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Alumni Relations

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A Campus Away From Campus
CURRENTS Article Helping online students feel connected to your institution is a major challenge for engagement professionals. In 2015, the Penn State San Diego alumni chapter created an "adoption" program to engage the hundreds of virtual students in its neighborhood and make them feel part of the Penn State family. The chapter assessed its ongoing programming to see how it could include and assist San Diego-area distance learners. It offered the students free membership, invited them to a networking event, sent encouraging notes during finals week, and hosted a family-friendly afternoon holiday party.

An Emojional Connection
CURRENTS Article In 2017, school spirit is spelled out in emojis. As alumni's relationships with their alma maters go digital, institutions have started branding their own emoji keyboards. Emojis, GIFs, and stickers that come in keyboard packs are great for repping an institution on Facebook, Twitter, and via text messages. But having branded emojis doesn't mean spamming the internet with icons of your mascot making goofy faces. Institutions have to be strategic about their icon designs and rollout to get the most out of their media.

Copy and Share Everything
CURRENTS Article The University of Melbourne's "Collision" brand campaign shows that the university is a research institution tackling the world's challenges; Rice University's Owl Edge Externships help undergraduates explore career opportunities and engage more alumni volunteers in the process; and Cheshire Academy's "One Word. One Gift." campaign asks supporters to submit a single word to describe their Cheshire experience and make an annual fund gift in honor of their chosen term.

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.

Gifts in Kind
CURRENTS Article Remember the stress of your freshman exams? So does the alumni relations team at Western University in Canada, who thought a little bit of kindness and inspiration might make students smile and connect with alumni. During winter finals in 2016, the team solicited alumni to write postcards to students living in their old residence hall.

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.

Getting Your Metrics System to Work for You
CURRENTS Article From 2012 to 2016, Reggie Bustinza and Joe Volin were tasked with tracking engagement for the nearly 37,000 alumni at Lewis University in Illinois. They got big results, and their system continues to live on after their time at the institution. Here they share their secrets for taking alumni metrics to the next level.

Talking Shop: Boring Benefits Can Kill Alumni Engagement
CURRENTS Article For more than 25 years, Gary Toyn has worked with clients to enhance their member/donor acquisition, retention, and engagement. He is the lead researcher of numerous studies related to constituent engagement, including the Voluntary Alumni Engagement in Support of Education survey, which analyzes how institutions attract and engage their alumni. In a recent blog series, Toyn discussed the most beneficial and the "lamest" alumni benefits institutions offer.

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

A Novel Approach to Alumni Engagement
CURRENTS Article Are some of your alumni more interested in turning through chapters than in leading them? Institutions have begun offering virtual and in-person fixes for the book addicts among their graduates. Most of the programs are no- or low-cost, easy to manage, and attract new pockets of alumni. Check out these different ways to appeal to literature-loving alumni.

The Matchmaker of Silicon Valley
CURRENTS Article Dee Dee Mendoza works in development, but she thinks like an entrepreneur. As managing director for West Coast advancement for Dartmouth College in New Hampshire, she teams with alumni volunteers to host the Dartmouth Entrepreneurs Forum in San Francisco, an annual event for networking, sharing ideas, and learning from speakers such as PayPal Chairman John Donahoe (Class of '82). A recent survey from the Entrepreneurs' Organization, a global network of more than 10,000 business owners, found that 81.6 percent of respondents were interested in starting a new business. With entrepreneurship on the rise, Currents asked Mendoza for her insights on building relationships between entrepreneurs and institutions and what she's learned from working with more than 500 company founders.

Volunteer by the Minute
CURRENTS Article No time? No worries. Longwood University has found a way for busy alumni to volunteer in 15-minute bundles. The Virginia institution asks graduates to give one hour a month, and alumni can contribute anytime, using any device.

