Browse by Professional Interest
Special Events

296 results

Browse other interest areas at left.

Anniversary Celebrations
Sample Collection The Library compiled this collection of anniversary websites and related materials to assist members who are planning an anniversary celebration. Staff identified highlights from each website and linked to useful reports, programs, brochures and other samples. Anniversary celebrations that won a CASE Circle of Excellence Award are noted; program abstracts and judges' reports are linked when available.

Claiming Our Story: The Imperative for Higher Education
Claiming Our Story: The Imperative for Higher Education

Award Ceremonies
Award Ceremonies

Student Events
Student Events

Special Events for Advancement
Conference This conference splits focus between strategic planning with other advancement areas and tactical solutions to event challenges. Assumes basic understanding of advancement structure and event mechanics.

In It for the Lawn Haul
CURRENTS Article Moving day can be stressful, but for University of Wisconsin-Madison students and local renters, the chaos can be as joyous as Christmas. For decades, every August 14, apartment leases have ended and not begun again for a full 24 hours so apartments can be cleaned and repaired. This leaves the city in a whirlwind of furniture and appliances at many curbs while homeless-for-a-day hippies and other residents scour through trash for treasure. For one magical night, dubbed Hippie Christmas, crashing on couches in the open air and lawn-camping are the norm.

A Summer Camp That's Never Been Done C4
CURRENTS Article Here's a summer camp where kids will have a blast. For the past 12 years, Missouri University of Science and Technology has hosted Explosives Camp, for which high school juniors and seniors gather for a five-day session to learn the ins and outs of handling explosives; operating bomb squad robots; blasting rock; and making, setting up, and shooting fireworks.

The Return on Revelry
CURRENTS Article Improving events ROI requires frank questions, mindful deconstruction, and continual assessment. Be honest when considering the need for an event. When the turnout or energy level at an anniversary gala is too low, for instance, or a fundraising event doesn't raise enough funds, it's often because planners didn't carefully consider the occasion's intentions—or whether it should happen at all. Consider why you are doing an event and who the audience is. What do we want them to think or know? What do you want them to do?

No Lemons Here
CURRENTS Article Change happens. But that doesn't mean it's easy. Change can be threatening. An institutional merger or updated mascot, for example, can spark fears that alumni memories and traditions aren't treasured. In a job where keeping alumni happily engaged is key, how do you navigate the negative stuff? We aren't talking about crises—bad news takes everyone by surprise. But if you know your alumni, you can predict when a big change for the institution is going to be a problem for some graduates. Before you start bracing yourself for hate mail, take a deep breath. With a proactive outreach plan, you can take part of the sting out of the unwelcome and maybe even turn the news into a positive for your alumni.

Listen Up
CURRENTS Article Longwood University's Day After Graduation podcast, launched in February 2017, gets real with advice for navigating life after commencement. Alumni recall their own experiences during those first few years after leaving the Virginia institution.

CASE City Guide: Tokyo
CASE City Guides are written by CASE members to assist CASE colleagues as they travel around the world on behalf of their institutions. See the guides to learn about local hot spots, places to avoid, great restaurants and more.

CASE City Guide: Taipei, Taiwan
CASE City Guides are written by CASE members to assist CASE colleagues as they travel around the world on behalf of their institutions. See the guides to learn about local hot spots, places to avoid, great restaurants and more.

CASE City Guide: Shanghai
CASE City Guides are written by CASE members to assist CASE colleagues as they travel around the world on behalf of their institutions. See the guides to learn about local hot spots, places to avoid, great restaurants and more.

CASE City Guide: Melbourne
CASE City Guides are written by CASE members to assist CASE colleagues as they travel around the world on behalf of their institutions. See the guides to learn about local hot spots, places to avoid, great restaurants and more.

CASE City Guide: Adelaide, South Australia
CASE City Guides are written by CASE members to assist CASE colleagues as they travel around the world on behalf of their institutions. See the guides to learn about local hot spots, places to avoid, great restaurants and more.

CASE City Guide: Brisbane
CASE City Guides are written by CASE members to assist CASE colleagues as they travel around the world on behalf of their institutions. See the guides to learn about local hot spots, places to avoid, great restaurants and more.

CASE City Guide: Calgary
CASE City Guides are written by CASE members to assist CASE colleagues as they travel around the world on behalf of their institutions. See the guides to learn about local hot spots, places to avoid, great restaurants and more.

Copy and Share Everything
CURRENTS Article Lawrence University aims to entice potential applicants is with a 10-page square mailer, which gives students a taste of life at the Wisconsin institution as well as an idea of what life might look like after graduation; a charming and authoritative third-grader leads "Today's Lesson: The Pennfield Fund," a five-minute video set up as a class about the importance of the Rhode Island independent school's annual fund; and during Alumni Weekend 2015, Imperial College London reveled in its graduates' proclivity for pranks.

Spring Fever
CURRENTS Article Old and new springtime traditions create campus camaraderie. Here are some unique ways Lake Superior State University, the University of Pennsylvania, Uppsala University, and Cornell University celebrate spring's arrival.

Egg-stra Curricular Fun
CURRENTS Article At Pennsylvania's Messiah College, Easter egg hunts aren't just for kids. Hosted by Eyas, the Student Alumni Council, the campuswide Eggstravaganza fosters friendships and memories among its 2,800-plus students, building community and boosting school spirit. Here are the key numbers.

Pass the Hamantaschen, Please
CURRENTS Article Every spring since 1991, 2,000 students and community Members of all ages and faiths let loose at the State University of New York at Binghamton's Purim Carnival. One of the lesser-known Jewish holidays, Purim commemorates the defeat of Haman's plot to massacre the Jews as recorded in the book of Esther. The holiday's joyful, celebratory spirit makes it ideal to bring together students of different faiths.

The Cold Can Be Cool, Too
CURRENTS Article There's nothing like the beauty of the first snowfall—until you have to trudge through several feet of the stuff in subzero temperatures. Thankfully, some institutions in cold climates have found ways to make winter fun.

It’s a Wrap!
CURRENTS Article First-year and international students at Concordia University Irvine received a warm welcome—literally—before the 2016–17 Opening Convocation, when alumni from the past four decades presented them with Concordia scarves. In brainstorming how to celebrate the California institution's 40th anniversary, campus leaders seized upon the idea of an evolving graduation stole. Presenting these modern stoles before convocation will become an annual scarving tradition.

Events Forum 2018
Conference The CASE Europe Events Forum 2018 will offer education events professionals the opportunity to develop their strategic planning and provide tactical solutions to a wide variety of events challenges.

Crazy, Super, Cool
CURRENTS Article With 2016 coming to a close, Currents wanted to reflect on this year’s amazing innovations at universities around the world. Our favorites include a pizza ATM, software to help you pronounce names, innovative helmets, windows made with wood, and microchips engraved with donor names sent into space.

Three Minutes or Less
CURRENTS Article In 2016, for the second year in a row, the University of California challenged master's and doctoral students to sum up their years of research within three minutes. The Grad Slam is a systemwide competition drawing nearly 500 graduate students from the humanities to the hard sciences. Participants race a stopwatch to deliver the most interesting, easy-to-understand, and engaging talk.

Decking the Halls
CURRENTS Article Fun holiday traditions at the University of Virginia, High Point University, Seton Hall University, and the University of Dayton.

Social Media Event Coverage: Survival Guide for Small Teams
Article,  BriefCASE Article Quality posts matter more than quantity, agreed participants in CASE’s most recent #casesmc Twitter chat.

In The Unlikely Event
Article,  BriefCASE Article Consider three approaches to freshen event-planning staples: crowdsource visuals, engage the masses and change perspectives.

3 Reasons to Cut the Golf Tournament
Article,  BriefCASE Article Fundraising events can very easily be ineffective, says a CASE faculty member. Here are three reasons to rethink them.

Time to Pause
CURRENTS Article Project Pause, developed by two Northwestern University alumni, is a mentoring program that offers seniors a chance to take a break to ponder their future, with the aid of young alumni, before embarking on the chaos of their final year.

Having a ‘Hamilton’ Moment
CURRENTS Article Hamilton College students and alumni were fans of Alexander Hamilton long before the musical about him became a Tony-winning sensation. But the New York institution is happy to revel in the attention surrounding the first U.S. treasury secretary: Excitement about Hamilton has become an undercurrent of the campus culture, says Ellen Hotchkiss Rainey, executive director of alumni and parent relations. Here's how three institutions are connecting with the production's popularity.

Copy And Share Everything
CURRENTS Article The messaging behind the "Because This Is Auburn" campaign's print fundraising materials moved donors' hearts and minds enough to help the Alabama institution reach its $1 billion goal one year early. And: In October 2015, University of Sydney faculty members took to different bars to simultaneously discuss provocative topics to attract the interest of prospective graduate students and generate media attention.

