Original Flyer for Alumni Welcome Center for EOH 2007
Engineering Students Alumni Ambassadors was initially envisioned in the Fall of 2006 by Engineering Initiatives as an alumni banquet with student representatives. From there, Kelly O'Boyle and Beth Richter, both members of Engineering Initiatives, used this idea as a jumping off point to start a new organization focusing on student-alumni relations. Initially, the organization was called Engineering Alumni Student Initiatives, or EASI, and it quickly gained momentum with support from the College of Engineering administration.
In the Spring of 2006, Kelly and Beth, with the assistance of Angie Dimit, Dean Jeff Sands, and other members of the Office of Advancement, hosted the first event: an alumni welcome table at Engineering Open House. The event was well-received by the 50 alumni and student representatives who attended.
Over the Summer of 2006, EASI was renamed to Engineering Student Alumni Ambassadors, or ESAA. The first Board of Directors was selected in the Fall of 2006 and the collaboration among the Board led to many great ideas and new events for the upcoming year. The focus of these events was to allow students and alumni a chance to interact so that they could build mutually beneficial relationships. Students were given the opportunity to learn about potential career paths and life after college. Alumni were able to reminisce about their college days and share their experiences, all resulting in their increased connection to the Engineering at Illinois community.
The Fall of 2007 saw ESAA select its first formal group of student ambassadors. This diverse group of students represented every graduating class, nearly every Engineering department, and many student organizations. In addition, less than a year after its first event at Engineering Open House, ESAA welcomed over 100 people.
ESAA started two new events during the 2007-2008 school year. The first annual FreshmanFest was an outdoor barbeque intended to welcome freshman and foster a sense of belonging to Engineering at Illinois. During the second semester, ESAA hosted its first event that invited all students from the College of Engineering to meet with alumni, Engineering Convergence. ESAA also implemented a new Ambassador training program focusing on communication skills and networking in reception settings
In January of 2008, ESAA ratified its constitution, complete with a revised mission and vision. ESAA currently has over 35 members, including Ambassadors from nearly all of the 17 Engineering disciples, and continues to work closely with the Office of Advancement. ESAA now hosts more than four college-wide events each year, including one in the Chicago area, and assists the departments with numerous events throughout the year.