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MU alumni relive the glory days, every day

By Sara Guglielmo, For The Miami Student

Many of the Miami alumni, who are now Miami employees, made a go at it in the "real world," but their former university lured them back.

"I've always had an affection for Miami University," Jerrad Harrison, Miami graduate and Coordinator of One Stop Services, said. "Some of the best years of my life came as a student here from 1996-2000. And like many students, when I graduated and stepped out into the 'real world,' I often missed Miami. Returning to the university was one of the best career decisions I've made."

There are many different reasons that Miami Alumni enjoy being back on campus.

"I guess my favorite thing about being back here is that I feel like a kid again," Emily Stewart, graduate and Assistant Director of Advancement Communications, said. "I also get to enjoy things I miss about Oxford, such as the boutiques Uptown, being able to take a long walk on a nice day and, of course, stir fry from Bell Tower."

Ray Mock, Assistant Vice President of Alumni Relations and a member of Miami's class of 1982, said he agrees with Stewart.

"I love the small-town atmosphere of Oxford, and the opportunity to work at a nationally recognized university," Mock said.

As much as alumni rave about MU, they do realize that a lot has changed since they were students.

"Culture-wise, I notice that students here now - no offense - are plugged in all the time," Stewart said. "Like, kids my age were on the verge of the social media/smartphone explosion, so we actually talked to each other or called each other on the phone versus texting, Facebooking and even tweeting to each other as a main means of communication."

Not only has the culture changed, the university itself has changed, Harrison said.

According to Harrison, some of the major changes are the now seemingly unlimited dining options, newer dorms, more stoplights and more bike lanes. He claims that the tradition, however, has remained the same, which is why many alumni return to Miami.

According to both Harrison and Stewart, a large amount of Miami Employees were at one point Miami students, which Harrison thinks points out how great the Miami experience is. Stewart has seen a lot of alumni, specifically in her department.

Four out of eight people in the Advancement Communications, Marketing and Events department are alumni with two more joining in the next few years. However, alumni use many fields to bring themselves back to the small town university life they cherish.

"Living five minutes from my office, attending lectures, concerts and athletic events and having the opportunity to work with students and alumni who love Miami as much as I do make this an ideal place to be," Mock said.