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 Linking Alumni Past and Present

tim and wayne

Tim Rahkola and Wayne Gatlin III.

First Alumni Scholarship Winners Advise Alumni Board

Two UMD students are influencing the UMD Alumni Board of Directors in a unique way. Wayne Gatlin III and Tim Rahkola, the first two alumni scholarship winners, are making recommendations about how the Alumni Association can reach out to young alumni.

“We’re learning a lot about Facebook, Linked In, and other Web 2.0 interactive ways to communicate with all alumni, especially recent grads,” said Patty DeLano, alumni director. “Wayne and Tim are giving us some great feedback.”

The first alumni scholarship recipient, Gatlin, received the alumni scholarship in 2008-09 as well as 2009-10. Recipients are encouraged to participate on the Alumni Board of Directors and alumni events. Gatlin has jumped in. He has attended board meetings and many alumni events including an alumni gathering at Mill City Museum in Minneapolis and Break the Ice hockey game gatherings at the Duluth Entertainment and Convention Center.

Gatlin said he has a new way of looking at UMD since working with the alumni association. “I understand more about how a university is run,” he said. “I see the student and non-student perspective and why alumni want to check in.”

DeLano agreed. “Our alumni want to know what’s going on. They want to catch up with their departments, the university as a whole, and especially with their classmates.”

Rahkola is new to the alumni board. He said the social interaction aspect of the scholarship made him apply. “Becoming active in the community and the university sounded great. Basically, I am interested in participating in all kinds of stuff.”

Rahkola does stay involved with a lot of things. He is a senior music education major who plays the clarinet, He’s also a defensive lineman for UMD’s NCAA Div. II National Championship football team. He graduated from Esko High School and has two additional UMD scholarships: the Rasmussen Athletic Scholarship and the John Jurkovich Scholarship. Sometime in the next couple of years, Rahkola wants to study abroad, possibly to do research comparing music education in the United States and Finland. He has Finnish ancestry and has already visited Finland once. In fact, during FinnFest 2008 his volunteer assignment was to work as a security guard with the Secret Service protecting the President of Finland.

Wayne Gatlin III is a senior and will graduate in 2010 with a major in cell biology. He’s considering many options after graduation: graduate school, medical school, cell biology researcher, or perhaps volunteering for the Peace Corp.

Both Rahkola and Gatlin have substantial family connections to UMD. Tim Rahkola’s father, Olli R. Rahkola graduated from UMD in 1977 and Tim Rahkola’s uncle, Jorma T. Rahkola graduated in 1974, 1984 (MA) and 1988 (principal’s certificate). Wayne Gatlin’s father, Wayne Charles Gatlin Jr. graduated in 1983. His mother, Tamara Paulson Gatlin graduated in 1983 and 1984 (MA).

The UMD Alumni Scholarship, now in its second year, is the only scholarship that gives back to children and grandchildren of UMD alumni. The scholarship provides selected UMD sophomores, juniors and seniors outreach opportunities as well as financial support. It encourages and fosters leadership as the recipients will be members of the UMD Alumni Board and have networking opportunities with alumni. The students are invited to chair committees and participate in alumni activities. The amount of the scholarship is now $500 and the hope is to increase the awards to the $1000 level. To help support students of UMD alumni, contact Patty DeLano at 218-726-8829, 866-726-7164, email or visit the website:

Written by Cheryl Reitan with assistance from Alicia Stockard

UMD home page editor, Cheryl Reitan,
NEW RELEASES, UMD media contact, Susan Latto,, 218-726-8830


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