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Bio


About Us

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Bio


About Us

History of SAA

The Student Alumni Association was founded in 1976. Its first program, Campus Tours, ran from 1978 to 1983, when it was taken over by the Office of Admissions and Records. Student Ambassadors was started at that time to fill the role of Campus Tours in the Alumni Association.In 1979, SAA revitalized Homecoming, a tradition that was started at Illinois in 1910 but had become a low-key event by the late '60s. The success of that first revitalized Homecoming literally made SAA a viable and respected organization overnight. Illini Pride was also created by a number of SAA members as a result of 1979 Homecoming. The following successful programs were added over the succeeding years: Illinois Sights & Sounds (formerly Illini First Nite), Illini Comeback, Senior 100 Honorary and Graduates' Reception.In an effort to increase efficiency and maximize services, sister organizations Student Ambassadors and the Student Alumni Association became one again in the fall of 2004, creating Student Alumni Ambassadors. Today, SAA is a widely known student organization consisting of more than 85 members. SAA provides students with new leadership responsibilities such as planning, organizing and creating events for the entire student body. Through its hosting and tour services, SAA develops connections between students and alumni and instills pride in the University. The organization brings together a diverse group of students from all different areas of interests, majors and backgrounds to work together to make a difference at the University of Illinois through the Alumni Association.


2019 Executive Board

CAILYN ANDREWS,  President  Becoming a member of Student Alumni Ambassadors gave me an on-campus family that I can turn to in times of triumph and failure. I have the opportunity to work alongside an amazing group of driven, passionate, and professional undergraduate leaders on campus. SAA has pushed me to grow both as a professional and student from the moment I became a member my freshman year. I am thankful for all of the opportunities SAA has given me, and I am excited for this upcoming year as President. I-L-L

CAILYN ANDREWS, President

Becoming a member of Student Alumni Ambassadors gave me an on-campus family that I can turn to in times of triumph and failure. I have the opportunity to work alongside an amazing group of driven, passionate, and professional undergraduate leaders on campus. SAA has pushed me to grow both as a professional and student from the moment I became a member my freshman year. I am thankful for all of the opportunities SAA has given me, and I am excited for this upcoming year as President. I-L-L

NATE ALVAREZ,  Vice President of Membership  SAA is truly an organization that lives up to the hype. I like to think we’re some of the coolest, most loving, smartest, and orange and blue loving students that walk the stomping grounds of Illinois. SAA has truly given me so much, from my amazing friends that I call my second family, to the whole new person I’ve transformed into who I am today after only being in this close-knit organization for the past year now. SAA has truly changed my life for the better and I want to be able to give back to everyone that helped me get to where I am today. I remember when I first browsed through this website and told myself that my picture was gonna be on this page one day. Look where we’re at now. This could be you some day, if you decide to make the greatest decision of your life and join SAA like I did.

NATE ALVAREZ, Vice President of Membership

SAA is truly an organization that lives up to the hype. I like to think we’re some of the coolest, most loving, smartest, and orange and blue loving students that walk the stomping grounds of Illinois. SAA has truly given me so much, from my amazing friends that I call my second family, to the whole new person I’ve transformed into who I am today after only being in this close-knit organization for the past year now. SAA has truly changed my life for the better and I want to be able to give back to everyone that helped me get to where I am today. I remember when I first browsed through this website and told myself that my picture was gonna be on this page one day. Look where we’re at now. This could be you some day, if you decide to make the greatest decision of your life and join SAA like I did.

MADDIE POOLE,  Vice President of Campus Affairs  SAA has allowed me to develop meaningful relationships with university students, staff, and alumni alike. Through SAA, I have been able to develop as a leader, and spread the love I have for this university.

MADDIE POOLE, Vice President of Campus Affairs

SAA has allowed me to develop meaningful relationships with university students, staff, and alumni alike. Through SAA, I have been able to develop as a leader, and spread the love I have for this university.

SARAH CHANG,  Vice President of Business and Operations  Joining SAA was one of the best decisions I made in my collegiate career. The opportunities and people the organization has introduced me to are truly unparalleled. Everyone in SAA constantly teaches me how to be a better leader and I am so grateful to be a part of such a wonderful group!