Copy And Share Everything
CURRENTS Article Ideas we love from institutions everywhere: University College Dublin's September 2015 Woodland Walkies event brought alumni and community members to campus for a day of guided walks, animal behavior talks, pet care tips from practitioners and students at UCD's School of Veterinary Medicine; Wake Forest University's June 2015 "52 Hours of Giving" annual fund campaign challenge spurred excitement with a limited edition deck of playing cards; and Imperial College London's October 2015 Imperial Apocalypse social media campaign encouraged students to submit scientific tips for surviving a zombie apocalypse.

The Art of Fundraising
CURRENTS Article The University of Houston's 2016 Distinguished Alumni Awards Gala helped some students and graduates earn cash. The gala included live and silent auctions of student- and alumni-created art inspired by UH's mascot, a cougar named Shasta.

A Great Debate Takeaway: Empower Your Alumni
Article,  BriefCASE Article To capitalize on a big campus event, give your stakeholders the tools to showcase it.

Bug Bites
CURRENTS Article As part of its summer 2016 Edible Bug Challenge at agriculture shows across the U.K. and Ireland, Harper Adams University, which specializes in agriculture and food education and research, served up barbecue-flavored bamboo worms, queen leafcutter ants, and giant water bugs.

Leading by Example
CURRENTS Article The campaign "I Love My 1910" encouraged all students at North Carolina Central University to give $19.10 in honor of the school's founding date. The Student Government Association president and vice president, along with school ambassadors Mr. and Miss NCCU, collectively gave $1,910. The foursome oversaw the February 2016 Student Philanthropy Day, which featured music, giveaways, and testimonials.

When One Wrong Makes a Right
CURRENTS Article An Australian LGBT advocacy group, Minus 18, organized the Same Sex Gender Diverse Formal. When the anti-gay Stop Safe Schools Coalition, heard about the dance, it cooked asked its members to buy all the nonrefundable tickets to prevent LGBT kids from attending the party. But Minus 18 was crowdfunding the $40 tickets so teens who couldn't afford them could still attend. So the anti-gay group spent thousands of dollars ensuring hundreds of young people could party for free.

What’s the Idea?
CURRENTS Article Wallace State Community College's Little Black Dress Charity Bash is an annual ladies-only event for dressing up, catching up, dining, and networking.

Special Events
Good Question Do you have resources on special events trends and best practices?

Special Event Samples
Sample Collection The Library maintains this collection of special event planning documents, post-event evaluation materials, and CASE Circle of Excellence award winners.

Starting with Zero: A Lesson in Developing Alumni Groups
Article,  Community College News Article Instead of starting with postcards and emails, Brookhaven Community College, located right outside of Dallas, Texas, tried something different when looking to begin the school's first alumni program. The college hosted a kick-off event where they invited every single alumni in recent history back to the campus for a small event.

Clocking In for Campus
CURRENTS Article Each May, more than 200 alumni volunteers arrive at Berry College in Georgia for Alumni Work Week to reconnect with classmates and help maintain the 27,000-acre campus. Alumni do everything from weaving chair seats to restoring doors and cleaning the barns, gazebos, nature trails, and vegetable cooling rooms.

Brick-and-Mortar Board
CURRENTS Article At commencement, Notre Dame architecture students wear bridges, skyscrapers, and monuments built atop their commencement caps. The tradition, which began in the late 1970s, enables architecture students to celebrate their personal and group identity.

Advance Work
CURRENTS Article CURRENTS April 2016 Advance Work stories: MIT students continue the tradition of a piano plunge during class drop day; a recent poll gives insight into why alumni don't give; Princeton University social media staff use a game to streghthen skills and teamwork; Lakefield College School boosts giving through an alumni challenge campaign; and at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, students place apples at the feet of a statute of Minerva for luck during finals.

Grateful Graduates
CURRENTS Article Colorado's Craig Hospital, which specializes in treating brain and spinal cord injuries, invites former patients to a block party that builds on the close relationship hospital staff develop with patients. The party helps to connect graduates with patients who are experiencing challenges that come with a disability, from walking and balancing issues to financial burdens due to medical expenses and loss of full-time employment.

Thinking Outside the Quad
CURRENTS Article Whether it's tying physics research to Star Trek or bragging up your soccer team during the World Cup, popular news events can lead to exciting opportunities for alumni and community engagement. Here's how institutions from Catholic University to Lafayette College used current events to energize past and present students.

Yep, This Is a Virtual Event
CURRENTS Article From class reunions to networking, more and more universities are getting savvy at hosting virtual events. Here's how eight institutions are doing it right.

Respect Between Rivals
CURRENTS Article In the days leading up to their 100th football matchup in November 2015, Gilman and McDonogh schools in Maryland put their rivalries aside to help the Baltimore area through service projects.

Do Traditions Matter?
CURRENTS Article Illinois State University's traditions website features 15 traditions that combine the best of the 159-year-old university's history, student life, academics, and athletics. The goal is to improve alumni engagement, encourage philanthropy, and "reflect what ISU strives to be" by identifying the university's traditions, which include places, activities, and historical events, and making them a core part of ISU's culture.

When Alumni Don’t Care about Tradition
CURRENTS Article An institution's relationship with its alumni cannot be completely based on nostalgia. While most alumni value their alma mater's history and tradition, even diehard reunion attendees want to talk about more than their freshman year. They want to know that their degree keeps increasing in value, that new facilities are being built, and that the university is rising in national rankings. If your alumni crave a relationship with your college as it is today, not as it was back then, then your programming should reflect that.

Alex Trebek: Future Taft College Student?
Article,  Community College News Article Started just two years ago, the West Kern Petroleum Summit, scored quite the coup in 2015: “Jeopardy!” host Alex Trebek served as emcee of the event.

For Your Holiday Wish List
CURRENTS Article Holiday gift ideas for friends, family, and colleagues.

Odds and Ends: Jersey Jazz Meets Abbey Road
CURRENTS Article In May 2014, Paul McCartney proposed that band leader John Pizzarelli translate his post-Beatles songs into a jazz album, culminating in the recently released Midnight McCartney, which will become part of Pizzarelli's repertoire as he performs on college campuses and teaches master classes.

Thanksgiving, with a Twist
CURRENTS Article How three institutions put a unique spin on celebrating Thanksgiving.

Shaping a Strategic Approach to 50th Anniversary Reunions
Article,  BriefCASE Article Highlighting milestones and revisiting college memories make 50th anniversary reunions memorable, nostalgic occasions. To make the tradition more dynamic and engaging, colleges and universities should consider a strategic approach to class reunions, says Lynn Langnas, associate director of class programs at Saint Joseph's University in Philadelphia.

Dos and Don'ts for Student Philanthropy Events
Article,  BriefCASE Article In February 2015, Indiana University Northwest students proved that a little love can go a long way. Especially if it's fueled by cookies.

Ghouls Just Wanna Have Fun
CURRENTS Article The University of Southern Indiana's Halloween "Zombie Run" helps support student organizations within the Pott College of Science, Engineering, and Education.

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.

Spring 2015
CURRENTS Article A 25-year-old assistant director of alumni relations shares the lessons learned during her first year at Williston Northampton School.

Fall 2014
CURRENTS Article A 25-year-old assistant director of alumni relations shares the lessons learned during her first year at Williston Northampton School.

Branding the Building
CURRENTS Article Share the story, not the square footage, to raise funds for a new building.

Becoming Your Alumni’s Career Coach
CURRENTS Article Employed alumni are eager for career advancement advice and are turning to their alma mater, a trusted resource, rather than expensive private career consultants. University career specialists are working with graduates from 15 or 20 years ago just as frequently as they are interacting with recent graduates—and the demand keeps growing.

What’s the Idea?
CURRENTS Article A student advisory committee helps the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign assess ideas for planning and promoting online and in-person campus events.

Cycles of Giving
CURRENTS Article For Life Cycle 5 in 2015, cyclists will raise £350,000 funds for dementia research at the University of Nottingham in the U.K.

CASE City Guide: Singapore
CASE City Guides are written by CASE members to assist CASE colleagues as they travel around the world on behalf of their institutions. See the guides to learn about local hot spots, places to avoid, great restaurants and more.

Alumni Event Planning: Repeat These Five Mantras
Article,  BriefCASE Article This fall, the University of Cambridge’s Judge Business School will celebrate its 25th anniversary, and to mark it, alumni chapters from Sydney, Australia, to Santiago, Chile, will sponsor celebratory boat cruises and barbeques. Events like these, however, are a means rather than an end, according to presenters at the 2015 CASE Summer Institute in Alumni Relations.

