On February 18th, we held our first meeting of 2020 in the new home of the Wright State Alumni Association. I learned some new things this day, as the Director of the Alumni Association, Greg Scharer, showed me around what is now the proud home of our Alumni Association. I learned that the Alumni Association once existed in the Rockafield House, built in 1969 for the university’s first president, Brage Golding, and subsequently occupied by Wright State’s first five presidents and their families. I learned that in 2015, an 80-foot tree fell on that building, and the Alumni Association found temporary space in the Wright State Foundation Building until recently relocating to their new home.
Learning these facts gave me the opportunity to take a moment and appreciate what is now the new home of the Alumni Association, and it is a beautiful space. With the plans our Alumni Association has in place, this space will become something truly unique, giving our Alumni a one of a kind place to feel at home. VMAS plans on supporting our Alumni Association in its new endeavors. The Alumni Association is an amazing space, and we encourage Alumni to take advantage of the many resources they make available.
2019 was our first year in existence, and we began our meeting reflecting on what was accomplished. In 2019, we were very much learning the ropes of being a group in this new space. Luckily, the Alumni Association and Veteran and Military Center have provided more than enough support to help us navigate this new environment. In 2019 we accomplished a number of objectives, including holding an open house with the VMC, supporting fundraisers at The Wandering Griffin and City BBQ, as well as being a sponsor for the Champions Ball which celebrated five years since the VMC was created.
2020 is a year full of opportunities for VMAS. Our first event, a jaw-dropping performance on ESPNU as the Raider's men's basketball team dominated NKU, showing the nation what Wright State Basketball can do. We have created our own website, posted our first official volunteer opportunities, and we continue to develop our social media presence. We continue to plan events with the VMC, Veteran's Voices and are developing new relationships with groups and individuals in the region each day.
We are always looking for new volunteers, no matter your military or Wright State affiliation. We exist to empower and enable our members and those we serve, the veteran and military-connected students and graduates of Wright State University. Wright State and the Dayton region have served as integral parts of our nation's history, driven by human beings who dared to think larger and grander. We hope to contribute to that history, by honoring the past, leading in the present, and inspiring the future leaders of our region, state, and nation.
Anthony Heiland is the Founder of Wright State VMAS, Founder of Wright State Veterans League, Alumni and Champion of Wright State University, and the Veteran and Military Center. Learn more about Anthony on his LinkedIn page.
In the Alumni Association, you can find photos from the Wright State Archives such as this, including the Wright brothers and their younger sister Katharine.