Bonds Strengthened at Marketing Alumni Event

Professor John Kratz and four marketing alumni
September 15, 2017

RJ Zimerman, Jennifer Degen, Professor John Kratz, Krista Anderson, and Katie Swanson.

LSBE Marketing graduates convened this past spring at the SportsEngine in Minneapolis for an evening of networking, comradery, and catching up with faculty and fellow classmates. While alumni gatherings are somewhat typical, this one held a bit of something special as approximately 100 graduates spanning several decades were present. 

“I was delighted by the fact that so many of our alumni took the time to come and connect with us when they all have busy lives with work and family obligations,” said Rajiv Vaidynathan, Marketing Department Chair. “I took particular pride in that we had alumni attending from the 1990s, 2000s, and 2010s. It was clear that they value the relationship they have with our Department as much as we value our connection to them.”

Hosting this event has become an annual occurrence and is one of several ways that the Marketing Department stays connected to their alumni.

“A large number of alums move to the Twin Cities after they graduate,” said Vaidynathan.  “This is part of our efforts to build better, long-term relationships with our students after they graduate.”

The strong bonds forged by alumni and the department are evident. “Several of these alumni are in a position to help current students and do so in a variety of ways, including serving as guest speakers in classes and finding or sponsoring scholarships,” said Vaidynathan.  “They are often interested to know more about what is happening in the department, and we use this opportunity to update them on new initiatives and programs.”

Ben Kocer, 2016 graduate employed at ThreeBridge Solution in their Boom Lab, feels that “it’s always important to continue networking throughout your academic and professional career. By attending events like this, I find that I can maintain and foster relationships with classmates, faculty, and staff from LSBE. Many of these relationships I have cultivated over time, and they are important to me on a professional level as well as a personal level.”

If you are a graduate of LSBE’s Marketing Department, ensure your contact info with UMD is current. You can confirm by calling UMD’s Alumni Relations Office at 218-726-7164 or emailing  If you would like to assist LSBE’s Marketing Department by speaking in a class, sponsoring an event or scholarship, taking students on tours of your business, or any other of the myriad ways available, contact Executive Office and Administrative Specialist Georgina Spears at 218-726-7532 or email at