Brian's Corner

We (really do) want to hear what you think, and we promise to communicate better

“Be careful what you ask for.”

I suspect you’ve heard of that phrase, too. Since I arrived at CSU, I’ve been committed to reaching out to engage your involvement, your insights, and your feedback on what the Alumni Association could/should be doing.

As you might suspect, when all is going swimmingly well, I won’t hear a peep. Even when I’m inviting you to peep…radio silence. When something goes awry, or seems “out of the ordinary,” however, we do hear from you.

A recent e-mail blast announcing our effort to support the Cleveland 2016 Host Committee received a lot of feedback. Among the most memorable responses was: “I’d rather eat 10-foot nails, walk on hot coals, and stick a fork in my forehead than do anything to assist the GOP.” I don’t think he’ll be volunteering!

What did I learn from the feedback? I learned that our alumni actually read the messages we send—a welcome relief. I learned CSU alumni are not shy about submitting feedback when they have issues. I also learned from this situation that our office didn’t communicate to you WHY we were partnering with the Cleveland 2016 Host Committee, which may have caused the confusion.

Let me explain: It was not, and is not, our intention to take a political position on the process unfolding with the two major political parties. We believe this convention is a once-in-a-lifetime experience and it is really good for Cleveland. We’ve had our tough times. We’ve survived one bad stretch after the next. And now we’re rebounding, and rebounding in profound ways. It’s time to show the world how far Cleveland has come and how wonderful the people are—our grit, our determination, our work ethic, our great diversity, and our passions are evident once people experience us in action. We want the world to get to know us and for Cleveland to shine brightly throughout this convention.

We’re not GOP operatives or in any way affiliated with, or endorsing, a political party. Our objective was to promote volunteer opportunities for those alumni who wish to help Cleveland shine during this convention. Period. I’m pleased to report that 185 alumni immediately replied with interest. If you haven’t yet, but wish to do so, let us know by sending a note to We’ll work to ensure our messages in the future are clearer to avoid any confusion.

The school year ended this past weekend with the proud graduation of 2,000+ Vikings. We began graduation weekend with a party at Mather Mansion for graduates and their families. Due to the weather, many of the activities took place inside, which turned out to be quite fun. Having so many graduates (and their families) in Mather was gratifying. If you haven’t had the chance to stop by and visit us yet, please do so.

Going into the summer months, our program planning for the year ahead intensifies. Last year was a record year for us in terms of alumni participation. Many of the events sold out. Our goal is to ensure we’re providing quality programming, throughout the year, for alumni with different interests and at different life stages. If you have recommendations for alumni engagement programs/activities, let us know at Don’t be shy about submitting your recommendations; all kidding about 10-foot nails aside, we really do want your feedback!

Viking Pride resumes publication in August as the next school year begins. On behalf of the staff, and the dedicated volunteers who make up the alumni board of directors, thank you for your continued support and best wishes to you, and your loved ones, for an enjoyable, relaxing, and re-charging summer.

Brian Breittholz

Assistant Vice President for Alumni Relations

Executive Director, CSU Alumni Association