R.E.A.L. Bears has experienced major changes during the past year. We welcomed a new graduate assistant advisor, Christopher Hill, along with a new executive director of alumni relations, Lori Fan. These personnel changes, along with a new R.E.A.L. Bears Executive Council and several new general members, have helped redesign the organization.
There was a recruiting class of nine new general members this year. Although we did not recruit as many new members as we had hoped, they all have proved to be very valuable. There were many procedural changes implemented with the approval of new bylaws designed to increase member accountability and the overall membership experience. A new logo has been created to help increase recognition on campus. In addition, recognition was further increased with the implementation of a new annual event, the Missouri State Birthday Party. We plan to continue this event, and it promises to be even bigger in 2015.
The future of R.E.A.L. Bears looks very promising as we continue innovating. We have incorporated the use of new technology including Google Drive and iPads to stay organized, improve efficiency, and decrease waste (both time, and resources). As president, I hope to help members grow professionally by bringing in more guest speakers and leading professional development sessions designed to improve networking and leadership skills. New traditions will be started this year, the first of which was a New Member Orientation, where we showed new members, in great detail, what it takes to be a R.E.A.L. Bear. In addition, we are also implementing an All-Member Retreat to increase camaraderie among members, allowing us to more effectively learn and grow together. Lastly, there have been more social events added to the calendar to help members connect with one another and bond outside required events.
The future of R.E.A.L. Bears looks very promising, and I am very humbled to have the honor and responsibility of leading it this year.