To Affinity … and Beyond!
CURRENTS Article Universities are becoming more involved with niche affinity groups that either speak to postgraduate professional and personal interests or hark back to those nostalgic memories. Finding those pockets of alumni can boost engagement in ways that hosting class reunions may not.

President Flips Script on Graduation Speakers
Article,  Community College News Article While many institutions pay for commencement speakers, a community college in Wisconsin does the opposite. It asks speakers to make a gift to the institution.

Plan Before Staging an International or Regional Event
Article,  BriefCASE Article Event planners should research culture and etiquette before staging a special event in another country or region, says one experienced practitioner.

How to Plan Regional and International Special Events
Podcast LeeAnn Foster from King's College London shares what planners should know before staging a regional or international event.

President Flips Script on Graduation Speakers
Article,  BriefCASE Article While many institutions pay for commencement speakers, a community college in Wisconsin does the opposite. It asks speakers to make a gift to the institution.

Cap and Frown
CURRENTS Article Institutions want big names for commencement speakers, but high-profile figures can be controversial—and expensive. Are the risks worth the benefits?

Making Transition a Tradition
CURRENTS Article The ways alumni associations welcome their newest alumni can set the stage for a lasting relationship.

Spot the Donor
CURRENTS Article Members of Salem State University's Class of 2015 who contribute at least $20.15 to the class gift will wear green philanthropy honor cords at commencement. The cords raise awareness about giving and recognize student donors as leaders.

Winning Shares
CURRENTS Article West Virginia University and the University of Melbourne have awarded prizes in contests encouraging graduates to share photos and content on commencement-related hashtags.

The Ultimate Do-Over
CURRENTS Article The chance to be feted with the current graduating class is a perk reserved for members of Corpus Cordis Aureum, Emory alumni who graduated at least five decades ago.

Political Events
Political Events

Stewardship Events
Stewardship Events

Alumni Events
Alumni Events




Regional Events
Regional Events

Campaign Events
Campaign Events


Community Events
Community Events

Groundbreakings & Dedications
Groundbreakings & Dedications

Homecoming & Reunions
Homecoming & Reunions


Facilities & Venues
Facilities & Venues

Only the Cool Survive
CURRENTS Article For its centennial in 2013, Humboldt State University partnered with area businesses to produce branded ale, coffee, and chocolate.

Fool-ish Fun That’s True to the Brand
CURRENTS Article If Legoland had a university, it would look a lot like the one depicted on the University of Rochester's website on April 1, 2014.

Goodbye Galas?
CURRENTS Article Hilbert College's No-Tie Gala is a virtual fundraising affair no one attends.

Sowing Skills, Reaping Content
CURRENTS Article A year after CASE’s 2014 Multimedia Workshop, participants reflect on their successes and lessons learned—from the intricacies of on-camera interviews to growing audiences.

Swift Gratitude
CURRENTS Article Giving days prompt institutions to send speedy, creative, and social thank you messages to their donors

There’s Something About Mary
CURRENTS Article More than 175 years after founding Massachusetts' Mount Holyoke College, Mary Lyon is everywhere. OK, it's not actually Lyon. It's a cutout image, part of a fundraising campaign called FebruMary in honor of Lyon's birth month.

En-dam-ored with Each Other
CURRENTS Article Last fall, Ohio's Bluffton University unveiled a female mascot, Jenny Beaver, as partner to existing mascot J. Denny Beaver. Jenny's arrival adds Bluffton to the list of institutions such as Bowling Green State University and Florida State University with both male and female mascots.

Greeting the Season
CURRENTS Article Four institutions get creative with their digital holiday messages.

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

Odds and Ends: Multiplying Philanthropy
CURRENTS Article In 2012, #GivingTuesday arrived to shift shoppers' attention back to the real meaning of the season with a global day of giving. The idea for the campaign, founded by New York's 92nd Street Y in partnership with the United Nations Foundation, emerged from a spring 2012 discussion with supporters of Stanford University's Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society.

By the Numbers: Merry Music Marathon
CURRENTS Article For a week in December, student volunteers at a University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign residence hall sing carols to callers.

How to Host the Best Homecoming Ever
CURRENTS Article CURRENTS has collected some of America's best and weirdest homecoming traditions. Here are events that help communities, boost careers, and pump up alumni.

Fellowship of the Ring
CURRENTS Article At a ceremony during Parents' Weekend each October, senior cadets at the South Carolina military college receive their 10-karat yellow-gold class rings. This generations-old rite of passage took on new significance in 2004 with the inception of the Citadel Alumni Association's Band of Gold program, in which class rings bequeathed to the institution by alumni (or donated by their families) are used to make new ones.

Come on Baby, Light My...
CURRENTS Article While the bonfire is still very much ablaze at many institutions, here are three of our favorite alternative "light" traditions.

A Nontraditional Event That Gets Results
CURRENTS Article National Marquette Day capitalizes on the popularity of the men's basketball team and creates a global buzz.

Homecoming Advice from the Experts
CURRENTS Article Experts weigh in on hosting a successful homecoming.

The Origins of Homecoming
CURRENTS Article Homecoming is often traced back to a 1911 football game at the University of Missouri. But was Missouri really the first to hold the event? Here are other contenders.

A-maize-ing Messaging
CURRENTS Article Colleges and universities have turned the corn-maze trend into an art form, etching their names, logos, and historic buildings into acres of cornfields. Here's a sampling from recent years.

A Stroke of Genius
CURRENTS Article The Head Of The Charles Regatta draws more than 300,000 spectators each fall to the banks of the Charles River in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Inspired by "head of the river" races in the U.K., the New England version is the largest two-day rowing competition in the world and considered one of the biggest alumni events in the United States. With more than 70 independent schools, colleges, and universities and about 11,000 athletes from around the world participating, the regatta "serves as a sort of homecoming for the whole rowing community," says Kate Broderick, director of operations for Head Of The Charles, which will celebrate its 50th race October 18 and October 19.

Commencement & Social Media
Good Question I am looking to take advantage of social media in promoting and celebrating activities surrounding commencement. Does CASE have any samples and best practices for this?

Commencement Samples
Sample Collection The Library maintains this collection of commencement samples for all CASE members.

How Event Planners Can Get More for Their Money
Article,  BriefCASE Article Special event planners can ultimately save money by purchasing equipment that they will use repeatedly for all of their events, says one experienced practitioner.

Play Makers
CURRENTS Article Alumni officers need to invest in family-friendly programming to stay connected with young alumni. But it's not as simple as hosting a children's carnival at your next reunion. This articles covers key strategies for success.

A Great Big Over-the-Top Thank You
CURRENTS Article Rhodes University in South Africa participated in CASE ASAP Student Engagement and Philanthropy Day 2014 by constructing the world's largest pair of overalls and decorating them with student thank you messages to donors.

How to Put on Cost-Effective Events for Alumni, Donors and Other Constituencies
Podcast Richard Williams of Loyola University Chicago shares how planners can repurpose equipment they already have when putting on events. Also, learn what kind of new technologies can create efficiencies for event planners.

Status Symbol
CURRENTS Article This brief story details how Australia's La Trobe University increased staff giving from 1.03 percent in 2012 to 12.67 percent in 2013 with "The Golden Lanyard" campaign.

Gifts to Gab
CURRENTS Article Each year, The Honors College at the University of Houston hosts The Great Conversation fundraiser. The event is a hybrid between a dinner party and a college seminar, and is modeled after the college's signature course taught in the Socratic method of dialogue between a professor and students.

Celebration Central
CURRENTS Article From homecoming and family weekend to smaller gatherings such as presidential hospitality dinners, CSU Events is the creative force that oversees and implements the smooth execution of all social gatherings at Colorado State. CSU Events’ executive director explains why and how the institution created this unit and provides steps for setting up a similar system at your institution.

Golden Gallery
CURRENTS Article CURRENTS highlights selected winners of CASE’s annual Circle of Excellence awards. This year’s format is more visual and answers questions such as “What problem did these products or activities solve?” Award winners include Mississippi State University Foundation’s annual report; Valencia College’s alumni magazine, Vitae; and Columbia University’s Columbia Day.

They Got Carded
CURRENTS Article The alumni association at Del Mar College in Texas got involved in the graduation pinning ceremonies for various college programs, and now more of the college's programs are looking to partner with the alumni association.

Event-Based Fundraising: What’s the Real ROI?
Article,  Community College News Article Community colleges should reconsider holding special events like galas and golf tournaments to raise money as they often have a poor return on investment, say two CASE faculty members.

