Browse by Professional Interest
Alumni Relations

107 results



Browse other interest areas at left.

See also


Voices
CURRENTS Article Advice on how to respond to inappropriate comments from donors; and tricks to digitally unplug.

Keeping the Faith
CURRENTS Article Alumni relations is not a religion—but many of the same tenets that bind religious systems can also be applied to our profession. You may think that comparing alumni relations to organized religion is itself a leap of faith, but alumni relations can and should be a lifelong source of guidance and inspiration. Educational institutions' responsibilities go beyond the academic education of students, and likewise the purpose of alumni relations and its networks go beyond the institution. Alumni relations can be a powerful force for good in the community as well as for the institution and the alumni.Not convinced? Here's how viewing alumni relations through the lens of a "new religion" can ground your work in a larger context.

Similar Strides
CURRENTS Article In 2015, when University of Connecticut trustees voted to sever financial ties with the institution's alumni association, asking the foundation to take over alumni work, UConn president Susan Herbst hailed the decision as a bold move toward "enhancing outreach and engagement with our alumni." Herbst said that UConn's new consolidated model was similar to those increasingly adopted by many colleges and universities. UConn has not been alone over the past few years in reshuffling advancement, ostensibly to cut overlapping costs, unify institutional messaging, and improve alumni engagement. From Indiana's Purdue University to Oregon's Portland State University, foundations that have historically received gifts and managed investments have been absorbing their institution's development shop. However, the mergers of long-standing, independent alumni groups with their foundation have raised concerns among alumni relations pros who fear that their work is misunderstood and undervalued. Some industry leaders question whether the major "fixes" will offer significant long-term savings—and whether they will inflict long-term damage.

Meet Brittany M. Weiss
CURRENTS Article Brittany M. Weiss is assistant director of alumni relations at Williston Northampton School, a coeducational boarding school for students in seventh grade through postgraduate year.

My First Year in Alumni Relations
CURRENTS Article A 25-year-old assistant director of alumni relations shares the lessons learned during her first year at Williston Northampton School.

Reflecting One Year Out
CURRENTS Article A 25-year-old assistant director of alumni relations shares the lessons learned during her first year at Williston Northampton School.

Round of Applause
CURRENTS Article Ten grand gold award winners of this year's CASE Circle of Excellence Awards are profiled here.

Outlook: Remaking Advancement, Google-Style
CURRENTS Article The standard set by Amazon, Apple, and others recognizes the value of providing a great experience. The widening gap between those experiences and what we offer—one-way communications that don't adapt to reader interests; standard appeals; stewardship that, except for top donors, ranges from one size fits all to awful—erodes loyalty and makes alumni less likely to respond when we make the ask. But a solution exists. It's as simple as creating a relationship in which alumni and donors stay with us because it is in their interest to do so, not just in ours. In which people think of the university as a source of knowledge that engages them, personally or professionally.

Star Treatment
CURRENTS Article The consensus among alumni directors is that graduates, especially young alumni, have expectations of goods and services from their alma maters that have dramatically increased in the past decade. With the tides of entitlement showing no sign of ebbing, alumni relations professionals must find ways to serve—or at least peacefully coexist with—this alumni population and its increasing demands. Several alumni leaders offer ideas on how to do just that.

So Which Is It: Alumni or Alumnae?
CURRENTS Article A Boston University alumni staffer designed a graphic that helps people figure out how to use the right form of the word alumni in different situations.

Taking AIMS
CURRENTS Article What is the return on every dollar spent on advancement? CASE surveyed 120 institutions for a benchmarking study on advancement investments and return.

Tied but Not Bound
CURRENTS Article Alumni leaders who have worked for their alma mater and another institution (or two) offer insight on both experiences.

Odds and Ends: Freakon 101
CURRENTS Article Stephen J. Dubner, co-author of the best-selling Freakonomics books, reflects on the success of the series and its offshoots, economics, his undergraduate and graduate school experiences, and the elementary school teacher who helped him earn his first national byline.

