About the Alumni Association

The University of Northern Colorado Alumni Association is a growing, global network of more than 130,000 UNC Bears. Founded in 1965, we are graduates, continuing students, parents and friends. 

Our goal is to ensure that alumni - Bears of all generations - are actively engaged in their university, especially during the Campaign for UNC. Through the alumni association, we:

  1. Establish UNC as a valuable resource for alumni and students
  2. Elevate the profile and impact of alumni to inspire relationships and involvement in UNC
  3. Strengthen communication between UNC and its alumni, and alumni with one another
  4. Deliver diverse engagement opportunities designed to increase awareness of and broaden involvement in UNC priorities

And we want you to join us. Get involved in your university because we believe that "Once a Bear, Always a Bear!"


Alumni Association History

1923

UNC's first Homecoming

A tradition that spans generations, UNC first celebrated the homecoming of alumni in 1923. Today the event and tradition of Homecoming includes the alumni association, athletics, student life, Greek life and the Greeley community at large.

1947

UNC names first honored alumni

More than 140,000 individuals have earned a degree from the university since its founding in 1889. In 1947, then named Colorado State College of Education began to honor a select group of alumni for their accomplishments and service to their alma mater.

1965

Alumni Association is founded

In 1965, under the leadership of then named Colorado State College President Darrel Holmes, the alumni association was founded. The association's original board was comprised of nine members including its first president, Greeley businessman Charles Lott and first executive secretary Mearl Grabill.

1966

Foundation is founded

With the leadership from alumna Judy Farr, the now named UNC Foundation was established to provide support for and steward the donations made to the university.

1989

UNC celebrates 100 years

UNC's centennial celebration was marked in 1989. That year the university honored 100 distinguished alumni for their contributions to their respective fields and the university.

2004

Association merges with UNC Foundation

The UNC Alumni Association merged with the UNC Foundation in 2004. The merger transferred fiduciary and administrative oversight of alumni activities to UNC Foundation management but kept the program identity of the alumni association and association's board.

2010

Foundation transfer administration to university

In 2010, UNC President Kay Norton moved the administration of institutional advancement from the UNC Foundation to a new cabinet position, the Vice President of Development and Alumni Relations. Along with the move, the UNC Alumni Association became a program officially administered by the university with support from the alumni board.

2014

UNC celebrates 125th birthday

2014 marked the university's 125th anniversary and with it the celebration of a shared history and many notable alumni contributions.

2015

UNCAA goes golden

The UNC Alumni Association celebrated its golden anniversary - 50 years since its founding. Monthly highlights and celebratory events marked the occasion on campus and throughout the alumni association's programs that year.

2017

Campaign for UNC

Officially announced in March 2017, the Campaign for UNC became the university's first comprehensive, public fundraising campaign. With a goal of raising $45 million, the campaign also set a goal of engaging 10% of the university's alumni through philanthropy, participation or volunteerism.

Do you have questions or additional history to share? Contact the UNC Office of Alumni Relations at alumni@unco.edu to help us tell the story of UNC's alumni relations over time.