By Mark Kobzik
This past summer, Cory Montreuil, UNH graduate, started the UNH alumni program along with other wildcats in Denver, Colorado.
As a student, Montreuil remained active while on campus. He was part of Student Committee On Popular Entertainment (SCOPE), and was also a resident assistant. In July of 2011, he moved out to Denver.
As Montreuil sees it, this is community outreach. He is trying to bring together wildcats and their families from Denver and its surrounding area. The program’s goal is not only to engage alumni, but also to build an even bigger community. They have partnered with local business professionals to help graduates find jobs and build upon their skills even after college.
As Montreuil puts it, “It’s all about wildcats helping wildcats.”
At first, the program met many challenges. The UNH alumni program was skeptical of a program so far away from New Hampshire. It wasn’t until Lauren Della Russo, assistant director of engagement at UNH, became involved that the project lifted off. From there, Montreuil was able to take the reins and start organizing events. There was a pregame reception at the UNH vs. Denver hockey game this past year, where 25 people showed up.
After that Montreuil thought, “How can we not start up an alumni program?”
He also wants current students to know that Denver is a great place, even for a visit, and that any students thinking of doing an internship, should think of Denver and feel free to get in contact with the alumni program.
As Denver continues to see a growth in the millennial population, Montreuil runs into energetic young people who see his UNH T-shirt, and they instantly start up a conversation.
“The growth has been really impressive,” he said. “People want to talk and socialize with wildcats. It’s been really exciting.”
Montreuil also emphasizes the need for the group to be inclusive.
“We’re looking for new ideas,” he said. “This should not be a place for people to be scared. Instead it should be a support group.”
Rachel Follender, UNH graduate and marketing coordinator for UNH Alumni Denver said, “UNH alumni groups also offer great career resources and professional networking, which I didn’t even know until I joined the Denver group. That’s something every UNH graduate should take advantage of, especially if they move out of New Hampshire. Plus, it’s refreshing to hang out with people who don’t hate on the Pats.”
Mostly, Montreuil wants people to know that Denver is a great area and people should give it a try.
“Check out Denver,” he said. “Why the heck not? We have a growing network of professionals. I know bosses saying that they would rather hire wildcats. This is a place to have fun and succeed. It also doesn’t hurt that we are only 90 minutes away from some of the best skiing in the world.”