The new president of the Emeriti Alumni Association wants to raise awareness of the association's value.
When Cora “Corky” Nowotny Weight (BS ’50) attended BYU there were only four buildings on the upper campus, and classes were still taught on the lower campus at the former Brigham Young Academy building, now the Provo City Library at Academy Square.
“There are buildings on campus now that are named after professors I studied under,” Weight says.
Weight, like her professors, will also leave her mark on the university. Her influence will come through the Emeriti Alumni Association, of which she was recently named president. “My experience at this university gave me so much,” she says. “Now I want to give back.” The emeriti association consists of retired university employees and alumni who graduated at least 40 years ago.
During Weight’s tenure as president, she wants to expand the association’s visibility, renew friendships, and reconnect emeriti to their alma mater—goals aligned with the association’s mission “to promote friendship and fellowship among its members and support activities that will further the interests of the university as well as benefit emeriti educationally, physically, and spiritually.”
Alumni who know about the association have a high level of interest in it, Weight says. But, she notes, “The challenge we’re having is most BYU graduates know they are members of the Alumni Association, but very few know when they actually qualify as emeriti and can become members of the Emeriti Alumni Association.”
Weight, who was impressed with the first emeriti activity she attended, says, “I’ve had people approach me during our activities saying, ‘Why haven’t I heard about this association and its events? When can I get inducted?'”
The new president hopes to use the media to not only spread the word on the association, but also highlight some of its members. She has already appointed an outreach chair to help with the challenge. “There are human interest stories that need to be shared beyond the confines of the emeriti,” she says. “Take 101-year-old Karl A. Miller, for example.”
The longtime superintendent of BYU buildings and grounds, Miller (BS ’32) was present when the cornerstone of the Maeser Building was laid in 1909. He also attended the 1975 opening of the cornerstone’s time capsule. When two electric saw blades were broken in trying to open the copper box, Miller stepped forward with a can opener and opened it. “It’s a story like Karl’s that needs to be in the newspaper or even on television,” Weight says.
Weight’s vision for expanding the association’s influence goes beyond just the Wasatch Front. She hopes to eventually establish emeriti groups nationally and internationally. “This way emeriti can gather in their local communities, enjoy activities, and reconnect to their alma mater,” she says.
Finally, in addition to helping with visibility and influence, she wants to encourage emeriti to expand their service to BYU. Many emeriti have already participated in the Take A Cougar to Lunch program, but she wants the service to continue and grow, with as many emeriti as possible helping with oral histories of former faculty members and donating books to the Harold B. Lee Library.
Upcoming events for the Emeriti Alumni Association include the Evening with Friends, Aug. 16 at 7 p.m. in 3220 WSC, and the fall activity, Sept. 12 at Aspen Grove. To check for additional events, visit alumni.byu.edu and click on the emeriti tab.
INFO: To learn more about the Emeriti Alumni Association contact Troy Simpson at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 801-422-7621.