTS

By JULIE ENGEBRECHT
There is a certain mystique about
Msichigan alumni, even though they are
imply former students. They are most
ten stereotyped as successful people
who support the University with hefty
donations and who drench themselves
in maize ;and blue during fall football
weekends. That characterization,
however, is true of only a vocal
minority of alumni.
Every college or university has
alumni-it's one of the facts of life in
the ivory tower. So with the exception of
identifying colors, University of
Michigan alumni can't be differen-
ated from alumni hailing from Yale of
Ourdue. Or can they?
"I GUESS there's a kind of a feeling
that there's a special Michigan per-
son," says Michael Radock, vice-
president for University relations and
development, whose job involves
dealing with alumni on a regular
basis. "There are the Ivys. I would
think there's a Princeton type. There's
a Harvard type, a Dartmouth type,
Fmherst . .
.According to Radock and Bob For-
man, executive director of the Alumni
Association, identification of oneself as
a University of Michigan graduate
evokes an instant response, regardless
ofbersonal qualities.
"Our mental computer goes 'click'
and the screen comes up: great school,

international stature, bright students,
liberal-sometimes too liberal-good
academically as well as athletically,
forefront of knowledge, great research.
That's the screen that comes up," says
Radock. "When they meet you as a new
graduate, they say 'She must be pretty
good. She made it .through there. She
was accepted there,' or 'He has three
degrees from tichigan, four de-
grees'...
FORMAN ACKOWLEDGES that
while a degree from the University isn't
necessarily a guarantee of a job, a
graduate or representative of the
University can rest on at least a few of
those academic laurels.
"You find that people think more
highly of you without knowing what
your personal qualities are," he says.
"It's almost too bad; the judgment is
made before you can prove them
wrong.'"
But who's complaining? Just as a
degree from the University of Michigan
can mean more to an employer than a
diplomas from a smaller and not so
established institution; a recent
graduate can always find a friend in the
employer category who is also an
alumnus from the University of
Michigan. These "Michigan connec-
tions" can help the recent graduate
meet the right people.
"IF SOMEBODY came to me with a
Michigan degree, I'd consider it a big

factor," says Dave Kaplan, a 1955
graduate aof the business ad-
ministration school and resident of
Birmingham. Kaplan said he is
familiar with the University's
academic standards, and is fairly well,
assured he would be hiring a quality
'employee.
"You have to look back at who it is
that goes to Michigan in the first
place," he says.
But the value of a diploma from a
highly respected institution is merely
one factor. The bond between Michigan
alumni of all ages is at least as strong,
and certainly more exclusive. The
commonality of attending Michigan
reaches into the professional and social
lives of many alumni. In Washington,
D.C., for example, student summer in-
terns from the University are each
assigned a Michigan alumnus to make
them feel at home away from home.
The idea is that common attendance at
the same school provides some
security, as well as automatic friend-
ship. Many students say the alumnus
sponsor gets more from the
arrangement than the usually-skeptical
student, yet it is often an important
connection for future employment.

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h Convention reflections

(Continued from Page 9)
he continued. "If they wanted to,
they could climb out of the pits of
poverty, but they are lazy and
choose to live off handouts."
Everyone except me appeared to be
convinced, accepting the
questionable premise that poor,
people like being poor.
The nightly convention sessions
were accurately compared by one
R reporter to a circus. There I was,
cheering crowds in the background,
watching the parades, the trapeze'
artists, and the clowns, getting
caramel corn stuck between my
teeth. I think the clowns won.
Apart from the heart-warming

human interest stories to be found at
the convention, being in Detroit for
those few days in the middle of July
left me with nothing but a deep fear
for the future of this country. The
typical "lambast the other side" at-
titude was quite prevalent in the
profusion of "Teddy for Lifeguard"
and "Before Teddy runs,.he should
learn to swim" buttons and stickers
that abounded. Meanwhile, the
people in the convention hall were
assuring the nomination of a man
that wants fewer social welfare
.programs, more defense spending,
and unlimited use of nuclear power.
The only question I have left is:
Where do we go from here?

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