To Go Big, Go Small
CURRENTS Article An alumni volunteer at Cornell University in 2008 created a successful affinity group recruitment plan to boost attendance at the institution's class reunions. The six-step model provides an easy-to-follow structure that can be used by virtually any class or alumni group at any institution, large or small.

Going for Broken
CURRENTS Article In recent years, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has made setting a world record part of its new student convocation event each August. This article looks at past record-setting efforts as well as the one it will attempt in August 2013.

Unlocking the Alumni Network
CURRENTS Article The University of Evansville's UE Connect program offers students and alumni many programs and resources, which students are typically introduced to in their senior year to help them connect with alumni and network as they look for jobs. A symbol of the program is an uncut metal key stamped with the UE logo, a useful memento each graduate receives at commencement as a reminder that his or her UE education and connections have opened the door to the future.

Facing History
CURRENTS Article This article looks at how institutions such as Emory University, the University of Mississippi, Brown University, and others have addressed and acknowledged the negative aspects of their institutional histories and historical missteps.

Laws of Attraction
CURRENTS Article In an era of tight budgets and increased accountability, giving alumni what they want—and how they want it—is critical. Developing an effective engagement strategy requires alumni professionals to reconsider how alumni identify themselves, relinquish control of some programs, and meet alumni where they are—on land or online. Most of all, it requires a willingness to listen and to change.

Captive Audience
CURRENTS Article Ryerson University in Canada has created the Alumni@Work initiative to reconnect alumni with the university at their places of work.

In Her Shoes
CURRENTS Article Each March, Stuart Country Day School of the Sacred Heart in New Jersey hosts Women We Admire Day. Students inhabit the personas of notable women past and present whose work has improved society.

Trading Places
CURRENTS Article This article highlights a contest that Canada's York University began in 2012. A York undergraduate student won the right to switch places with the institution's president for a day while the president took on the student's classes and schedule for the day.

An Overdue Homecoming
CURRENTS Article In an effort to attract alumni of adjacent class years, the Association of Yale Alumni experimented with a new kind of reunion in October based on residential colleges students lived in. The Ezra Stiles College reunion celebrated the dormitory's 50th anniversary and set the stage for future reunions of its type.

Presidential Transitions
Sample Collection The Library compiled this collection of presidential transition planning documents, communications about presidential transitions, and inauguration websites and collateral to assist members who are undergoing a presidential or head of school transition. Staff identified highlights from each website and linked to useful plans, timelines, position descriptions, magazine articles, press releases, invitations, programs and other samples. Inauguration events that won a CASE Circle of Excellence Award are noted; program abstracts and judges' reports are linked when available.

Right Under the Nose
CURRENTS Article Students on campuses around the world participate in Movember to raise awareness about and money for male cancers.

Breaking Bread
CURRENTS Article The president of Lindsey Wilson College in Kentucky and his family make Thanksgiving dinner for students who remain on campus for the holiday.

Going for Gold
CURRENTS Article The story profiles eight of the 2012 CASE Circle of Excellence Award grand gold and gold award winners.

Major League Bragging Rights
CURRENTS Article In competing to throw out the first pitch at Wrigley Field to start off one of two Chicago Cubs "Salute to the Big 10" night baseball games in October 2012, Big 10 alumni chapters in Chicago, including Michigan State University's Chicago Spartans, gained an attractive opportunity to engage alumni and demonstrate the benefits of Big 10 alumni networking to high school guidance counselors.

Office Space: Foreign exchange
CURRENTS Article In this article, Sue Rees, head of alumni relations at City University London, discusses what she learned during her opportunity to observe and work with alumni associations at six U.S. institutions and compares and contrasts the differences between alumni organization efforts in the United States and the U.K., which she concludes is mainly a difference in scale and scope.

This Event Is Murder
CURRENTS Article Through a special event—a murder mystery—Utah Valley University's student alumni board helps the alumni office explain what the alumni center is all about.

Dead Serious Campaign
CURRENTS Article Famous U.K. crime writers are involved in a series of fundraisers and publicity events for the University of Dundee's "Million for a Morgue" campaign.

U.K. Institutions See Opportunity in Olympics
Article,  BriefCASE Article Colleges and universities in the United Kingdom are hoping to capture some of the attention being focused on London as it hosts the 2012 Summer Olympic Games later this month.

Return on Investment of Special Events
Podcast Hear why Kenneth M. Catandella from Columbia University believes event planners should use more data to drive their work. Also, listen to what he says institutions should consider before launching a big, gala-type annual event.

An Arresting Event
CURRENTS Article The University of Richmond's police department sponsors an annual fundraiser on campus that benefits the Virginia Special Olympics.

SCHOOLS-L Followers Weigh in on Attracting Attendees to Independent School Events
Article,  BriefCASE Article Participants in a recent conversation on SCHOOLS-L, a CASE listserve for independent schools, shared strategies, tips and case studies on how to raise event attendance.

CASE Survey Identifies Key Traits for Successful Alumni Relations
Article,  BriefCASE Article A CASE survey on alumni relations programmes outside of North America reveals that frequent communications via e-newsletters and alumni magazines as well as more holiday excursions and personal-interest events can increase the number of donors for these institutions.

Growing Commitment
CURRENTS Article Connecticut College presents saplings to students at commencement.

CASE File: Institutional Anniversaries
CASE File The institutions on this list celebrated (or will soon celebrate) milestone anniversaries of 300 years or more. While some founding dates are debatable, the list provides information from institutional websites. Citations for sources can be found in the bibliography.

Trash to Treasure
CURRENTS Article Members of Luther College's junior varsity men's basketball team move actual tons of discarded belongings out of the campus's eight residence halls for the annual Trash to Treasure sale, the proceeds of which benefit the team.

Big Weekend for Little Family Members
CURRENTS Article Colleges and universities host weekends that offer family time for students and their younger siblings or other family members.

Political Activity Policies
Sample Collection The Library maintains this collection of policies that govern political activities on campus.

Exhibitionist Alumni
CURRENTS Article The Wellington School showcase alumni art during the May 2011 alumni weekend.

Serious Fun
CURRENTS Article An intense campus trivia contest that began in 1980 at St. Cloud State University as an effort to give students something to look forward to in the post-holiday period of Minnesota's long winters blossoms into an event that hooks students as well as alumni and community members who come back to compete or volunteer every year.

Get App-y
CURRENTS Article Computer science students at Miami University in Ohio developed an iPad app to help streamline speed networking events the alumni association holds.

Crème de la Crème
CURRENTS Article In 2011, 268 bronze, silver, gold, and grand gold Circle of Excellence awards went to 171 colleges, universities, independent schools, and nonprofit organizations worldwide. Eight of those grand gold and gold award winners are profiled here.

Swept Away
CURRENTS Article An alumni versus students broomball tournament brings young alumni to homecoming at Michigan Technological University.

Inspiration and Aspiration
CURRENTS Article The Welcome Event at the University of Birmingham's College of Arts and Law sets the stage for new students' lifelong relationship with the university.

Odds and Ends: Eyes on the Hill
CURRENTS Article In this interview, Brian Lamb, the founder and CEO of the cable public affairs television network C-SPAN, discusses the renaming of Purdue University's college of communication after him, why he doesn't use social media, and why he prefers nonfiction over fiction.

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.

Lessons Learned: How one University Grew Attendance, Gifts at Reunion
Article,  BriefCASE Article High-level volunteer support, a unified advancement staff and robust data are critical for institutions planning to transform their reunion programs, according to two presenters at a recent CASE Online Speaker Series on campus reunions.

The Big Reveal
CURRENTS Article Queen's University Belfast uses an impromptu fashion contest at graduation to engage its brand-new young alumni.

These Gowns Are Made for Walking
CURRENTS Article This article discusses Brigham Young University's "Walk" campaign, the centerpiece of which was a lighthearted yet sentimental YouTube video designed to encourage students to participate in commencement.

Past and Circumstance
CURRENTS Article This article looks at efforts in California to award honorary degrees to U.S. students of Japanese descent who were forced to leave the state's colleges and universities as a result of Executive Order 9066, signed soon after the December 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor. Santa Ana College is looking for these former students to honor them in the campus's 2011 commencement ceremony. Meanwhile, the California State University system is working on a project to educate people about what happened using video footage and interviews of its 2010 commencement ceremonies at six CSU campuses.

Icing on the Cake
CURRENTS Article The University of South Carolina offers a wedding giveaway contest each semester. Current students, alumni, and children of alumni are eligible to win a free wedding, and a USC wedding planning class handles all of the decisions and details. Local vendors provide the dress, rings, flowers, etc., and the university's president, alumni relations office, and other campus departments have all been involved in the giveaway.

Class Consciousness
CURRENTS Article Colby College offers an orientation focused on local and sustainable foods.

