Here it is! This is my chance! As President of the MUW Alumni Association, I have been given this forum. I have the opportunity to speak to you, the women and men who are alums and friends of The W. What do I say to motivate you to become more active in the MUW Alumni Association? What words will encourage you to be an even stronger supporter of Mississippi University for Women?

Sherrie CooperI could tell you about all the wonderful work being done by MUW President Dr. Jim Borsig and the faculty and staff of America's first public institution of higher learning for women, which continues to honor its historic mission while embracing the realities of today's co-ed environment.

But the good news of stable enrollment, a renewed vision for long-term success and the thrilling strategic planning process now under way are things you will no doubt learn elsewhere, some of it in this edition of "Visions."

I could share some of the amazing stories of today's W students and remind you of the importance of scholarships to ensure we continue to attract bright and motivated young women and men to our alma mater. For me, as the oldest of five children and with a recently widowed mother, a scholarship made all the difference. Because financial aid was critical, I HAD to make the right choice. I did. In meeting today's students and hearing them speak of their W experiences, I know they did too. But I can't effectively communicate that to you, you really have to come back to campus and meet them yourself.

Then there are the fantastic alumnae and alumni who are volunteering their time and talents on behalf of the MUW Alumni Association. The MUWAA Board of Directors who are fashioning the framework for a fully unified association which supports and serves Mississippi University for Women today, just as it has done continuously since it was founded in 1889. It is a vital organization;"the Long Blue Line" is alive and well. It is at work in local chapters, in online groups, in formal and informal ways all over the country.

Not only are alums doing important work in terms of growing membership and establishing chapters, we are having FUN! And I don't think you need me to tell you that.

Maybe the most important thing I can say is this: you matter and what you do for MUW makes a difference. Your involvement and support are vital to the success of our association and The W. What you do counts. It really does. Any time and talent you can share with the MUWAA makes this association stronger. Any donation in any amount you give to the university helps make The W experience possible for someone else.

Please get more involved in the MUWAA and in supporting MUW this year! Just contact the Alumni Office (662) 329-7295 to find out how you can link up with other alums in person and online. Attend a local chapter meeting, visit a Facebook page, attend an Alumni Board Meeting, make plans to come to Homecoming, send in a check for at least $40 and activate your Alumni Association membership. Do something that is a little more than you did last year, and you will be a part of the good things happening at MUW.

Hoping to see you soon,

Cheryl "Sherrie" Jackson Cooper
Class of 1982
MUW Alumni Association