UK Hosts First-ever Wildcat Reunion in Oman
The first ever official University of Kentucky alumni reunion was held in Muscat, Oman July 25. Over 15 proud alumni met and reminisced about their time at UK over a meal with several current UK students, who were home for the summer vacation. UK has over 1,800 alumni living outside the U.S., so the Big Blue Nation is really a transnational community. UK alums all over the world are eager for news of their alma mater, and like to keep up with UK news and athletics.
In Muscat, students recalled fondly their basketball game outings, eating on campus and nearby restaurants, and even shopping at Kroger.
“It was lovely to hear how strong the alums’ loyalty to UK is,” said Sue Roberts, UK’s associate provost for Internationalization. “It was very meaningful to hear them talk about their favorite professors and mentors.”
Roberts, along with Nancy Johnson, associate dean of International Affairs in the Gatton College of Business and Economics, hosted the event. Aisha Rashid Al Mamri, current international student and president of UK’s Omani Student Association helped organize and host the event as well.
Oman is a Sultanate in the Persian Gulf region with a long history. UK has welcomed Omani students for over 10 years, most of whom are sponsored by the Government of Oman to study at UK. There are currently over 80 undergraduate students from Oman studying at UK. Many are pursuing degrees in the College of Engineering, but the wildcats gathered in Muscat included graduates from majors in the College of Arts and Sciences, Health Sciences and Design. The Gatton College of Business and Economics is also home to several Omani students, and UK’s top-ranked doctoral program in nursing will soon welcome a doctoral student from Oman. In addition, UK has a partnership agreement with Sultan Qaboos University, Oman’s largest and best public university.
Johnson said she was impressed by the alums’ success in launching their careers. “They mentioned that UK prepared them well by fostering independence,” Johnson added.
Expanding to reach the alumni population worldwide, UK recently arranged for wildcat basketball games to be broadcast in Mandarin so not only alums but also future wildcats in China can enjoy keeping up with the Cats.
“Alumni are major assets for UK. Wherever they may be, here in Kentucky or in Beijing or Muscat, UK alums are brand ambassadors and they can help the university, including its current and future students, succeed in a globally connected world,” Roberts added.
Roberts said the UK International Center will work with the colleges, the UK Alumni Association and the Office of Philanthropy to continue to build and grow UK’s global alumni community.