Show Some Love
CURRENTS Article Saint Leo University in Florida sends special Valentine's Day postcards to alumni couples and invites them to share their "Leo Love" on social media with the tags #LeoLove and #MySaintLeo. At Amherst College in Massachusetts, student engagement fellows host Love My Alumni Week, during which students write 3,000 thank-you postcards to alumni donors and volunteers.

Copy and Share Everything
CURRENTS Article Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary helps prospective students envision their place at the Kentucky institution; the University of Melbourne's advancement staff members create short, informal messages to prompt alumni recipients to update their contact information; and Miami University's Snapchat newsletter releases a Snapchat story filled with images of event fliers and details for activities happening on the Ohio campus each day.

Talking Shop: We’re All Ducks
CURRENTS Article Vu Le is the brains and comedic voice behind the Nonprofit with Balls blog. As an executive director of a nonprofit, Le often writes from the perspective of a grantee, producing no-nonsense articles such as “9 annoying nonprofit trends that need to die.” His Seattle-based organization, Rainier Valley Corps, trains people of color for nonprofit leadership positions, so he has lots to say about improving diversity.

Access and Allies
CURRENTS Article While universities in Scotland—and around the world—are eager to take advantage of these kinds of missions, they are often hampered by limited resources and can struggle to draw enough alumni to North American events to make the planning and effort worthwhile. These institutions have discovered that joining forces—with each other, the government, and private organizations—is the key to building a more effective international alumni engagement program.

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

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.

How Well Do You Know Your Alumni?
CURRENTS Article Schools and universities are harvesting information alumni self-report or using behavioral analytics—how people react to content—to drive communications, engagement, and fundraising strategies. Social media insights allow institutions to identify prospects and volunteers and better understand existing ones. Much of the innovation is coming from companies with proprietary software, such as EverTrue, Cerkl, IBM, and QuadWrangle, as many colleges and universities lack the bandwidth to constantly monitor social media. But monitor they must. One recent survey found that 72 percent of people who complain to a company via Twitter expect a reply—within the hour.

Talking Shop: What’s in It for Them?
CURRENTS Article Daniel Cohen and his father, Marcel, founded Graduway in 2009, which builds branded alumni networking and mentoring platforms to help institutions stay in touch with their alumni. Daniel Cohen talks about how universities can enahnce the alumni experience.

A Global Mindset
CURRENTS Article More international schools are recognizing the importance of alumni relations, communications, and fundraising. CASE's Fundraising in International Schools Report 2016 found that 82 percent of the international schools surveyed had a fundraising or development office. The marketplace is changing. Once a bastion for expats whose tuition was paid by corporations, international schools now attract middle-class families in developing and emerging economies. The schools can help launch their children into universities around the world, and having 40 to 60 different nations represented in international school classrooms isn't unusual. Some schools have up to 90—and such diversity means advancement has to be extra diligent and creative. Whether they are American, Singaporean, or German, parents often face a steep learning curve before they become willing to give.

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 Narrative View
CURRENTS Article Whether it's to honor loyal donors and volunteers, showcase alumni achievements, build trust and intimacy within your community, or tap into nostalgia, telling alumni stories can be a powerful way to engage and enlighten your graduates. But alumni stories don't have to just be profiles in the back of the university's magazine. They can take many shapes and serve different purposes.

Talking Shop: Value Added
CURRENTS Article The online financial services company SoFi was founded in 2011 by four Stanford Graduate School of Business classmates to provide alumni-funded student loans. Since then, the company has expanded its financial products to mortgages and wealth management and seemingly adopted an alumni relations approach to customer service, offering members social events, career counseling, and webinars. Macklin shares the key to SoFi's success: Be relevant in several aspects of members' lives.

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.

By the Numbers: Put a Stamp on It
CURRENTS Article At the University of Puget Sound, volunteer alumni handwrite a personalized postcard to each student accepted into the university one month before the crucial May 1 decision date.

