This fall, Perrin Roller, GeoE’80, became president of the Miner Alumni Association. Missouri S&T Magazine staff sat down with the vice president of well engineering for Devon Energy to get his perspective about the job.
What do you feel is the most important role of the Miner Alumni Association?
One of the most important roles of the Miner Alumni Association is to provide a huge, working network for the graduates of this university. This is important because it provides a communications link with the university to keep alumni association members aware of and involved in all of the current happenings; it helps our members with career networking in their industries; it provides an avenue to provide financial, leadership and recruiting support; and helps keep you in touch with your friends and classmates.
What is your role as president?
I am more of a team leader and facilitator. Along with the other members of the Executive Committee and with the tremendous help and support of the alumni and development offices on campus, we control the rudder of the ship, so to speak, and continue to steer it in the proper direction.
We have a long tradition of high-caliber individuals who have served as president and now continue to serve as past presidents, advising the board. We also have a great tradition of support from those that have volunteered their time to the board and as section leaders and officers.
What are your plans for your term?
Increase the networking with and among the members of the alumni association. Increase the participation rate of association members. Build upon the existing support for the university both from individuals and from corporations.
What challenges do you see facing the alumni association in the coming years?
I see three main challenges. Obviously we are concerned with fundraising due to the economy and the financial markets.
Recruiting is also important. With the declining number of students in Missouri, we must begin recruiting more students nationally. I also think the alumni association, along with the university, is in a unique position to help develop new ideas for energy and move them forward, considering the number of alumni in the energy business in some form or fashion.
As a graduate of Missouri S&T, how do you feel the university prepared you for your success?
One of the keys to success was the development of my critical thinking skills. S&T graduates have always had a reputation of being very good problem solvers. This is a big advantage in any industry.
If you could give advice to a new graduate, what would you say?
Broaden your horizons and think globally. Realize we are in a global economy and there are numerous opportunities for you as a Missouri S&T graduate around the world. Don’t be afraid to pursue your dreams.