Yudof on the move, connects with alumni to obtain funding for U

by Nancy Ngo

Mark Yudof, dubbed the “pancake president” and “Mr. Clean of campus,” can add “jetsetter” to his list of nicknames.
Fresh back from China, the University president will board a plane again after a short appearance in Rochester today and Saturday. The president will head for Florida this weekend to talk with University alumni and donors.
“He’s making some personal calls on behalf of the foundation,” said Tom Swain, vice president of Institutional Relations. “He’s going to recognize donors for their support at the University.”
The University Alumni Association and the University Foundation are the major sponsors and planners of the trip.
Organizers see the winter months as a good time for Yudof to travel south because many alumni and donors migrate there to escape the snow and cold.
Yudof is slated to stop in Arizona and California next month for similar engagements.
Some of the 80 percent of University alumni that live in Minnesota will be vacationing in Florida this time of year. Planners said they chose to send Yudof to these places because a large number of recent University graduates are already living in these areas.
There are 1,500 University alumni living in the Maples, Fla. area, where Yudof is scheduled to speak to large groups and individuals.
But population factors are not the only reason some states were chosen.
“Our purpose in a place like Florida is people might be in a position to give back to the University in time, money or talent,” said Margaret Carlson, executive director of the University’s alumni association, adding that some of the school’s major donors are in Florida.
Although alumni and foundation members are able to reserve some of Yudof’s time for their causes, they want him to make more appearances.
Robert Bitzan, director of donor relations at the University Foundation, said Yudof was clear that he wanted such travels to be limited.
“We usually use the president for more than three regional events, but he feels he should be close to campus during his first year,” Bitzan said.
Yudof will meet with community leaders in Albert Lea and Austin for three days the week after his return from Florida.