advocacy day 2019What does it mean to be an advocate? It may be tweeting at your legislators, bragging about your degree on social media, or even sporting Terp gear.

On February 25, more than 50 Terps took their support to the next level at Terp Advocacy Day. Alumni, students and friends gathered in Annapolis to meet local legislators and voice support for the university’s initiatives.

“This event proves a welcoming environment for people to engage their representatives,” says Andrew Griffin, director of alumni advocacy. “We want people to leave feeling empowered.”

The event provided an opportunity for experienced advocates and first-timers alike to get involved. Attendees got a crash course on the university’s legislative priorities, hearing from University President Wallace Loh, Delegate Wanika Fisher ’10 and Executive Director for Government Relations Ross Stern.

"Each participant was given talking points and given the opportunity to ask questions to ensure that we were clear on the expectations of the meetings," says Casandra Toole '17, a first-time attendee.

After learning the ropes of how to conduct a legislative visit, groups of three to five attendees met with representatives across the legislative campus. They focused on five of the university’s legislative priorities.

"Being a Terp advocate is important to me because it allows me to be the voice for the students as it relates to their education, well being and future," Toole says.

The event allows alumni to directly impact the university’s growth by showing legislators its importance to the state. Advocates met with nearly 50 representatives, sharing how many students attend from their district, how state funding supports the academic portion of Cole Field House and more.

“Through alumni advocacy, we are able to secure crucial support for future generations of alumni,” says Griffin. “By sharing personal Terp connections with their representatives, each person who attended this event made a difference.”

To learn more about getting involved as an alumni advocate, in-person or online, visit alumni.umd.edu/advocacy.