Global Greetings
CURRENTS Article This article discusses Mount Holyoke College's efforts to involve its international alumnae and other audiences to make the inauguration of its 18th president a global event. The communications team leveraged the Web and social media, in addition to traditional communications tactics and tools, to reach out to its constituents. The article also discusses how the team measured and followed up on its efforts, from thanking staff to increasing its use of video to communicate with alumnae and other audiences.

Story Swap
CURRENTS Article Wabash College invites reunion attendees to share stories of their alumni days in informal recording sessions and then posts the sessions on the college's YouTube channel. The program, dubbed Scarlet Yarns, has become a staple of reunion, with more than 100 recordings collected so far.

Campus Traditions Can Build Alumni, Financial Support
Article,  BriefCASE Article From pumpkin tossing competitions to convocation ceremonies in Latin, campus traditions that create a lasting bond between students and their institutions can play a vital role in nurturing alumni support, according to University Affairs.

CASE City Guide: Toronto
CASE City Guides are written by CASE members to assist CASE colleagues as they travel around the world on behalf of their institutions. See the guides to learn about local hot spots, places to avoid, great restaurants and more.

CASE City Guide: Sydney
CASE City Guides are written by CASE members to assist CASE colleagues as they travel around the world on behalf of their institutions. See the guides to learn about local hot spots, places to avoid, great restaurants and more.

CASE City Guide: Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
CASE City Guides are written by CASE members to assist CASE colleagues as they travel around the world on behalf of their institutions. See the guides to learn about local hot spots, places to avoid, great restaurants and more.

Change Writ Large
CURRENTS Article Roosevelt University came up with several creative marketing techniques to promote its new 32-story "vertical campus."

Lance una red más amplia para su reunión
CURRENTS Article Hace algunos años, cuando Facebook comenzaba a saltar de un dormitorio a, bueno, todos los dormitorios, algunos líderes de exalumnos se preguntaron si la creciente popularidad de Facebook sería el fin de las reuniones. No pasaba un día sin que escuchara hablar sobre exalumnos que habían encontrado compañeros a los que les habían perdido la pista y estaban organizando reuniones a través de este medio.

Cast a Wider Net for Reunion
CURRENTS Article A few years ago, the mere mention of the word "Facebook" could cause anxiety among alumni relations professionals. They worried that alumni reconnecting with long-lost classmates on Facebook wouldn't attend reunions anymore. But the Facebook dust has cleared, and reunions have suffered surprisingly few injuries, if any at all. This article discusses how Facebook is helping rather than hindering reunion.

Evaluate Alumni Events in Multiple Ways, Speakers Say
Article,  BriefCASE Article A key component of event management is evaluation, according to two faculty members speaking at the 2010 CASE Summer Institute in Alumni Relations.

An Academic Costume Code and An Academic Ceremony Guide
Eugene Sullivan, American Council on Education
Article Reprinted with permission from American Universities and Colleges, 15th Edition, this article provides a brief history of academic dress, a detailed costume code, and a guide for academic ceremonies including commencement and inauguration.

The Fantastic Four
CURRENTS Article Four professors are chosen out of hundreds from across the country for their extraordinary teaching skills.

AdvanceWork: Is the Price Right?
CURRENTS Article Do-it-yourself research can help you find the answer

AdvanceWork: All's Quiet on the Auction Block
CURRENTS Article Make a big bang with your silent auction

Advance Work: Re-Union Record
CURRENTS Article During alumni weekend, 1,087 couples gathered on the Ohio campus for an event dubbed the “Miami Merger Moment.” Pending confirmation from Guinness World Records, Miami University will hold the record for most couples simultaneously renewing their wedding vows.

Reunion Is in Hand
CURRENTS Article For its 150th anniversary of class-based reunions, Princeton University created Reunions Mobile, a mobile Web site that provides a portable way to communicate maps, schedules, and important messages to thousands of returning alumni.

Advance Work: Getting Out the Vote
CURRENTS Article The communications office at Columbia College Chicago created an online art contest for its students and gained the attention of voters from all over the world.

Advancement Achievers
CURRENTS Article Profiles of selected 2002 Circle of Excellence winners

Advance Work: Phone Booth Busters
CURRENTS Article Saint Mary's College of California celebrated the 50th anniversary of a photograph that made it into LIFE magazine.

Advance Work: Spring Fling
CURRENTS Article Merrimack College woos prospective students with an egg-flinging contest.

Victory, Sidelined for 30 Years
CURRENTS Article In 1977, Washington's Whitman College eliminated its football program, angering many former players. Recently the college and a group of former players planned and held a reunion that sought to mend broken fences.

Odds and Ends: Commence Operations
CURRENTS Article Judy Woodruff, veteran journalist and commencement speaker, shares her thoughts on how to deliver a memorable speech at graduation.

Advance Work: Best Foot Forward
CURRENTS Article Dominican University has become a lead sponsor of the endangered Frank Lloyd Wright Races, reinvigorating the institution's ties with the community in Oak Park, Ill.

Advance Work: Import-Export Business
CURRENTS Article A contingent of Yale University alumni leaders traveled to the Australian National University to pass on their knowledge of alumni relations and benefit from ANU's expertise in environmental and sustainability issues.

Advance Work: Leveraging Success
CURRENTS Article The University of Toronto has started a tradition of holding alumni events that correspond with the summer Olympics. This year in Beijing will be no different.

Successful Affinity Group Reunions Require Strong Volunteer Participation
Article,  BriefCASE Article Motivating volunteers to play a significant role in planning and organizing is the key to holding a successful affinity reunion.

General Information Features: Millbrook School - Gold Award
Best Practice The documentary film "Down School Road: Millbrook at 75" was produced in honor of Millbrook School's 75th Anniversary, celebrated during Alumni Weekend in June 2007. After its initial screening during that weekend, it was sent to all constituents as a memento of the occasion.

Specific Media Relations Programs: Waubonsee Community College - Gold Award
Best Practice Waubonsee Community College celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2006-2007. As part of the celebration, the college recognized and honored its top 40 alumni and students, calling them Waubonsee’s "Fabulous 40" to coincide with the anniversary theme of "Celebrating 40 Years of Student Success." The media relations campaign for the Fabulous 40 won an award from CASE in 2008.

Individual Special Events: Pitzer College - Silver Award
Best Practice On Sept. 24, 2007, Pitzer College celebrated the completion of phase I of a project to build three new environmentally friendly residence halls. The Residential Life Project Celebration & Dedication event--specifically planned to be eco-friendly--attracted a large crowd of students, faculty, staff, alumni and community members, as well as celebrity environmentalists Robert Redford and Ed Begley Jr.

Winning Ideas
CURRENTS Article This article gives in-depth profiles of eight of the 2008 CASE Circle of Excellence Award winners. These winners were chosen to represent a wide range of types of institution as well as each aspect of advancement: fundraising, alumni relations, communications and marketing, and advancement services.

Advance Work: Get a Life
CURRENTS Article Ball State University alumni now have more than one life to live. The university is holding alumni events in the virtual world of Second Life.

Advance Work: Raise a Glass to This Marketing Campaign
CURRENTS Article Imperial College London commissioned a special ale and designed 10 witty beer mats (or coasters, as they are known in the United States) in celebration of its centenary.

Postcard from Beijing
CURRENTS Article A look at U.S. and Australian universities that organized alumni events for the Beijing Olympic Games.

When the Candidates Come Marching In
CURRENTS Article This article examines the implications of hosting a political candidate on campus. What course would your campus take if a presidential campaign came calling tomorrow?

Luring Big Fish to a Small Pond
CURRENTS Article Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri, become known as the place Winston Churchill gave his "Iron Curtain" speech, but it has made a name for itself by hosting other prominent politicians as well.

Advance Work: You Say Tomato...
CURRENTS Article At Carnegie Mellon University, Campus Conversations bring together alumni, students, faculty, and staff to discuss controversial and emotional topics in a reasoned and informed way.

Advance Work: Growing for Grades
CURRENTS Article Students at Rice University in Texas maintain a community garden as both an academic exercise and a relationship-building effort.

Advertising Campaigns: Queen's University - Grand Gold Medal
Best Practice After a 2005 unofficial homecoming event near Queen's University became a near riot with a number of arrests and liquor license infractions, the administration developed the "Aberdeen Campaign" strategies to encourage more responsible student behavior.

Individual Public Relations and Community Relations Projects: University of Pittsburgh - Bronze Medal
Best Practice In late 2005 the University of Pittsburgh and a local Pittsburgh-based nonprofit agency called Three Rivers Youth collaborated to create a publication, museum exhibit, video, and other supporting materials that celebrated the nonprofit's 125th anniversary and its work with the city's children in need.

