The UF Alumni Association's Young Alumni E-Newsletter was established to connect with alumni who are 35
years and younger. Our mission is to strengthen the Young Alumni connection to The Gator Nation®! Please feel
free to contact us or submit story ideas to
Gators help their communities during International Gator Day
In Miami, sick children and their families got a healthy, home-cooked meal. In Columbus, Ohio, tables and dressers were readied for needy families. And in
South Alabama, a family got a new home.
Gators performed all of that community service. And it's just a small part of the good UF alumni and friends are doing around the world.
More than 60 Gator Clubs from all parts of the United States took part in International Gator Day this spring. Hundreds of Gators of all ages turned out to
clean beaches, feed the hungry, help pets in animal shelters and perform other acts of community service.
In Ecuador, young alumnus Lt. Williams Walders (MHA '07) joined with four fellow alumni aboard the USNS Comfort to dedicate the medical care they provided
May 21 to International Gator Day. He and Lt. Jorge Gonzalez (BA '97, MBA '99), Capt. Bill Todd (BSBA '81), Cmdr. Susanne LeMaire (BSN '93) and Capt. Eric
Gessler (BS '90) are serving aboard the Military Sealift Command hospital ship as part of a five-month humanitarian assistance mission to the Caribbean and
Central and South America.
Community service projects aren't limited to International Gator Day® — many clubs take on service projects throughout the year, whether it's helping
with Habitat for Humanity in Orlando or helping reptiles in Phoenix. Check out your local Gator Club to learn how you can join with fellow alumni to help
Find your local Gator Club®
Learn more about International Gator Day
Join the UF Alumni Association
Outstanding Young Alumnus Jamal Sowell works to link communities
Jamal Sowell (BA '05) strengthened communities halfway around the world, only to return to UF in order to help Gators do the same. The UF Alumni Association
recognized him this spring as one of 33 Outstanding Young Alumni for 2011.
Sowell, former UF student body president from 2004 to 2005, served as platoon commander and a company executive officer for the Marine Corps in Afghanistan,
where he planned and conducted counterinsurgency operations.
"We were trying to help build a nation," he says of his time in Afghanistan. "It's more about talking to the community, giving them the resources they need,
such as corn seed and wheat, allowing them to know that they do have an ally besides the Taliban."
Now, Sowell works as the special assistant to UF President Bernie Machen, helping ensure the administration has a voice with students and working with the UF
Board of Trustees, community leaders, government officials and the university at large.
Sowell realized the need for universities to be involved in their communities when he was on a mission trip to Durham, N.C., while in graduate school. He worked
in Walltown, which was only a few blocks from Duke's campus. But when he would ask students about the area, they didn't have any clue it existed.
This disconnect inspires Sowell to work to bridge the gap between the impoverished and those in higher education. He hopes to continue to work in the field to
not only empower students, but entire communities.
"I'm not much for titles at all," he says. "I'd like to be someone who is going to give back to the world in some form or fashion."
Read about all 33 Outstanding Young Alumni
Learn more about the UFAA's Young Alumni Program
Gator Clubs offer friendship and fun through summer outings
Football season may still be a few months away, but that doesn't mean there's nothing to do with your local Gator Club®. Most, in fact, have programming
This summer, a number of clubs are offering summer outings for alumni to enjoy. From picnics to ballgames to days at the beach, there are lots of chances
to meet alumni in your area, make new friends and enjoy a day out with your family.
In New York, the Gotham Gator Club® will be visiting the Bronx Zoo on July 9. Alumni will be able to enjoy a full day at the zoo, including lunch together
at the Dancing Crane Café. Information can be found at
In Los Angeles, the Southern California Gator Club® will host a special alumni picnic from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. July 24 for graduates of all of Florida's public
universities. Plans for the event in Rancho Park include food and possibly a friendly softball or kickball game. More details can be found at
And in Apopka, the Central Florida Gator Club® is planning a special Young Alumni day July 23 at Wekiwa Springs State Park. Swimming, picnicking, kayaking and
canoeing will all be available — the club has details available at
Visit your local Gator Club's website to learn what outings might be taking place in your area. Not a member? Visit the UF Alumni Association website to sign up.
Find your local Gator Club®
Join the UF Alumni Association
Get a membership, get a cooler
Becoming a member of the UF Alumni Association just got a little cooler — literally.
Young alumni age 35 and younger who join through July will receive an insulated fabric cooler, the perfect size for taking lunch to work or a six-pack of sodas
to the beach. The cooler is free with your $40 membership payment.
Of course, a cooler isn't the only reason to join the alumni association. Your membership automatically makes you a member of your local Gator Club®, where you can
meet fellow Gators and build your career network. You'll get exclusive discounts for hotels, computers, rental cars and other services, no matter where you are across
the globe. And you'll receive invitations to exclusive young alumni travel and social opportunities.
To become a member, simply visit the UF Alumni Association's membership site
www.ufalumni.ufl.edu/membership/join/. Be sure to use the appeal code YNWS
so we'll know to send you your cooler.
Learn more about UFAA membership
Learn more about the Young Alumni program
UF Alumni Headlines
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UF Alumni Association names new executive director
Stay in Touch
You don't have to be in Gainesville to find out what your fellow alumni are doing. Thanks to the Internet, your fellow Gators are as close as your keyboard or
We'd love to hear them! Please contact us at YoungAlumni@ufalumni.ufl.edu.