Ringing in the Centennial
CURRENTS Article East Tennessee State University celebrates its centennial year by recognizing its oldest living alumna, 114-year-old Besse Brown Cooper of Georgia, who also happens to be the world's oldest living person. Mrs. Cooper and her family donated memorabilia to the university from her time on campus, including the class ring she had worn for more than 90 years, and the university reciprocated by giving a gift to Mrs. Cooper and bestowing awards upon her.

总裁之见:克服对校友联系的低估
CURRENTS Article 教育促进与支持委员会总裁李彬与您分享校友联系中十个最大的常见错误。

President's Perspective: Overcoming the Undervaluing of Alumni Relations
CURRENTS Article John Lippincott, president of CASE, shares his list of 10 common mistakes in the field of alumni relations.

Connecting with Commuters
CURRENTS Article With decreased government funding for higher education the world over, many public two- and four-year commuter institutions are paying more attention to fundraising, which means reconnecting with alumni and building relationships. Since commuter schools are not likely to have much success with traditional alumni programming such as homecomings, class reunions, and tailgate parties, these institutions are finding other ways to engage former students and foster a sense of community.

Long-Distance Connection
CURRENTS Article Transient populations, cultural diversity, language barriers, competing loyalties, and geographic separation are just some of the challenges international schools face in communicating with their alumni. This article explores how international school alumni programs can develop a sense of community with far-flung alumni.

First in Class
CURRENTS Article This story presents profiles of eight Grand Gold winners of the 2009 Circle of Excellence awards.

Natural Attraction
CURRENTS Article What can alumni relations professionals learn from their corporate cousins?

Take-Away Idea
CURRENTS Article Some small-shop alumni officers hear about what larger institutions are doing and then adapt those ideas to their own budgetary and manpower scale. When this works out, small shops prove their creativity and that innovative programming is not only the province of the large and well-funded.

Simplicity Soars
CURRENTS Article Most independent school alumni associations are forced to be creative with their limited resources. One alumni director from an independent school encourages her colleagues to focus on easy, low-cost ways to keep alumni and parents involved.

Banding Together
CURRENTS Article Many institutions still shy away from involving the alumni association in capital campaigns. But as campaigns get larger and longer, it makes sense for the two disciplines to work together.

The Advancement Myths of Community Colleges
CURRENTS Article This article shows how community college advancement is busting the myths about poor fundraising results, lack of alumni loyalty, and negative public perceptions. The reality is that development at two-year institutions is becoming more sophisticated and successful, alumni do stay engaged with their two-year alma maters, and the community college brand is coming into its own.

A Road to Be Taken
CURRENTS Article Michael Wall, director of alumni relations at Anoka-Ramsey Community College, discusses how alumni relations at communities colleges is not only possible but critical.

Advance Work: View from the Top
CURRENTS Article Emory University's alumni association decided to conduct a survey--not of its members but of the university's senior administrators.

From Minority to Majority
CURRENTS Article Fiscal stability is their biggest challenge, say leaders at historically black colleges and universities. In the past, development offices lacked staff, technology, and other resources. To remedy the problems, the Kresge Foundation awarded grants to five HBCUs selected from a pool of applicants. Using these funds, the participating institutions improved their advancement operations systemwide, resulting in a huge increase in funds raised, more sophisticated technology, better database records, and better trained development professionals. This article imparts the lessons of the initiative of benefit to all HBCUs.

Evolutionary Thinking
CURRENTS Article Today’s alumni directors are playing more significant roles in fund raising--even as they stress the importance of carefully nurtured alumni relationships. Several top alumni professionals talked with CURRENTS recently about trends in their discipline-- including the need to demonstrate value, meet the diverse interests of alumni, and increase funds as well as good will. Alumni directors say they can respond to changes in the profession by playing bigger roles on campus, conducting major self-assessments regularly, and focusing on customer relations.

