Alumni Association cuts dues-based membership program

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The Center for Philanthropy and Alumni Engagement on Saturday, Sept. 9, 2018.

Krista Renaldo

Kent State students will now get free benefits from the university just for graduating. Starting in November, alumni will no longer have to pay for exclusive membership benefits such as merchandise discounts, special rates on hotels and rental cars.

Kent State’s Alumni Association previously offered discounts exclusively for paid members, but beginning Nov. 1, there will be no more membership program, said Brenda Hudkins, the director of alumni marketing and communications.

“The alumni association has always provided programs and services for all alumni,” Hudkins wrote in an email. “But when we had the membership program, we provided enhanced communications and a few discounts to members through various partners. We have now been working with our partners to begin offering previous member-only discounts to all alumni.”

Member-only benefits include discounts on Kent State merchandise, sporting events, recreational memberships, home and auto insurance, car rentals and hotel rooms. The Alumni Association also offered a program called “Find a Flash,” a directory to help locate old roommates or classmates that have fallen out of touch.

According to the Alumni Association’s website, Kent State’s membership programs include new graduate membership, annual, senior life, three-year and a membership for life.

New graduate members received full membership benefits for a full year for $25. Graduates could receive this rate up to two years after graduation.

Annual members paid $45 for an individual membership and could renew their benefits every year.

Senior life members could receive this membership at 62 or older for $375, and members were recognized as life members.

Three-year members paid $125, and the benefits lasted three years, while life members paid $750 for full benefits.

Life members who joined before July 1, 2018, have automatically been accepted to the new Flashes Forever Society. On Aug. 28, life members started to receive their information packets, which included a Flashes Forever card, a window decal and a lapel pin.

Annual and complimentary members are still able to enjoy their benefits for the remainder of their term. After that, many of the benefits and discounts they receive may be available to all alumni who graduate from Kent State.

Kent State is one of several Ohio universities that has made this change. Other schools include: the University of Akron, Bowling Green State University and Youngstown State University, which decided to make the transition to a “non-dues society” last summer. The Ohio State University still has a paid membership program, but it did discontinue its lifetime membership in June 2012.

For more information on alumni benefits and former membership program, go  to www.ksualumni.org.

Krista Renaldo is the homecoming, alumni affairs and fundraising reporter. Contact her at [email protected]