CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Since returning to Marshall as athletic director in 2009, Mike Hamrick has tried to reconnect with Marshall's best, brightest and most well-heeled donors.
But he is trying to address another longstanding weakness: the connection with recent graduates, the ones who could become the best, brightest and most well-heeled alumni.
Those graduates will have access to their own football season-ticket packages, the end-zone seats for $100 for the six-game home season. Those who have earned MU degrees within a five-year window are eligible, and $50 goes to the Big Green Scholarship Foundation.
In this day of emails and other forms of instant communication, staying in contact with new graduates is easier. As the pressures of the 21st century increase, it's more crucial.
"The reasoning behind that is, if you understand fundraising, if you want to keep in touch with your alums, the first five years is when they move around the most," Hamrick said. "We want to get them back involved with our program from the day they leave campus.
"And a lot of them can't afford to pay $300 for a season ticket and $300 for a Big Green membership, so we put this special graduate program in for them."
The potential base isn't small - Hamrick estimates said about 10,000 of them have been reached via email about the program.
Hamrick said he expects total season-ticket sales to approximate that of last year, but it's too soon to tell.
Other items around the Marshall program: