The Wildcats Forever tradition began in 2011, when dedicated COP alumni had an idea to help retain connection to the college while paying it forward. Devoted alumni give back to new alumni and contribute to their continuing connection to UA and the college.
Each year just before graduation, graduating fourth-years are encouraged to submit a short essay about how they plan to support COP throughout their careers. In turn, sponsoring alumni purchase three-year "new grad" memberships to the UA Alumni Association for the newly minted alumni. The membership offers an Alumnus magazine subscription, discounts on UA merchandise, savings on tickets, car rentals, hotels, cruises and shopping, UA library access and more.
Here are some thoughts from our 2016 Wildcats Forever recipients:
“During my clinical rotations, I had the pleasure to work and learn from multiple UA alumni; some of them became my mentors and helped me to further develop myself. As a result, I am going to continue to learn and grow through completing a residency program next year.
"I believe that being a UA alumni member is a lifelong commitment and it requires being an outstanding pharmacist who cares about the patients and promotes the pharmacy services to improve patients’ care, as well as educates and guides a younger generation of students, and never forgets to give back to the university that made this possible.”
”One of my preceptors was one of the earliest residents, and she learned so much from her mentors that she decided to give back to the pharmacy profession by mentoring students…
"The UA COP will always have a very special place in my heart, for helping me to become who I am, not just through knowledge, but by pushing me to grow in so many ways… Thank you for your support for the UA; I have benefited so much, and I hope others continue to do so.”
“I’ve seen new graduates engage as facilitators in clinical exercises, serve as mentors for incoming students, and help with various events… When these alumni graduated and ‘left,’ they truly did not leave. Instead, they began a lifelong endeavor to serve their alma mater and make a difference in the next generation of future pharmacists. Over the years, these people have become my mentors, and I hope to continue the strong tradition of support.”
Photo caption: (Left to right) Megan Menke, Zack Riddle, Mel Nelson, Tatiana Sawyer, Raina Lad, Rick Robertson, Brieanna Flores-Keown