Alumni Council Expands To Tackle Big Goals
| by Carol Best firstname.lastname@example.org
The Council for the Advancement and Support of Education says alumni engagement is “Any event and activity that is valued by alumni, builds enduring and mutually beneficial relationships, inspires loyalty and financial support, strengthens the institution’s reputation, and involves alumni in meaningful ways to advance the institution’s mission.”
Last fall the alumni office engaged MNU’s marketing research class, led by Dr. Lisa (Leslie ’94) Wallentine, to research alumni engagement with the university. After a semester of work, the students produced a 173-page report full of charts, graphs and responses from focus- group interviews and online surveys.
Seven themes emerged from the research.
- Alumni really care about MNU and they want MNU to return that concern in tangible ways.
- Alumni know MNU needs their financial support to thrive; they want MNU to appreciate they are more than potential donors.
- Alumni believe the student-to-alumni transition could be improved.
- Alumni would like more interaction with current students.
- Alumni value enrichment activities, such as networking, career-development, and lifelong learning opportunities.
- Alumni want their children to have the same rich student experience they had; they would like the university to become strong competitors for their kids during student recruitment.
- Alumni crave relevant information— about important news, events, and ways to get involved.
- The insights gained from the report indicated greater alumni involvement in the planning process might move the needle on the engagement issue. So, for the past eight months a larger group of alumni leaders has been recruited to serve as the “voice” of alumni in important university matters.
The enlarged council is forging a bold plan forward. This includes:
- Revitalizing the Alumni Association with a new identity and renewed purpose.
- Establishing alumni “hubs” where clusters of alumni reside, so they can gather, recruit students to MNU, and embrace fellow alums when they settle in their city.
- Transforming the reunion experience in meaningful ways.
- Helping recent grads transition seamlessly into active alums.
- Creating enriching events for alumni at every stage of life.
- Encouraging fellow alumni to embrace their vital role as investors and stakeholders in MNU’s mission and future.
- Welcoming alumni back to campus for Homecoming, college visits with their children and volunteering their time and talents.
Currently there are 20 council members and the goal is 30. If our efforts sound like something you would like to help achieve or you want to suggest someone, please email your interest to email@example.com.