Individual Public Relations and Community Relations Projects: University of Maryland, College Park - Silver Medal
Best Practice The University of Maryland's Fear the Turtle Sculpture Project, a public art exhibition similar to those in other cities, was conceived as an interactive, community outreach effort that would engage the public and the campus while celebrating the university’s 150th anniversary in 2006.

Diversity Programs: Villanova University School of Law - Gold Medal
Best Practice Villanova University School of Law: Why Diversity Matters - 2007 Circle of Excellence Awards Program gold medal-winning program in Alumni Relations Programs: Realizing the need to engage the larger legal community in the discussion of the importance of and ongoing challenge to achieving meaningful diversity in the legal profession, the Villanova Law Minority Alumni Society launched its first annual program on diversity in Center City Philadelphia.

General Information Features: Syracuse University - Gold Medal
Best Practice As part of Syracuse University’s ongoing development efforts to inspire alumni to stay connected with the university and "give back" in many different forms, the university bestows its most prestigious alumni award, the Arents Pioneer Medal, on three or four distinguished alumni each year. As part of the ceremony, a video is commissioned for the purpose of showcasing each recipient’s accomplishments and bonds to the university. This video honored 2006 recipient Kathrine Switzer.

Individual Special Events: Cornell University - Silver Medal
Best Practice "Far Above...The Campaign for Cornell" was publicly launched on October 26, 2006, at a news conference in New York City. In addition to the media, the audience consisted of university stakeholders, local alumni leadership, and key state and city officials, including Mayor Michael Bloomberg. An Ithaca campus celebration took place the next day, Friday, October 27, and a staff celebration was held on Monday, October 30.

Individual Special Events: University of Pittsburgh - Gold Medal
Best Practice In late 2005 the University of Pittsburgh and a local Pittsburgh-based nonprofit agency called Three Rivers Youth collaborated to create a publication, museum exhibit, video, and other supporting materials that celebrated the nonprofit's 125th anniversary and its work with the city's children in need. An elegant opening reception for the exhibition was held at the Senator John Heinz Pittsburgh Regional History Center on February 1, 2006.

Individual Special Events: California Polytechnic State University - Bronze Medal
Best Practice On September 29, 2006, California Polytechnic State University held a special dedication to commemorate the most significant tragedy in the university's history. The dedication of the new Mustang Memorial Plaza paid tribute to the 1960 football team that was lost in a tragic airplane accident on October 29, 1960, in Toledo, Ohio.

Individual Special Events: Tufts University - Silver Medal
Best Practice On a starlit night in November 2006 at the historic Wang Theatre in downtown Boston, 600 donors, alumni, faculty, students, and Tufts University leaders gathered to celebrate and officially mark the launch of Beyond Boundaries: The Campaign for Tufts.

Individual Special Events: University of Virginia - Gold Medal
Best Practice The University of Virginia publicly launched its $3 billion campaign in fall 2006 with 54 events over the course of four days. The pinnacle of the weekend was a gala celebration on Saturday, September 30. The weekend's objective was to celebrate fundraising success to date and generate enthusiasm for the campaign in a way that honored the university’s rich history and ignited a passion for the future.

Year-Long Special Events: University of Maryland, College Park - Grand Gold Medal
Best Practice The University of Maryland celebrated its 150th anniversary in 2005-2006 with hundreds of events that projected a dramatic transformation of the university’s mission and contributions, recognized historical milestones, and looked forward to a bright future.

Special Program Publications Packages: College for Creative Studies - Bronze Medal
Best Practice The goal of the College for Creative Studies' Student Exhibition Campaign publications package was to invite community members and art educators to the annual Student Exhibition Opening reception and sale.

Fundraising Publications Packages: Bowdoin College - Bronze Medal
Best Practice The public phase of Bowdoin College's $250 million campaign was launched at a one-day event in 2006.

Special Program Publications Packages: University of Maryland, College Park - Gold Medal
Best Practice As a part of its 150th anniversary celebration, the University of Maryland, College Park launched a public art exhibition called the "Fear the Turtle" Sculpture Project. Artists from across the state transformed fiberglass turtles into works of art that were later exhibited and auctioned off to support scholarships. Publications were created to promote the exhibition and auction.

Special Program Publications Packages: University of Washington - Silver Medal
Best Practice The primary purpose of the University of Washington’s Fifth Annual Recognition Gala was to thank loyal alumni, friends and volunteers with special recognition of major donors. Publications included a "save the date" package, invitation package, commemorative program and other mementos.

Stewardship: St. Mary's College - Gold Medal
Best Practice Saint Mary’s College holds Recognition Weekend, a two-day event that offers major donors the opportunity to be intellectually challenged, spiritually nourished, and graciously thanked for their investment in the mission of college. Initiated in 1981 as an annual Mass and gala dinner for major benefactors, the event was extended to two days in 2002. It has been held biennially since 1994, in the off-years of the University of Notre Dame’s recognition event. The biennial schedule for both schools eliminates a conflict for donors who are affiliated with both institutions.

Strength in Numbers
CURRENTS Article Some communities of practice are less about benchmarking information and more about creating an economies of scale. The members Northeast Indiana Alumni Directors Consortium hold joint events and help each other out. This sidebar is part of the article "Easy as Pie."

Advance Work: Touchdown Tune-up
CURRENTS Article Lake Erie College needed a fight song for its new football team. It was the perfect excuse for a media-generating contest.

The More Things Change
CURRENTS Article The traditions that students learn and love while on campus can solidify the alumni community and the bond with the institution.

Advance Work: Bidding Buzz
CURRENTS Article Oklahoma Wesleyan University auctioned a year's tuition, room, and board on eBay, and the media noticed.

Advance Work: Something in Common
CURRENTS Article Smaller institutions sometimes need to think about economies of scale when planning alumni events. A group of European independent schools did just that and pulled off a successful joint reunion in New York.

Advance Work: When Good Events Go Bad
CURRENTS Article This article offers a look at events gone awry on three campuses and how planners managed each situation.

Advance Work: Love, Alma Mater Style
CURRENTS Article Davenport University's alumni association created a contest to engage their alumniweds--alumni who married each other. The contest and subsequent event were a success beyond all expectations.

Advance Work: Do You Want to Be a Star?
CURRENTS Article Last June the producers of Donald Trump’s hit series, The Apprentice, called Towson officials to see if they would invite their alumni to a casting call they were holding in the Baltimore area. Towson officials went a step further and offered to organize a private campus casting call for its alumni--and to handle all the details.

Advance Work: Mergers and Inaugurations
CURRENTS Article In March 2003 two British institutions--the Victoria University of Manchester and the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology--agreed to dissolve and re-form as the University of Manchester. Officials decided that the new institution would be set up under Royal Charter--which establishes an institution as a legal entity with the consent of the Queen of England--since both predecessor institutions had had such charters. Who better to participate in the university’s inauguration than Her Majesty herself?

AdvanceWork: Blazing New Traditions
CURRENTS Article Florida International University welcomes new students by lighting its Torch of Knowledge, Service, and Understanding--a campus symbol since 1972--following a candlelight parade across campus.

Advance Work: Does Everybody Love a Parade?
CURRENTS Article Decades-old homecoming traditions like the parade sometimes fail to resonate with today's alumni, students, and staff. Some institutions are rethinking their parades by changing the time and date, using a different format, or replacing it altogether.

Advance Work: Bidding Frenzy
CURRENTS Article Independent schools are adding an online component to their annual silent auctions. Advancement staffers and volunteers say online auctions can boost revenue and increase the excitement about the in-person event, with very little increase in costs or time.

What's Old Is New Again
CURRENTS Article Campus archivists can do more than help create great displays. They can assist alumni professionals with many different aspects of their jobs, from planning reunions and homecomings to answering the myriad questions alumni offices inevitably get.

AdvanceWork: Making the B(r)and
CURRENTS Article For years Quincy University has been drawing up-and-coming musicians to campus to entertain current students and to attract prospective students who might not otherwise consider Quincy as a place to further their education. This article discusses the unique branding strategy behind the concerts and the ways campus communicators capitalize on the publicity they generate.

Great Beginnings
CURRENTS Article Commencement officers, special event planners, and advancement professionals are links in a long chain of academic and institution history. Those who plan and oversee inauguration processions and installation ceremonies follow time-honored traditions of academia to honor that history. This article provides an overview of these traditions.

AdvanceWork: A Match Made in Minutes
CURRENTS Article Alumni networking can feel a bit like "catch as catch can," says consultant and Columbia Business School alumna Linda Netherton, who wanted to make networking more efficient and effective for other CBS graduates. Working with fellow alumnus Tom Jaffee--the brains behind and organized a "speed networking" event for her alma mater's Boston Alumni Club. This article discusses the event-planning process and outcome.

