With pizza boxes stacked one on top of the other, students and alumni shared stories about their college experiences, personal anecdotes and how to navigate life after college during their Dinner with Eight Bears.
Dinner with Eight Bears
It’s a new program organized by the Alumni Association Board and Council. Dinner with Eight Bears are alumni-hosted dinners held April 8-22 in the Springfield area. These gatherings are networking opportunities for alumni and students. You get to decide:
- The time of your dinner.
- Where you’d like to host it (we have some suggestions to help you).
- The main topic or theme of the dinner conversation, i.e. business, affinity groups, college or degree majors.
- And what you want on the menu, plus the cost of the meal.
Registration ends February 28.
Why host a dinner with students?
Alumni Association Council member Kyle Hanke, ’02, says talking with students offers a change in pace for alumni.
“Dinner with students will energize you and leave you with a feeling of optimism.”
Students also enjoy the opportunity to hear what alumni have to share about Missouri State or SMSU.
“My host was amazing! He led conversation by sharing his experience at MSU and also some really cool life stories. But, he also made it a point to learn about our college life, our life goals and dreams.” Said Student Alumni Association member Keegan Wilson.
Board member Haven Miller, ’76, says he found it equally rewarding.
“The students were engaging, well-informed and — somewhat surprisingly — interested in my own personal experiences as a student while attending MSU several decades ago. They genuinely wanted to know about my impressions of the campus back then, the types of classes I attended, my approach to studying and the pitfalls to avoid.”
Miller and Hanke co-hosted the dinner with Alumni Association Board Chair-Elect Michelle Nahon Moulder, ’86. They said having co-hosts made it easier to setup the dinner and interact with students.
“I greatly enjoyed the two-way exchange between me — the alum who was an MSU student many years ago – and individuals who are having their MSU college experience now.” Said Miller.
Where should I host a dinner?
“I highly recommend hosting the dinner on campus. Benefits are the casual atmosphere, ease of access for the students, and the opportunity for the alumni to return and visit the campus.” Michelle Nahon Moulder said.
Alumni are also welcome to host dinners at local restaurants in the downtown area. The biggest issue hosts should consider is how students will get to the location of the dinner and any dietary restrictions.
Miller says there are several advantages to having it on campus:
- It assures attendees this is a university-sanctioned event.
- Provides the host(s), more control over the food and drinks on the menu.
- Host(s) have the ease of delivery, like pizza, and offering other options, like veggie and fruit trays from the local grocery store.