SARAH CHANG, Vice President of Business and Operations

Joining SAA was one of the best decisions I made in my collegiate career. The opportunities and people the organization has introduced me to are truly unparalleled. Everyone in SAA constantly teaches me how to be a better leader and I am so grateful to be a part of such a wonderful group!

VERONIKA (CHIQUI) LAIRD,  Vice President of Alumni Relations  I joined SAA when I was a freshman because I have loved the University since I was young. Being actively involved in SAA, I have contributed to recruitment, the alumni comeback program and spirit day. My father (being an alumni) inspired me to become the VP of alumni relations in SAA. I am grateful to be part of a such a unique organization and for the life long relationships I’ve formed.

VERONIKA (CHIQUI) LAIRD, Vice President of Alumni Relations

I joined SAA when I was a freshman because I have loved the University since I was young. Being actively involved in SAA, I have contributed to recruitment, the alumni comeback program and spirit day. My father (being an alumni) inspired me to become the VP of alumni relations in SAA. I am grateful to be part of a such a unique organization and for the life long relationships I’ve formed.

MEGHNA VIJAYAN,  Vice President of Outreach  When I arrived on campus my freshman year, I knew I wanted to make the most of my four years here. In SAA, I found myself surrounded by a group of some of the most hard-working, driven, and spirited students on campus. They have challenged me to take on leadership and continue to grow personally and professionally each day. SAA has, and continues to be, an integral part of my journey here at the University of Illinois.

MEGHNA VIJAYAN, Vice President of Outreach

When I arrived on campus my freshman year, I knew I wanted to make the most of my four years here. In SAA, I found myself surrounded by a group of some of the most hard-working, driven, and spirited students on campus. They have challenged me to take on leadership and continue to grow personally and professionally each day. SAA has, and continues to be, an integral part of my journey here at the University of Illinois.

ALEC CAMPBELL,  Vice President of Student Engagement  The Student Alumni Ambassadors is more than just one of the 100’s of groups you could join at quad day... It’s a family! I knew I wanted to be a part of this group as early as early as Sights and Sounds. I saw how everyone worked together, had fun and was able to make memories together and I can honestly say it was one of the best decisions of my life. Every day I will see a SAA member walking down the quad, eating on Green Street or sitting right next to me in one of my classes, and each and every time I am reminded of how glad I am I took the time to apply for SAA. The enthusiasm, school spirit, and compassion of everyone involved, reminds me daily of why I chose the University of Illinois.

ALEC CAMPBELL, Vice President of Student Engagement

The Student Alumni Ambassadors is more than just one of the 100’s of groups you could join at quad day... It’s a family! I knew I wanted to be a part of this group as early as early as Sights and Sounds. I saw how everyone worked together, had fun and was able to make memories together and I can honestly say it was one of the best decisions of my life. Every day I will see a SAA member walking down the quad, eating on Green Street or sitting right next to me in one of my classes, and each and every time I am reminded of how glad I am I took the time to apply for SAA. The enthusiasm, school spirit, and compassion of everyone involved, reminds me daily of why I chose the University of Illinois.

ABBY SCHOONOVER,  Vice President of Communications  SAA is a group of driven, caring, amazing individuals who have truly become my family throughout my time at this university. I could not be more thankful for my decision to become a member of SAA or for the memories and people who have come along with it. The experiences and leadership opportunities within SAA have changed my experiences here at UIUC for the better. I cannot wait to see what this executive board and our organization as whole accomplishes this year. We bleed orange and blue, ever so true!

ABBY SCHOONOVER, Vice President of Communications

SAA is a group of driven, caring, amazing individuals who have truly become my family throughout my time at this university. I could not be more thankful for my decision to become a member of SAA or for the memories and people who have come along with it. The experiences and leadership opportunities within SAA have changed my experiences here at UIUC for the better. I cannot wait to see what this executive board and our organization as whole accomplishes this year. We bleed orange and blue, ever so true!

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