CU Advocates program to build network of educated supporters

Volunteers will help spread message of university’s value across Colorado and beyond
By Staff

CU Advocates, a new University of Colorado program aimed at invigorating grassroots support for the institution across the state and beyond, officially launched this week with the debut of its website.

The foundation of the program, an initiative of the Office of the President, will be a network of educated, engaged people who care about CU and are willing to promote the university’s educational, research and economic contributions. The site invites visitors to sign up in order to be connected to advocacy tools and information for use in communicating CU’s value, opportunities and challenges. Click here to sign up now.

“We need to be deliberate about creating a network of supporters, educating them about our value, contributions and challenges, and asking them to work on our behalf,” said CU President Bruce Benson.

Advocates will draw on university supporters from many communities, including CU students and alumni, parents, faculty, staff, donors, and business and community leaders. They will be asked to promote the university, but also will have the opportunity to become more engaged with CU through volunteering, hosting events, mentoring, career planning and touring the campuses.

“It is imperative for our advocates to help the university spread the word about its many contributions to society and industry, the value a CU degree has brought to their lives, and the funding environment facing the university,” said Michele McKinney, external affairs and advocacy director. “CU Advocates will be encouraged to share their CU story. Perhaps a professor enlightened a student to discover a career path, or sons and daughters enrolled at a CU campus are becoming intelligent young adults before their parents’ eyes. Maybe a CU physician saved a loved one’s life. These are the stories that define CU. By sharing these stories, we bring to life the value of our campuses.”

CU Advocates will absorb CU Ambassadors, a program within the Office of Government Relations. Through grassroots and leadership advocacy, CU Advocates also will help to raise awareness about legislative and policy issues affecting CU and other institutions of higher education.

The program will focus primarily on advocacy activities related to image and reputation, fundraising, student recruitment and policy. McKinney works closely with CU’s operations in alumni relations, fundraising, government relations, admissions and campus outreach to connect more people with activities at the four campuses.