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March 27, 2013

Alumni Day at UM-DearbornGary Heitman (’77 B.A.) pays it forward.

So when more than 20 University of Michigan-Dearborn graduates entered a classroom to learn about professional networking, Heitman took the podium.

Heitman, vice president of business development at Wolverine Technical Staffing, helped UM-Dearborn alumni maximize their employment resources through LinkedIn on Saturday.

“Why should I hire you? Tell me,” said Heitman, who navigated graduates through the popular professional networking website. “This is how people get jobs today. What sets you apart from the rest? That’s the key.”

Heitman tutored graduates about LinkedIn, as part of UM-Dearborn’s Alumni Day. Several alumni returned to campus on Saturday to reconnect with former classmates and participate in alumni events.

The events started early with the Maize and Blue High School Classic, a quiz bowl competition sponsored by the School of Education Alumni Affiliate. Students were tested on a variety of topics ranging from contemporary literature to Matchbox 20 lyrics.

At the Engineering/Computer Science Experience, hosted by the College of Engineering and Computer Science, high school students competed for prizes in engineering, computer programming and web design simulations.

Graduates of the Last Decade (GOLD) and the African American Alumni Affiliate organized a seminar to discuss alumni engagement opportunities. And UM-Dearborn alumni who went on to pursue legal careers reconnected in the College of Arts, Sciences, and Letters (CASL) Building.

The festivities wrapped up with an alumni reception in Kochoff Hall, where several graduates reconnected with former classmates and campus leaders.

Overall, the event was a success, said Peggy Pattison, director of alumni relations.

“The objective was to bring as many alumni back to campus to see the things that we’re doing and to help them reenergize their excitement for the university,” she said.

Alumni Day stemmed from conversations Pattison had with alumni affiliate members who all wanted to host events.

“Why don’t we try to do them all on the same day to create as much energy on campus as we can?” Pattison said.

Mission accomplished. And because of the success of Alumni Day, Pattison plans to make it an annual event.

View more photos of Alumni Day.

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