AdvanceWork: Slumber Party
CURRENTS Article Oregon State University’s College of Business wanted to thank donors for supporting its conversion of a long-vacant dormitory into a residence hall and learning facility for students of its Austin Entrepreneurship Program. One trustee suggested a campus sleepover and the rest, as they say, is history. This article describes the event that welcomed 130 donors as the first overnight guests of the “new” Weatherford Hall and explains why creative stewardship is so important.

AdvanceWork: Soft SOAP
CURRENTS Article Keeping alumni connected to campus is difficult if your institution operates from as many locations as St. Leo University. In an effort to engage all graduates in the university’s first capital campaign, advancement office intern Denyve Duncan devised an outreach program through which she and three other current students would travel the region meeting alumni and sharing stories of their St. Leo experiences. This article discusses the Student Outreach Alumni Program, the results St. Leo students achieved, and the university’s plans for this summer’s SOAP initiative.

Taking Shape
CURRENTS Article The first reunion for Kenya’s Strathmore University was an opportunity for the campus to reconnect with alumni, revive its alumni office, and develop relationships to benefit former students and the campus. Eric Saulo, Strathmore’s alumni relations officer, tells how alumni staff and reunion committee members contacted alumni, searched for former students, and advertised the upcoming event. The article also describes alumni feedback and shares the campus’s plans for alumni events and fund raising.

Guess Who's Coming to Reunion?
CURRENTS Article Affinity groups for homosexual alumni typically represent a small percentage of the alumni body at any institution. But the growth of such groups during the past decade signals increased campus awareness of the need to provide services and activities that reflect and respect alumni diversity. Alumni directors can manage these affinity groups in a sensitive way by communicating carefully with alumni, letting former students determine their level of involvement, and following the group's lead on what services and activities interest them. Religious institutions that don’t condone homosexuality look for ways to make all alumni feel welcome on campus while upholding the institution's religious beliefs.

AdvanceWork: Sold!
CURRENTS Article Campus event organizers should proceed with caution when planning and conducting live auctions, says "Washington Post" social reporter Roxanne Roberts, who has attended more than her fair share of auctions in her career. Roberts says that the best live auctions are no more than 15 minutes in length, offer unusual bidding items that attendees could not buy elsewhere, and are conducted after dinner--but before dessert.

AdvanceWork: Stars in Their Eyes
CURRENTS Article Alumni of historically black colleges and universities are giving to alma mater in increasing numbers; the average size of their gifts also is on the rise. In May, the Kresge Foundation’s HBCU Initiative held an event to celebrate this unprecedented growth in major gift philanthropy by noncelebrity HBCU alumni and to raise alumni awareness of giving.

Alumni Events 2004
CURRENTS Article Alumni association professionals share favorite spots to wine and dine alumni in CURRENTS' fifth annual alumni events guide. The 2004 guide features venues in Nashville, Tennessee; Portland, Oregon; Milwaukee; New Orleans; Calgary, Alberta; Amsterdam, Netherlands; and Helsinki, Finland. Venue options range from upscale restaurants and hotels for older alumni to breweries and hip eating spots for younger audiences. For family-friendly events, the guide offers details on planning events in city zoos, science museums, a baseball park, and even a bowling alley.

AdvanceWork: You Say Goodbye, I Say Hello
CURRENTS Article Giving graduates a meaningful commencement ceremony can foster long-term good will and philanthropic support. Faculty and staff members from Texas A&M University-Kingsville and Texas State University offer a “Do’s and Don’ts” list to help advancement officers make graduation day a success.

Reunion Reflections
CURRENTS Article Campuses host reunions to maintain lifelong ties with alumni. But what do alumni expect from these events? Advancement officers who want greater results from reunions must learn to look at these events from the graduates' viewpoint. By paying attention to former students' desires for fun, affordable activities, advancement officers can make the most of these events, meet with large numbers of former students in an efficient way, and showcase the campus at its best.

AdvanceWork: If I Knew You Were Coming…
CURRENTS Article Event planners give advice on how to boost the percentage of invitees who RSVP to events. They recommend making the invitations more personal, giving people more avenues for responding, and offering incentives for early response, among other things.

Manager's Portfolio: Fasten Your Seatbelt
CURRENTS Article Poor management oversight and negotiating know-how can weaken a campus's travel discounts. To ensure a better deal on travel and hotel costs, put your campus travel plans in writing, rely on incentives to encourage employee use of preferred vendors, and bargain with meeting facilities for the best price.

AdvanceWork: A Stitch in Time
CURRENTS Article Binghamton University alumni officers helped graduates reminisce about their student days--and clean their closets--by collecting T-shirts advertising student organizations and events and turning them into quilts for display at homecoming.

AdvanceWork: Attention, Sports Fans
CURRENTS Article eBay's "Stay True to Your School" campaign allows college sports enthusiasts to bid on memorabilia and unique football-related experiences. A related contest will award a scholarship to a campus whose items generate the greatest sales.

Mining for Gold
CURRENTS Article Profiles of 12 CASE Circle of Excellence 2003 winners. Member institution nominees were judged on the creativity of their alumni relations, communications, and development initiatives, including alumni publications, reunions, constituency giving, stewardship, and alumni relations programs. Profiled winners include Brigham Young University/University of Utah; Columbia College Chicago; Georgia Tech Alumni Association; Goucher College; Imperial College London; the Institute for Shipboard Education; Lehigh University Alumni Association; Monroe Community College Foundation; Pennsylvania State University; the University of Chicago; the University of Iowa Alumni Association; and the University of Miami.

Alumni Events 2003
CURRENTS Article The author profiles seven world-class cities for alumni special events, discussing each city's character, attractions, and entertainment and dining options. The cities profiled are London, Sydney, Paris, Montréal, Mexico City, Tokyo, and Washington, DC.

AdvanceWork: Alma Mater of the Bride
CURRENTS Article The boyfriend of a University of Michigan alumna enlists alumni association staff to help him propose to his girlfriend on campus. The association created an invitation for a fictitious Class of '98 reunion to help Murray Harris get Katherine Heid to the campus, where she accepted his marriage proposal.

AdvanceWork: Picnic or Politics?
CURRENTS Article When the Yale University Class of ’68 held its 25th reunion dinner at the White House, some questioned whether it was a social event or an implied endorsement of President George W. Bush’s policies on the heels of the invasion of Iraq. This Advancework item is of interest to alumni reunion organizers.

AdvanceWork: Alma Mater Month
CURRENTS Article San Diego State University built ties with local donors, alumni, and the business community by naming March 2003 SDSU Month. The celebration included the launch of a redesigned alumni magazine, 70 special exhibits and concerts, a media campaign, and discount promotions from 20 local businesses. This AdvanceWork item is of interest to communication and marketing managers and special event planners.

Swell Returns
CURRENTS Article Like large institutions, small colleges and independent schools can approach reunion giving as a mini-campaign that combines annual and capital giving over several years. This requires careful goal setting and timing, effective volunteer recruitment for the reunion gift committee, and thoughtful attention to how to make the gift suit the unique character of the class. This article is of special interest to development officers who handle reunion, annual, campaign, and major gifts and recruit class-related volunteers, and of some interest to prospect researchers.

Kicking the Habit
CURRENTS Article Many institutions are involving alumni in changing a campus's alcohol culture. In light of high rates of alcohol abuse among students, alumni magazines are covering the problem; campuses are devising diplomatic strategies to encourage change; and alumni associations are setting sober examples, including devising policies on alcohol sponsorships.

AdvanceWork: Towering Tributes
CURRENTS Article Campuses across the United States discuss their plans for commemorating the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, in an article of particular interest to public relations officers.

Special Event Production
CURRENTS Article A chart listing 15 special event management software programs, and providing information on vendors, contacts, price, servers, features, report templates, and clients, will be of interest to event planners and information technology staff.

AdvanceWork: Pick a Theme, Any Theme
CURRENTS Article An alumni pro's collection provides homecoming inspiration

Alumni Events 2002
CURRENTS Article The authors profile seven fast-growing cities as sites for alumni special events, discussing each city’s character, attractions, and entertainment and dining options. The cities profiled are Austin, Texas; Charlotte, North Carolina; Las Vegas; Phoenix; Minneapolis-St. Paul; Vancouver, British Columbia; and Dublin, Ireland.

AdvanceWork: The Search Is On
CURRENTS Article For Pacific Lutheran University's alumni office, a new student scavenger hunt is mission: possible

Presidency as Platform
CURRENTS Article A presidential inauguration offers an institution a chance to connect with all of its constituencies, and can be used to set the tone for what’s to come in the life of an institution. Despite the many variables that can shape inaugural events, most tend to follow one of three models, emphasizing change, stability, or innovation.

