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Greetings from Rob Johnson

Alumni Board President Rob Johnson on campus

Dear fellow Eagles,
 
This month, we celebrate the class of 2020, and while the occasion of their commencement wasn't what we imagined just a few months ago, it was really something special. AU hosted a lovely virtual graduation, and we saw graduates near and far celebrating what it means to be an AU Eagle. I believe that one of the most important things an AU education provides is adaptability, and the class of 2020 showed just that through this year's commencement.
 
I have often felt of late something that Henry Louis Gates, Jr. noted in his speech -- that while "we may be physically separated...the bonds between us have never been stronger." And this is what I want us to help the Class of 2020 realize. There are many ways that alumni can support these new graduates, and I ask you to join in doing so.
 
I recently participated in a webinar for the class of 2020 and have been in touch with several of them since. My Alumni Board colleague Michael Worley, SPA/BA '12, hosted virtual office hours through the AU Career Center and was able to help two graduating seniors secure interviews, which led to their employment. And, many of us participated in the Career Center's Job and Internship Fair on Friday. 
 
There are plenty of ways to support our newest alumni and current students too. Perhaps you are in a position to mentor, provide valuable connections, offer an internship. Students and recent graduates really appreciate the support they get from alumni – many of you also graduated in challenging economic times and your insights and experiences are incredibly valuable. Maybe you can make a gift to the Student Emergency Relief Fund, which provides assistance to students enduring unexpected hardships due to COVID-19. There are many ways to help, and we need you. I promise that whatever you can do will have an impact on the lives of fellow Eagles. And, if you aren't sure where to start, have a look at all the ways our community is coming together by visiting the AU Together website. You'll find all the inspiration you need to reach back to AU.  Thank you for your support of the AU community.
 
Once an Eagle, Always an Eagle,
Rob Johnson, SPA/BS ’81