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Last modified: Monday, July 18, 2011

IU Alumni Association launches new website -- and online community

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 18, 2011

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Alumni, friends and students of Indiana University can now connect with each other and IU through a new IU Alumni Association website (http://alumni.indiana.edu).

The site, launched this week, contains frequently updated information about campus news, alumni, faculty and students. Along with a vibrant new look, the site features enhanced tools such as an online alumni directory and integrates social media tools such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. News feeds will keep users informed of alumni news and events at IU's eight campuses.

Central to the new website is a partnership between IU's Office of Public Affairs and Government Relations and the IUAA -- the Spirit of IU (http://spirit.iu.edu). This interactive game allows users to share their IU experiences through photo communities, groups such as "IUAA Members" to "IU Babies" and "IU Travelers," and contests.

IUAA site

"I have the remarkable opportunity to meet IU graduates from all over the world with vastly different backgrounds and very different ways of expressing their IU spirit," said IU Alumni Association Executive Director JT. Forbes. "Though social media has its roots in academia and nearly every university has a Facebook page or Twitter account, Spirit of IU is intended to be more user-driven, playful and even competitive."

The site's first competition is "Who Are IU's Most Fashionable People." The winner will be selected by votes from the Spirit of IU community and IU alumna-fashionista Jessica Quirk, author of the recently released book What I Wore: Four Seasons, One Closet, Endless Recipes for Personal Style. Since 2007, Quirk, a former fashion designer, has been posting photos of her daily outfits -- a mixture of retail, vintage, high fashion and her own designs. She and her husband, who takes the daily photos, recently moved back to Bloomington from New York.

The concept of Spirit of IU derives from "The Spirit of Indiana," a traditional rite once performed at IU's Freshman Convocation.

"Herman B Wells referred to the 'spirit of IU' drawing him in to a place of unparalleled creativity," said Valerie Peña, associate vice president and chief of staff for the Office of Public Affairs and Government Relations. "Like so many, he felt a deep love for IU. Spirit of IU is our way of making it easier for people to express their love for this university, to connect, to share memories and create new ones through alumni communities."

"We hope the game will grow in popularity over time and, in true social media fashion, become whatever our alumni want it to be," Forbes said.

The IU Alumni Association is dedicated to serving the university and its diverse alumni, students and friends. As one of the nation's largest alumni organizations, serving more than 540,000 graduates worldwide, the IUAA provides many programs and services to its members, nonmember alumni and the university. For more information, visit http://alumni.indiana.edu or call 800-824-3044.