Alumni Organization Releases Year in Review

To all alumni, boosters and fans:

2016 saw measurable improvements against each of the goals we aimed to accomplish.

The year began with the nomination of three new members to the Alumni Board: Chris Babiash, Jack Butterfield and Andrew Makredes, in addition to Brendan Bark and Walter Kaplan who were re-nominated.

The state of the program then was poor: we had no coach, Alumni Organization taxes had not been filed in 2 years, the board had no substantial funding (less than $2,000 on hand) and no plan of action for forward progress.

On Day 1 as a new board, goals for 2016 were set:

•           Hire and be able to pay a coach

•           Establish recurring / primary Alumni Organization events

•           Establish a budget

•           Launch a monthly membership program (The Excellence Fund) and enroll 30 members

•           Be able to afford making the annual banquet free for current players.


We have accomplished every goal we set out for ourselves, with one small exception:

•           Jimmy Hanson was hired, and his PAID contract has been extended for 3 years. 

•           Key events established: Winter Alumni Game + Banquet, and Golf Tournament

•           Established a budget

•           Launched a membership program, although we have NOT hit our goal of 30 members.

•           Banquet is free for current players.

•           New website launched

•           Photo archive launched

•           We have begun advertising on Google, targeting potential athletes / recruits

In 2017, the Alumni Organization's operating budget will be over $15,000

Our goals for this new year are simple: grow. The structures for success are in place - now we must work together to build upon them.

In 2017, we will

•           Increase communication with the U of MN Sports Clubs Department

•           Identify volunteers to serve on sub-committees

•           Continue to improve communication with alumni and grow database

•           Increase alumni attendance at alumni game and banquet

•           Grow monthly giving program to 50 members.

During the Annual General Meeting (AGM) held this past January, these topics and more were discussed. Additionally, Walter Kaplan was nominated to the position of Communications Chair, leaving the Events Coordinator position open. If you have interest in being nominated, or if you have interest in assisting in any capacity, please let us know immediately.

Get Involved, Get Engaged

There is far too much work for our Alumni Board alone to accomplish – we need your help! 

If you can give, give. Whether its $5, $25, $50 or more, your monthly tax-deductible membership is necessary for our program to grow. Set it and forget about it – until your yearly gift arrives.

And if you want to help, help.

We need volunteers to help manage events, collect product donations for the golf tournament, fund-raise, solicit sponsors, re-engage alumni and more. Do you have a skill? LET US KNOW! Look to Stephen “Beck” Sundquist, who has volunteered his web development skills to help improve our website, advertising and analytics. Everything helps, no matter how much (or little) time you’re able to commit.

Our next alumni meeting is Thursday, February 16th at 7 PM at Insight Brewery in Minneapolis and is open to all.

On behalf of your University of Minnesota Men’s Rugby Alumni Association, thank you for reading and as always: Ski U Mah

  • President: Chris Babiash
  • Vice President: Jack Butterfield
  • Treasurer: Andrew Makredes
  • Communications: Walter Kaplan
  • At Large: Brendan Bark