Alumni Leaders to Travel the Country as Trinity Ambassadors

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Oct. 31, 2013

Alumni Leaders to Travel the Country as Trinity Ambassadors

Carol and Dave Mansen will meet with former students eager to engage (again) with the University

By Miriam Sitz '10

Dave Mansen '76 passes the gavel to incoming NAB chair Erin Baker '99.SAN ANTONIO - No sooner had Dave Mansen '76 closed the book on one chapter of his service to Trinity University than plans for the next were well underway.

At Alumni Weekend 2013, Dave passed the gavel and his duties as National Alumni Board chair to Erin Baker '99. In the spring of 2014, Dave and his wife Carol '83 will embark upon a three-year, cross-country tour, seeking to connect with other alumni, encourage involvement, and inspire Trinity graduates across the nation to engage with their alma mater.

Dave and Carol have served on the National Alumni Board for over 20 years, as both chapter presidents and elected members. From 2011 to 2013, Dave took the reins as Alumni Association president and NAB chair. Carol held the office of National Alumni Board chair and Alumni Association president from 2005 to 2007, and since then has worked with the School of Business in a part-time capacity supporting student internships. "The Mansens have set the bar high for involvement," said Mary Kay Cooper, senior director of Alumni Relations.

During his tenure on the NAB, Dave served as a member of the "Trinity Tomorrow" strategic planning team. "One of the strategic foundations of the plan is to improve alumni engagement," explained Dave, "and a key objective of the Trinity Tomorrow plan is to strengthen opportunities for experiential learning." Those needs aligned with the Mansen's experience and skills, so the couple proposed to University President Dennis A. Ahlburg that they spend three years acting as Alumni Ambassadors around the nation. "We were looking for a way to continue our involvement and support," said Carol, adding, "and what we saw was an opportunity to take our experience and perspective out on the road to inspire other alumni to get involved."

Beginning in April of 2014, the Mansens will spend three to four months visiting alumni chapters, chapters-in-formation, and key alumni leaders on the West Coast. "We're hoping to visit during the chapters' planning cycles," said Carol. The couple has set their sights on the East Coast for 2015 and will conclude their tour in the central U.S. and Texas in 2016. "After one year, we'll review, assess, and refine what we do in the second year," said Dave. "We'd like to build a sustainable model, so that it can be a continuing endeavor with other alumni."

Dave and Carol hope to connect with and develop alumni leaders, as well as share strategies for sustainable chapter growth and leadership succession. They will also support prospective student recruiting and alumni giving efforts. "It's really great to have them out there as an extra set of hands with training and know-how," said Cooper.

Alumni interested in visiting with the Mansens can contact Cooper in the Office of Alumni Relations at

Miriam Sitz is a San Antonio-based freelancer who graduated from Trinity University in 2010 with a bachelor's degree in Spanish and environmental studies.