Making the Connection

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Bucket-List Trips Offer More Than Travel Opportunities


It was a familiar sight—Husker fans gathered in a stadium to cheer for their victor in a battle of athletic skill and a race against time.   However, this time, instead of cheering for the quarterback, the Huskers cheered for the quarter horse.

The event was the NAA sponsored  "bucket-list" trip to the 138th Kentucky Derby.  On the trip, Nebraska alumni and friends enjoyed the race itself, along with behind-the-scenes tours, exclusive access to Derby events, and first-class travel accommodations.

"The actual Derby was great—probably the best show I will ever see!" said Janet Thoresen, a Derby traveler.  "I can check one more off the bucket list! It was great to connect with other Huskers and find friends in common."

In the next year, travelers will have the opportunity to cruise the Mediterranean, Tahitian Islands and the rivers of Europe, travel to Atlanta for the 2013 Masters golf tournament, explore the Tuscan region of Italy and spend Thanksgiving in New York City seeing all the sights and shows the Big Apple has to offer.  

International and domestic trips such as these have long been offered by alumni associations across the country—many Big Ten alumni associations offer dozens (even hundreds) every year.  These trips offer the chance to travel to great destinations, but can also give something else to alumni travelers.

"Bucket-list trips have a different focus than our athletic travel. Alumni and friends choose to go on these trips for the once-in-a-lifetime travel experience, but also because of their desire to share these extraordinary journeys with other Nebraskans," said Diane Mendenhall, executive director of the NAA.

"The trips are longer, so the travelers have an opportunity to really get to know each other and build relationships. When alumni experience, together, things like the excitement of Cut Day at the Masters or the beauty of the Tahitian islands, they form lifetime friendships. Often times as a result, alumni and friends return home with a desire to get more involved with the Alumni Association, the University or the University of Nebraska Foundation."

For more information on bucket-list travel, click here or contact Sarah Haskell at