Become involved on campus, enhance your college experience

The Wichitan

Anthony Vidmar

It was the autumn of 1979 and I found myself in my freshman year, one of over 56,000 students at The Ohio State University. As a first-generation college student from a small town with a population less than half of that of my freshman class, I felt a bit out of place. I knew I needed to find my niche and the first step was to run for my academic unit’s student council representative. I remember vividly getting the call from dean John T. Mount’s office notifying me that I won. It did not even matter that I ran unopposed. It was a great first step.

Dean Mount was not only the advisor to the student council, but also on the board of the alumni association. Through him, I met other alumni and leaders who encouraged, challenged and mentored me during my four years in Columbus. As a team of students, faculty, staff and alumni we had a shared vision: to increase the awareness of, engagement in and giving to our university. As students, we learned we did not have to wait until we graduated to share our time, talent and treasure to advance our university.

We also learned by being involved not only in academic coursework, but in student leadership organizations which enhanced our student experience. Our mentors modeled to us that success in life often comes as a result of not only what you know, but who you know.

It has been nearly four decades since I “won” that student council election my freshman year. But, I will never forget how being involved in that first student organization became a catalyst for me and put me on a path to success as I was blessed to interact with others who built into my life. Four years later, I graduated Summa Cum Laude with Honors Distinction and was also chosen as one of eight Outstanding Senior Award winners from a graduating class of over 10,000 students.

To help foster the mutually beneficial connection between students and alumni and enrich campus traditions, many universities in Texas and across the nation have established a student alumni council. We at MSU Texas are doing so this spring as we will induct our inaugural cohort of student leaders in the university’s first SAC. Come help make MSU history.

For additional information on SAC contact Jesse Brown, coordinator of Student Organizations & Leadership Programming.

Anthony Vidmar is the vice president of University Advancement and Public Affairs.