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Alumni Ambassador program extends ASU's reach worldwide

May 26, 2010

Spreading the word about the exciting things that Arizona State University is doing is pretty simple inside of Maricopa County. And with a student population of 68,000-plus, it’s hard to live here and not be at least remotely acquainted with a current student or a graduate of ASU.

Once one leaves the western United States, however, it’s a different story. Some states only have a few hundred Sun Devil alumni living there. Since Sparky, President Michael Crow and other ASU dignitaries cannot be everywhere in the country at once, the ASU Alumni Association has been building an Alumni Admissions Ambassador corps all over the United States over the past several years.

The ambassador group, now nearly 400 strong, acts as a local presence at college recruiting fairs and other events representing ASU in places where the university is not able to send its staff. Ambassadors answer questions about the ASU experience from their own history on campus. What’s more, they strengthen the ties between their own city and the university, asserted Jenny Holsman, executive director of operations for the Alumni Association. 

“The Ambassador program provides mutual benefit for both potential ASU students and our alumni,” she said. “Students get first-hand information from an enthusiastic and knowledgeable graduate of the university, and alumni have another outlet for their love of ASU that directly benefits the university and the next generation of students who choose to attend. Plus, the university clearly benefits from the boost to its recruitment efforts.”

Fernando J. Torres, president of the Greater Philadelphia alumni chapter, said that working as an ambassador had allowed him to further express his Sun Devil pride, and also helped his chapter grow.

“I enjoy talking about my beloved ASU, the campus and my great experiences there. (ASU provided) some of the best years of my life – so I love to share it,” he said. “It is a great way to meet our future Sun Devils and their families, and it helps me recruit future leaders for our local chapter.”

Mary Harrison, a 2008 graduate who recently volunteered at a college fair in California, said she enjoyed letting high school students know that ASU’s size didn’t preclude getting an education with a personal touch.

“The best part of representing ASU at college fairs and events is letting future Sun Devils and parents know about all the opportunities students get at ASU,” she said. “Things like internships, professor support, student life and meeting/performing with celebrities really catch their attention.”

To join the Admissions Ambassadors program, contact Patricia Thiele-Keating at 480-965-2586 or