AdvanceWork: Underdogs No More
CURRENTS Article Keeping alumni of private primary and secondary schools connected to their alma maters can be difficult in the face of competing loyalties to their high schools, colleges, and universities. Annmarie M. Wilmeth, former director of development at Browne Academy, and Maggie Szymanek, director of development and publications at Burgundy Farm Country Day School, spoke about this issue at the 2004 CASE/NAIS independent schools conference, where they offered several tips for increasing alumni loyalty.

Leaps and Bounds
CURRENTS Article Although capital campaigns often don't have a specific role for alumni associations, they don't have to remain in the shadows. Alumni officers can have a great effect on the current campaign--and build momentum for future ones--by taking a more targeted look at staffing needs, homecoming and campus events, advocacy efforts, alumni programming, and market research strategies.

The Missing Link
CURRENTS Article Accreditation is not something alumni officers typically think about, but one alumni officer's involvement in the process led him to understand how accreditation can foster a closer relationship between alumni and alumni relations officers and the overall academic enterprise.

AdvanceWork: Alumni Relations Gains Ink
CURRENTS Article A recent jump in mainstream media coverage of alumni relations is primarily related to affirmative action and legacy controversies. Alumni officers can prepare to meet the press by investing in media training.

Changing Places
CURRENTS Article At DePaul University, the alumni relations staff became part of the enrollment management office. This change reflects the university’s atypical emphasis on alumni as lifelong learners and customers whose primary financial support of the campus is through tuition, not annual giving. Alumni relations efforts now focus more on re-enrollment, career services, networking, and alumni volunteering than on fund raising.

Connecting with the CEO
CURRENTS Article Alumni executives can energize their partnerships with their chief campus administrator by recognizing the CEO’s role in alumni relations, respecting the CEO’s time and position, and understanding their responsibilities to enhance the CEO’s effectiveness.

Rethinking Our Craft
CURRENTS Article Stone, former president of the Stanford Alumni Association, describes the multiyear process that led to the merger of the alumni association into the university, in sharp contrast to the association’s century-old tradition of independence. His key points: (1) Institutions must “own” their alumni relations responsibilities, and (2) alumni relations requires an entire institution’s commitment to lifelong relationships. Stone also offers advice to alumni relations officers on their role and responsibilities.

Spreading The Good Word
CURRENTS Article The article presents a history of the alumni relations profession and examines its current status, along with the challenges for alumni officers, around the world.

AdvanceWork: What's Your Type?
CURRENTS Article A research firm has defined four alumni types: rallyers, reminiscers, reconnectors, and resisters.

How Crucial Are Family Ties?
CURRENTS Article Three chief alumni relations officers -- from Colorado College, Ohio State University, and University of California, Los Angeles -- discuss whether it is vital to hire alumni to work in the alumni office.

AdvanceWork: Insuring the Future
CURRENTS Article Alumni officers give advice on forging affinity partnerships with insurance providers

Cultivate Your "Keepers"
CURRENTS Article The care and feeding of top alumni staffers

Soothing the Savage Beasts
CURRENTS Article Even the most difficult alumni are really just trying to tell you how to keep them connected to campus. If you listen and respond appropriately, you often can restore those relationships. Wantz describes how to keep cool and how to respond to irate alumni so that you can identify the real problems and determine the best course of action.

AdvanceWork: Once and Future Alumni Relations
CURRENTS Article Alumni Relations: What's in, what's out

What's That Up Ahead?
CURRENTS Article What do alumni professionals foresee in the next ten years?

Sample Collection

The Library maintains a collection of sample materials for members.

View samples

Grad School AR comp

The Library has compiled an extensive collection of resources about graduate and professional school alumni relations.

View resources

Alumni Relations Community

Connect with CASE members working in alumni relations on CASE Communities.

Join the conversation