To more closely align with dynamic trends in alumni engagement, Morningside University has announced a strategic evolution in its approach towards alumni relations through a newly launched Alumni Ambassadors program. 

The Morningside University Alumni Ambassadors program replaces the previous Morningside University Alumni Board as a more flexible option designed to increase inclusivity and engagement. Led by Alex Watters ‘09, director of alumni engagement, the shift recognizes the changing landscape in how our alumni connect and contribute to our university community.

“Over the past decade, the Alumni Board had struggled to define its purpose. When Dr. Erin Edlund, chief of staff and vice president for university engagement, began overseeing this area and brought me on board in 2021, we launched an initiative to revisit this question by directly consulting our alumni. They expressed a strong desire to remain connected, prompting us to seek methods for making engagement more flexible and convenient. That included rethinking the Alumni Board’s structure,” Watters explained.

Responding to changing behavior

This pivot to a more modern, ambassador-led engagement model is designed to harness the collective power of our alumni community while granting them the autonomy to engage in ways that are meaningful to them. Watters believes this approach not only reflects current alumni behaviors but also sets a future-ready foundation for alumni relations at Morningside.

“Instead of a board limited to a small, local group, the Alumni Ambassadors can include up to 40 individuals nationally and globally from many different eras. We’re offering more meeting flexibility and aiming for broad representation from various regions and backgrounds to assist with events and to connect current students with internships, job shadowing, or other developmental opportunities.”

– Alex Watters ’09, Morningside University Director of Alumni Engagement

Edlund echoes Watters comments, stating, “The structure Alex is building offers a better fit for alumni from all walks of life, allowing for a more organic and impactful involvement. As the nature of networking and volunteering shifts towards a more project-based and digital-focused approach, the program honors Morningside’s tradition of connection and relationships while empowering alumni to engage on their terms – leading local meetups, mentoring current students, supporting virtual programs, and advisory assistance as needed.”

About the inaugural Alumni Ambassadors

The inaugural group of Alumni Ambassadors has 29 members from across the United States. The individuals who are part of it represent classes from 1969 to as recent as 2023. This ensemble also  includes former Alumni Board members who are eager to continue their commitment to Morningside through this new format, a continuity Watters appreciates.

“Change isn’t always easy, but I appreciate that the Alumni Board supported the need to evolve in order to best serve Morningside University alumni. I want to sincerely thank all who have served on the Alumni Board for their dedicated service. We wouldn’t be where we are today without you. I am also truly grateful for those who have agreed to continue their service as we start this new program.”

Morningside University alumni interested in applying to be part of the Alumni Ambassadors program can find more information at

Meet the inaugural Alumni Ambassadors

Jemar Lee, 2020

Josh Bliven, 2006

Jason Bennett, 2001

Jen Pottebaum 2000

Molly Petersen, 2001

Brendan Pinto, 2015

Elizabeth Thies, 2019

Lisa d’Auguste, 2006

Barbara Pitts, 1970

Heather Appel, 2011

Laura Schmitt, 1989

Ann Cole-Nelson, 1993

Kevin Zoz, 2012

Daniel Burow, 1992

Taera Mulder, 2005

Ally Hecht, 2020

Marc Burkhart, 1975

Dennis Lauver, 1986

Daniel Frazier, 1980

Collin Adank, 2023

Joe Roepke, 1999

Paul Berger, III, 2003

Terry Alvarez, 1983

Lynae Becker, 2015

Rick Amos, 1990

Heather Brown, 2012

Brian Johnson, 1983

Esther Mackintosh, 1969

Patrick O’Connell, 1991