Minnesota Creates First Muslim Alumni Group

University students find it a bit difficult to reconnect together after graduation. Alumni groups usually make the job easier, hosting social gatherings and get-together events.

Yet, for Muslim students at the University of Minnesota, such gathering is more challenging with the absence of Muslim alumni.

However this has changed for good after the Muslim Alumni Network hosted its first event Friday evening in an effort to keep Muslim alumni connected to the campus.

“I really want to see a lot more Muslim alumni involvement in alumni affairs, both in attending events and in the chances where alumni can speak,” Rami Shaker, a 2017 graduate who founded the Muslim Alumni Network, told Minnesota Daily.

Minnesota Creates First Muslim Alumni Group - About Islam
Attendees greet each other at the Muslim Alumni Association kickoff event at Masjid Al-Iman on Friday, Feb. 7. Nur B. Adam

Shamaila Usmani graduated from the University of Minnesota 10 years ago. Friday’s event was the first event for her.

The event was held in the basement of Masjid Al-Iman in Northeast Minneapolis Friday evening.

“People want to connect in ways that are unique to them and of value to them,” said Steve Davis Jr., the University Alumni Association’s director of affinity engagement.

“We think that it’s very important as well, so we’re trying to help to create those spaces so that communities can connect in the ways that they want to connect.”

Stretching Network

According to its Facebook page, “the Muslim Alumni Network seeks to facilitate networking between Muslim alumni as they progress in their careers, help alumni assist current Muslim students through mentorship, and provide advisory support for initiatives to enhance the Muslim community on campus and in the surrounding area,” they wrote.

“Through our organization’s engagement with alumni and current students, we hope to foster a lifelong bond with the University of Minnesota.

A 2017 study estimated US Muslims to be around 3.45 million, about 1.1 percent of the total U.S. population.  

According to the Pew Research Center, up to 25% of Muslims in the United States are converts.