Graham Hill

The University of Exeter US Foundation

The University of Exeter has a range of networks and groups designed to support Exeter alumni in a variety of different ways. Sometimes working behind the scenes providing the ‘alumni voice’ to University boards, sometimes organising professional networking and careers support activity, and sometimes arranging informal, social events to help the alumni community connect with one another.

Over the next few months we’ll showcase some of the groups, sharing what they do for the community and, where relevant, how you can get involved.

Number 3 – The US Foundation

The University of Exeter US Foundation was founded in 2014 by University alumni based in America, and achieved charitable 501(c)(3) status in May 2015. The Foundation is run by a Board comprised of six volunteers (all Directors of the Foundation), who contribute their time and resources to enhance public awareness of the University’s research excellence and nurture relationships within the network of alumni who live and work in America.

Graham Hill (Economics and Political Development, 1992) is President of the Board of the Foundation. He says: “The Foundation was established to help US-based alumni and current students to connect with each other and their university and to help the University build its reach and reputation throughout the US.

“Unlike other alumni networks, the Foundation is a completely separate entity. This is because US tax laws require organisations to be independent in order to qualify for charitable status. Operating in this way means that our community of supporters in the USA are able to donate tax-efficiently, which they otherwise couldn’t.”

The Foundation has a Board of Directors who meet regularly to discuss ways of supporting alumni activity in America and to facilitate fundraising and grant-making activities for the University. The Directors work closely with senior staff at Exeter and US Country Contacts to support events and initiatives for the benefit of both the University and alumni.

“We have quite an ambassadorial role.” says Graham. “We host alumni events, try to promote the University within our professional networks, and help to connect alumni with each other so they can build networks.

“We are keen to expand our reach and get more younger alumni involved in what we do. At the moment we’re working with University colleagues to try to get out and meet as many US alumni as possible, and we’re also hoping to support some more events that help prospective Exeter students and their families, as well as those currently studying across the pond.”

Any alumni interested in the work of the Foundation and helping to expand its network, can get in touch with Graham, or any Board members, via the website or LinkedIn.

Date: 4 February 2019

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