Message from the
UNA Alumni Association Board President
Douglas B. Hargett, ‘02 • 2015-2016 President
"It takes 10 million failures to find the right stuff.” The late, great UNA alum George Lindsey found his passion and worked tirelessly to succeed in the entertainment business. Why do I mention his words and remind you about his history? Every alumnus of our University has something in their lives they love, they identify with, and they are passionate about. None of us earned a degree without a drive to fulfill our academic obligations, and we then transitioned to the next phase of our lives to leave our marks on the world. While the roads that each of us have taken since graduation are undoubtedly different, we all have one thing in common: We are proud graduates of a great public university in the heart of the Shoals – the University of North Alabama.
The University helped shape us. We not only received a first-class education, but our time here also helped us grow socially and make long-lasting friendships. When we were on campus as students we bought into this philosophy. It was easy to do so. We were physically on campus, attending some combination of classes, athletic events, and social activities on a regular basis. We were invested for two reasons: We wanted to be involved and soak in the full college experience, and, secondarily, it was easy to be active and stay connected because we were already on campus. Fast forward to graduation. It was the end of each of our respective journeys as students at UNA. We’d earned the right to be called alumni. After the post-graduation parties, some of us stayed in the Shoals, while others moved out of the city, state, or country. While we all love UNA, it became much more difficult to be invested in the University primarily because we were no longer on campus every day. Our continued education, careers, families, and many other things in our lives filled our time. UNA became a great memory but, for many, staying active was not something we could do on a regular basis. I get it. We all do.
I want to challenge you this year to find a way to get back on campus and re-ignite the passion that made you love UNA in the first place. UNA gave something special to each of us. I want this to be the year that each of us pays it forward. I am not asking you to write a check to the University. That would be great if you are able and want to do that, but that is not what I am talking about. I want each of us to find a way to get back on campus in-person once, twice, or dozens of times in 2016. Come back to baseball, softball, basketball, football, volleyball, soccer, and other games to support our teams that are competitive on the national level every season of the year; come back to speak or teach in a class in your field of expertise; come back for special events like Homecoming, Derby Days, Lions Under the Lights, Front Porch Storytelling Festival, and concerts; come back to visit and help your fraternity, sorority, band, campus ministries and local churches, and other University groups that you were involved in as a student; come back to visit a professor, coach, mentor, or advisor you have lost touch with over the years. Whatever your passion, however you can pay it forward, COME BACK!
Being on UNA’s campus is good for your soul, and it will be good for the current students to see you paying it forward to the next generation of Lions. You may even have a young Lion in your family that one day decides to follow in your steps and enroll as a student at our University. Let your kids and grandkids see first-hand why you have so much pride in the purple and gold. On behalf of the UNA Alumni Association, I want you to know that you are WELCOME and WANTED on our campus. We will see you soon.
Douglas B. Hargett, ‘02
2015-2016 Alumni Association President