AdvanceWork: The Sights, the Sounds, the Smells
CURRENTS Article An event production expert describes ways to engage constituents by appealing to the senses.

AdvanceWork: Golfing for Dollars
CURRENTS Article Graduates can show their school spirit — and raise scholarship funds — at a national alumni golf championship

AdvanceWork: Art for Alumni's Sake
CURRENTS Article Putting graduates' artistic talents to work for alma mater

AdvanceWork: Ooze It or Lose It
CURRENTS Article A year-end tradition at the University at Buffalo is Oozfest, an annual mud volleyball tournament organized by the University Student Alumni Board. Competitors include more than 100 teams of students, alumni, university employees, and local residents. The event generates good will, national media coverage, and revenue to support the board’s programming and scholarship programs.

All that Glitters
CURRENTS Article Profiles of selected 2001 Circle of Excellence winners, including alumni relations programs at Oklahoma State University, the University of Indianapolis, and Lake Forest College; communications programs or publications at Providence College, Hotchkiss School, Art Center College of Design, University of Natal, Carleton College, and Baptist College of Health Sciences; and development programs at Georgia State University, Lord Fairfax Community College, and the University of Utah.

Alumni Events 2001
CURRENTS Article A guide to 42 event venues and caterers in seven major U.S. cities, based on reviews and recommendations from alumni officers. Cities covered are Atlanta, Boston, Dallas, Denver, Miami, Philadelphia, and Seattle.

AdvanceWork: Make It Personal
CURRENTS Article Tips for pitching successful commencement stories

Campaign Strategies: Making Magic at Your Big Event
CURRENTS Article After planning a four-day kickoff event for Penn State’s billion-dollar campaign, Ricci offers do’s and don’ts for event planners. Of particular importance: Keep the emphasis on the best features of the institution and its case for support, and gear your decisions to the interests of the donors, not the administration or faculty.

AdvanceWork: Giving High on the Hog
CURRENTS Article A passion for motorcycles inspired a unique method of cultivating donors.

AdvanceWork: Happy Birthday, Mr. Presidents
CURRENTS Article From somber to sassy, colleges named for Washington and Lincoln observe their namesakes' birthdays in their own ways

Advance Work: Blasts from the Past
CURRENTS Article The alumni office at California State University, Chico, has revived a campus custom, started in the 1930s, of burying time capsules representing each graduating class. Now, at each year’s homecoming, the 50-year, 60-year, and 70-year reunion classes are opening their classes’ capsules. The article offers tips for institutions seeking to start their own time capsule tradition.

Spotlight on the Stars
CURRENTS Article A selection of 2000 Circle of Excellence winners, including alumni relations programs at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Institute of Technology and Higher Studies of Monterrey, Queretaro Campus, and St. Clement's School; publications at Wake Forest University, La Pietra-Hawaii School for Girls, and Stanford University; and fund raising programs at Iowa State University Foundation, University of Western Ontario Richard Ivey School of Business, and Southern Methodist University.

Joining Forces
CURRENTS Article Small colleges may have trouble hosting alumni events in locations where their alumni base is small. Three liberal arts colleges in Maine--Bowdoin, Colby, and Bates--teamed up to hold combined programs for alumni in cities nationwide. The three alumni offices now work together to organize arts and sports events, travel programs, and networking parties, as well as a joint annual retreat for alumni officers from nine New England colleges.

AdvanceWork: Names and Faces
CURRENTS Article It's homecoming weekend and you're a frantic alumni relations officer trying to round up graduates for a class photo.

AdvanceWork: The Great Debate
CURRENTS Article Centre College found itself with a remarkable public relations opportunity when the campus was chosen as the site of the 2000 vice presidential candidates’ debate.

Closing Remarks: There's No Business Like Alumni Business
CURRENTS Article Alumni events planners find themselves exploring mysteries from the ubiquity of rubber chicken entrees to the correct plural of “alumna.”

AdvanceWork: Running the Show
CURRENTS Article Problem/Solution

Alumni Events 2000
CURRENTS Article Alumni relations event planners describe their favorite venues, ranging from restaurants to museums to cruise ships, in Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Toronto, and London.

Road Shows
CURRENTS Article Alumni relations and development professionals often create special events for out-of-town alumni that are designed to deliver a taste of campus. These “road shows” can vary from campaign events to lectures to black-tie affairs. The author describes a wide range of successful road shows institutions have created and provides detailed advice on finding venues, ensuring turnout, and other important steps.

AdvanceWork: Photo Overload
CURRENTS Article If your staff has enough alumni-event snapshots lying around to wallpaper your office, take the advice of some ALUMNI-L participants for organizing and downsizing photo piles

AdvanceWork: Love, Alumni Style
CURRENTS Article We have a legend at Bowdoin College that 60 percent of our alumni have married other graduates of the institution. Given that the campus has been coed for just 25 of its 205 years, that legend always seemed more myth than reality to me.

AdvanceWork: Let Their Fingers Do the Walking
CURRENTS Article Problem/Solution

Homecoming Close-Up
CURRENTS Article Alumni directors offer their opinions on the status of homecoming today and ways this tradition might change in the coming years. The professionals cited three general movements in homecoming programming: increased family activities, greater integration of community service projects, and expansion of homecoming offerings. They agree that successful homecomings are a blend of tradition and innovation.

AdvanceWork: Tracking Alumni Event Participation
CURRENTS Article Moving beyond head counts

AdvanceWork: A Golden Opportunity
CURRENTS Article The University of Scranton honors members of the 50-year reunion class by inviting them to follow graduates in the commencement procession.

AdvanceWork: Staging a Virtual Comeback
CURRENTS Article The University of Wisconsin, Platteville, enables alumni to participate in popular campus events via its Web site.

AdvanceWork: A Swimming Success
CURRENTS Article Before a presidential inauguration pushes you off the deep end, try these tips for keeping your head above water

Are You Covered?
CURRENTS Article Campus event planners need to know all they can about the risky business of special event insurance

AdvanceWork: Liquor and Liability
CURRENTS Article An attorney and two alumni relations executives discuss the liabilities of serving alcohol on and off campus.

A Roaring Success
CURRENTS Article Julie Stone, regional programming coordinator for the advancement office at San Jose State University, tells how she has planned successful events for alumni in distant cities. She determined which cities have sufficient numbers of alumni to make events possible; surveyed alumni in those regions about their interests; and budgeted carefully to cover costs and track expenses.

Not Just for Alumni Anymore
CURRENTS Article Campus communicators can use special events to cultivate relationships with reporters, maintain campus relations, and raise the institution's visibility. PR officers from many institutions describe their success with: 1) nontraditional press conferences designed around themed receptions or hands-on demonstrations; 2) creative groundbreaking ceremonies; and 3) thank-you events for helpful journalists.

Double Your Pleasure, Double Your Funds
CURRENTS Article Two officials from Stephen F. Austin State University describe nontraditional alumni events that generate revenue while still building university allegiance and pride. Homecoming activities include a golf tournament, a series of auctions, a charitable raffle, and a toy duck race. At alumni banquets, participants can bid on table centerpieces or buy commemorative champagne glasses. Parents can enter a raffle for a year's free tuition each year. Through such activities, the university raises more than $250,000 annually, most of which goes into scholarship endowment.

In Advance: At What Price Fun?
CURRENTS Article Four campuses share their strategies on pricing homecoming and reunion fees.

Proceed with Caution
CURRENTS Article An alumni relations executive offers event and programming tips that respond to and capitalize on societal trends.

New Tools for the Trade
CURRENTS Article Traditionally, special events planners have been slow to move toward using technology to support their work. Harris offers several high-tech tips to manage basic tasks: 1) use databases to maintain mailing and other lists; 2) consider that the purchase of specialized software, although seemingly cost-prohibitive, may pay for itself in a short period of time; 3) plan room arrangements with special software; 4) use e-mail, voicemail, faxes and other technologies to advertise events and communicate with participants; and 5) sign on to the special events listserv to share information and find solutions to problems. Several sources of special events and auction software are provided.

Workshop: Speaking of Money
CURRENTS Article In April 1997, Goucher College alumni association sponsored a successful one-day Managing Your Money seminar that attracted 175 alumni, students, and faculty, among others. These types of seminars can be valuable ways to enhance reunions and other alumni programs, uncover new volunteers, and connect students and alumni. Enhance career networking activities by maintaining a list of alumni experts

Sample Collection

The Library maintains a collection of sample materials for members.

View samples

CASE Communities

Connect with peers on CASE Communities.

Join the conversation