Jack Fox, Alumni and Parent Relations
Jack Fox, newly hired director of Alumni and Parent Relations, has returned to the alumni relations field with the excitement and enthusiasm of a long-delayed homecoming. Fox, on campus since March 19, brings a strong commitment to strengthening and enlarging the CSU, Chico alumni "family." His belief is that alumni involvement offers the opportunity for both great contribution and great return for all of those who participate.
Fox worked at UC, Santa Barbara from 1972 to 1974 as associate director of the UCSB Alumni Association, and then as its executive director from 1974 until 1981. In 1981, he went to the University of Houston as executive director of their alumni association under Barry Munitz, then Chancellor of the U of H. After staying for a year, he and his wife moved to San Diego and spent the next seventeen years developing a successful jewelry importing and manufacturing business.
Last summer, Fox was invited to the UCSB campus by a friend who had been hired to reinvigorate the family vacation center program that Fox started when he was at Santa Barbara. By the end of the third week, it was clear to Fox that he wanted to return to alumni relations. I told my friend, "I have to do this work againit is where my heart is, and she asked me, `What took you so long?'" For Fox, there is an intrinsic reward in the work that results directly in the enhancement of the quality of education for students.
Fox's time at UCSB under Chancellor Vernon I. Cheadle provided him with the opportunity to innovate in the area of alumni programming. Cheadle, who Fox saw as a great man with integrity, vision, and leadership, became his mentor. "When an opportunity came around that seemed to lend itself to my talents, he would steer me in that direction. He was the kind of leader that managed to bring people along with him, to recruit others to his visions," said Fox. His effective leadership remains a model for Fox.
Fox was hired with the mandate to raise the level of visibility of alumni programs among students and to expand and further develop the programs of a rapidly growing alumni association. One of his first steps in the near future will be enhancing the infrastructure of the local alumni association by expanding the board of directors and including a broader cross-section of graduates. He would like to increase the variety of programs and services for alumni, and eventually set up an educational alumni travel program. He has already begun working with one of the student assistants in his office on developing a student alumni chapter. "Students are future alumni, and the lifelong relationships that are part of a good alumni program can begin for them right now," asserted Fox.
Fox sees himself as especially skilled at assisting others in developing "the giving habit," which has so enriched his own life. One of his primary activities since coming to Chico has been, of course, meeting people across campus and in the community. Be forewarned! When you meet Jack Fox, the first words he may say to you are, "Will you help?" KM