Rooting on the Orange and Blue
October 13th, 2018
By: Phillip Cheng
Inclement weather stopped no Gators from coming out and rooting on our Florida Gators this past weekend! Alumni in Dallas and Los Angeles gathered for another victorious football game over Vanderbilt as well as for some good food, drinks, and gator swag.
First-time Dallas regional host, Thuan Vu, was excited to welcome alumni from the classes of 2007, 2013, and 2016. Home to many alumni, the Dallas region is one of the leading areas in the U.S. for the natural gas, banking, and tourism industries.
In the City of Angels, alumni from the graduating classes of 1993-2014 enjoyed a hearty helping of Korean Fried Chicken and karaoke as they convened in L.A.'s Korea-town. Walter Boholst, founder of the Filipino Student Association's annual dance competition Def Talent Jam was in attendance as well as recent Gator 100 winner and past president of the Asian Student Union, Julia Akman who was also in attendance.
Celebrating Another Win
September 29th, 2018
By: Kayla Tran
Another week, another Gator win! UF AAA hosted their first regional gathering in Jacksonville, FL September 29th, 2018. The attendees ranged from Jacksonville natives to a handful of out of state visitors, all sharing the passion in watching the UF Gators beat the Mississippi State Bulldogs. Attendees had the unique opportunity to network with the Gator Club of Jacksonville and learn about how this chapter is able keep their local audience engaged.
Local host Kayla Tran shared: “For our first event, we had a great turnout! We all had so much fun that we continued hanging out after the watch party. The best part of the evening was being able to expand every attendee’s Jacksonville UF Alumni network. My husband and I are already brainstorming for the next event--a beach/picnic day at Hanna Park or something even as casual as a game and potluck night. We can’t wait!”
Victory Over Tennessee
September 22nd, 2018
By: Phillip Cheng
Atlanta and Seattle Gators not only enjoyed a victory over Tennessee but also enjoyed coming together and spending time with the Gator Nation. With the new addition of the Atlanta region to the University of Florida Association of Asian Alumni (UFAAA) and the second gathering this year for the Seattle region, Gators in different parts of the country continue to build momentum towards strengthening the AAA and putting UF even further up on the list of top 5 public universities in the nation.
By hosting gatherings for alumni in their respective regions, the UFAAA strives to create a space where graduates can appreciate the education and experience that UF has provided them and to stay connected to the university. Alumni partook in watching the UF vs. Tennessee football game as well as contributed to the endowment campaign launched in July 2018.
Alumni giving--measured as 5% of how college rankings are calculated by the U.S. News and World Report--indicates the amount of satisfaction and engagement students have after graduation. Last year was a record breaking year for friends and alumni of UF, contributing $414 million to the university. The UFAAA hopes to reach their goal of raising $30,000 by the end of the fiscal year to begin an endowment that will go towards student scholarships and more alumni programming.
Gators Down in D.C.
August 18th, 2018
By: Marcus Degnan
For the second time UF alumni from throughout the greater DC area came together for a regional gathering on behalf of the UF Association of Asian Alumni, this time at Local 16. They were also joined by alumni from Sparks Magazine National Board, all of whom flew in from across the country for their board retreat.
The event began at the venue’s gorgeous rooftop bar that had a modest view of the city. Members of Sparks Magazine National Board trickled in, excited to engage with classmates that hadn’t worked or seen in over 2-3 years. Additional attendees from affiliated alumni groups arrived, including members of the UF Association of Hispanic Alumni and more, making this particular event the most diverse in terms of organizational participation.
As UFAAA regional gatherings continue to grow, we can clearly see the added enthusiasm and impact these efforts have made to re-ignite the passion for UF comradery. Upcoming regional gatherings have been planned include Los Angeles, San Francisco, and South Florida.
Seattle Gators Savor Springtime
May 19th, 2018
By: Phillip Cheng & Michelle Brumwell
Home to many Gators working in the technology and pharmacological industries, Seattle warmly welcomed the Association of Asian Alumni for a regional gathering -- the first one in the Pacific Northwest! Surrounded by Seattleites enjoying the beautiful views of Lake Union and the cityscape, alumni once again were drawn to the orange and blue balloons and the familiar faces of old classmates and friends.
After picnicking at scenic Gas Works Park and sampling locally crafted beers at Fremont Brewing, alumni continued their conversations at the local burger establishment, Eureka, and ended the night at a community favorite ice cream parlor, Molly Moon.
The newest graduates, who recently completed their masters' degrees in computer science, enjoyed meeting other alumni for the first time. Alumni connected over working in similar industries and about their desire to bring their knowledge and experiences back to the UF students.
The UFAAA is not only excited to continue hosting regional gatherings throughout the country, but equally excited for alumni to connect with students. Seattle Gators are planning their next get-together this fall and welcomes all in the area to join!
L.A. Gators Kickoff the New Year
January 27th, 2018
By: Phillip Cheng
UF alumni of the greater Los Angeles area started off the new year with laughter, good food, and the nostalgic gator chomp as they convened for a regional gathering of the UF Association of Asian Alumni at Culver City Park.
Alumni from the graduating classes of 2011-2017 enjoyed the scenic overlook of the park while chatting about their careers and their newly established lives in southern California. Alumni Brian Nguyen who is a current student at the American Film Institute screened his newly finished short film and shared his motivation for pursuing film. Others enjoyed the locally catered Lao food and connected with former classmates.
The UFAAA hopes to continue bringing alumni together to foster a strong sense of Gator pride as well as provide a supportive community where alumni can thrive. Upcoming regional gatherings have been planned for South Florida, Tampa, D.C., Houston, and New York.
Gators Across the Nation Meet Up
December 9th, 2017
By: Phillip Cheng
Drawn by the orange and blue balloons tied to the picnic tables, UF alumni residing in San Francisco came together for a regional gathering of the UF Association of Asian Alumni (UFAAA). In a new campaign to promote more regional meet-ups of alumni around the country, the UFAAA hosted its first regional gathering in San Francisco on December 9th, 2017.
Attracting UF Gators from across the SF Bay Area, the event took place at Crissy Field scenically located in front of the Golden Gate Bridge. Over some snacks and drinks, the alumni bonded over various connections they had in common, from mutual friends to favorite dining spots in the city. As business cards were shared and the sun began to set, the conversations carried over into dinner at a local restaurant where plans were being made for the next get-together.
The UFAAA hopes that through regional gatherings, alumni will not only feel connected to the university wherever they may reside but that they will also have a deep connection to the Asian American community. In the upcoming 2018 year, regional gatherings have been confirmed in Los Angeles, Houston, Seattle, New York, Washington D.C., Tampa, and South Florida.