UIU President Alan Walker, center, CFO Don
Aungst, and Vice President Wendell Snodgrass
take a moment at midfield in Fayette
before leaving for California and their more
than 2,200-mile trip along Route 66 to
visit with alumni.
LOS ANGELES, Calif. (September 5, 2011) Upper Iowa University president Alan G. Walker left Los Angeles on his Harley-Davidson motorcycle Sunday morning, September 4, on the first leg of a 2,297-miles from Los Angeles to Chicago, and then on to Fayette, Iowa, home of the University's 155-year-old residential campus.
Over the weekend, Dr. Walker, along with Chief Financial Officer Don Aungst, and Wendell Snodgrass, vice president of advancement, development and alumni relations, traveled to California to reconnect with their motorcycles, which had been shipped to California to begin the trip. The trio of University administrators will follow historic Route 66 across the country and visit with UIU alumni along the way. They are accompanied by Melik Peter Khoury, senior vice president, and Bryan Jolley, director of facilities, who are driving the support vehicle. The UIU administrators will return to campus just in time for Homecoming weekend September 16 and 17 when the Class of 1966 will celebrate its 45th anniversary.
The motorcycle ride is part of Walker's commitment to raising visibility for the University, which has grown to nearly 7,000 students worldwide who take UIU classes at the campus, at 16 U.S. education centers, online, as independent study, or at locations in Hong Kong, Malaysia and Singapore. Walker said the journey is also part of the University's outreach to strengthen relationships with far-flung UIU alumni who may not have been in contact for a while.
"Upper Iowa University has changed enormously since many of them were students," Walker said. "We are growing steadily, with a strong financial base, a transformed campus that is second to none, and a healthy partnership with the region to support the economic development of the area and the vitality of the University. As we embark on our first-ever capital campaign, we want alumni to be able to hear the story firsthand, ask questions, and see for themselves that UIU is an ascending University."
Not only are UIU alumni invited to join in the fun and be part of the ride along Route 66, they also are invited to attend several alumni events along the route.
The first alumni event was held Saturday, September 3, in Long Beach to launch the trip. September 4 the group plans to arrive in Needles, Calif., departing September 5 for the ride to Flagstaff, Ariz., and then on to Albuquerque, N.M, September 6 and another alumni event. September 7 finds the riders on the way to Amarillo, Texas, for an overnight stop and then on to Oklahoma City, Okla., for a September 8 evening with alumni. On September 9, they leave for Springfield, Mo., and then arrive in St. Louis, Mo., on September 10 and another alumni gathering. On September 11, they'll be riding up to Bloomington, Ill., and planning to arrive in Chicago on September 12 for the final alumni event. On September 13, the group will head out on the last 263 miles to return to Fayette.
"It's going to be a lot of fun, and we look forward to seeing the country, spreading the word about UIU, and meeting alumni along the way, Walker said.
Monica Bayer Heaton
Executive Director of Communications and Marketing
About Upper Iowa University
Founded in 1857, Upper Iowa University is a private, not-for-profit university providing undergraduate and graduate degree programs and leadership development opportunities to nearly 6,800 students—nationally and internationally—at its Fayette campus and learning centers worldwide. Upper Iowa University is a recognized innovator in offering accredited, quality programs through flexible, multiple delivery systems, including online and independent study. For more information, visit www.uiu.edu.