Donors Unite
CURRENTS Article Texas Christian University needed to fund its media convergence center for journalism students. It wanted to renovate an existing building to contain a pooled newsroom combining space for print, online, and broadcast journalism. It identified two nonexempt charitable trusts as possible partners: The trusts were administered by a local bank and focused on higher education or journalism. Normally, to be funded, you have to apply to each trust individually. But TCU wanted a pooled grant to create a larger gift than either could make on its own. TCU needed to get the trust officers to vote together as a committee on grant decisions. Here's what it did.

Aligning the Satellites
CURRENTS Article See if any of these situations sound familiar: Your alumni association staff emails alumni the same week that athletics sends out its annual appeal. A faculty member hosts a group of former marching band members, but no one takes pictures. The challenges of campuswide alumni engagement can be tricky, and without a strategy, you can duplicate efforts or miss opportunities. The result? All your efforts are sinking into a black hole. Does your central alumni office know how your campus units, departments, and offices talk with alumni? Are faculty and staff informing you of interactions with alumni? Do they understand your alumni association's goals and messages? If you cannot answer these questions—or you don't like the answers—then it might be time to reassess cross-campus collaboration. Here are some ways to energize and revitalize your alumni engagement efforts.

Angry Students, Alarmed Alumni
CURRENTS Article More than 80 colleges and universities have experienced student protests in recent years. Underrepresented students have publicly called on their institutions to address the often toxic environments they face as minorities. These efforts range from the viral 2013 #BBUM hashtag campaign—Being Black at the University of Michigan, a social media tactic marginalized students adopted worldwide—to dozens of protests in 2015-16. The demonstrations have undermined advancement efforts, with alumni and donors questioning whether students have taken over. The protests are also forcing institutions to scrutinize their campus and address overt, subtle, and systemic racism. Here's how some institutions are navigating the protests.

Happy Campers
CURRENTS Article Each June, Central Michigan University hosts Grandparents U, a three-day residential summer camp for more than 250 alumni and their grandchildren, ages 8 to 12. During the day, they attend classes together, and in the evenings, they visit the Student Activity Center, take in a movie, or enjoy quality family time.

The Case of the Covert Cash
CURRENTS Article Since September 2015, an anonymous alumnus has twice slipped onto the Ferris State University campus to leave five envelopes in random places addressed to "A Ferris Student." Each envelope contains a letter and $50. The note instructs recipients to purchase food, books, or other necessities and is signed Woody Jr., a tribute to the Michigan university's founder, Woodbridge "Woody" Ferris.

When Your Alumni Council Is Wilting
CURRENTS Article In 2011, the Alumni/ae Council at St. Paul Academy and Summit School in Minnesota was nearly nonexistent. Other than holding monthly meetings and a lackluster fundraising phonathon, the council sponsored no programs or events; it did not follow its bylaws and had no reporting structure or processes for recruiting new members. Most of the 11 council members were suffering from volunteer fatigue, particularly the president. Few members attended meetings, which were unproductive. The council frequently discussed the need to recruit new members but never developed an action plan. In short, it was time for a change.

Voices
CURRENTS Article Advice on repayment scholarships; institutions weigh in on their best alumni swag.

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.

Loved, but Lost
CURRENTS Article Your lost alumni have become untethered, drifting away from their beloved campus, and you're not sure how to bring them back. Some don't update contact information when they relocate; others ignore your correspondence because they think you only want money. Still others might like to reconnect but don't know how or are too busy to realize they haven't heard from you. Search-and-rescue attempts aren't easy. Tight budgets don't help, nor do increasing numbers of graduates, many of whom hop jobs and locations early in their career. But even with these challenges, institutions are designing affordable, innovative campaigns for finding alumni who could become a valuable part of the college's mission. Here's what you can learn from them.

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.

Training Camp
CURRENTS Article Using alumni volunteers as university ambassadors is a no-brainer, say advancement professionals. Most universities and colleges offer some kind of orientation or training for their alumni volunteers, but in recent years the trend has been to provide more robust, dedicated training. Many institutions hold training days, often tied to another on-campus alumni event, such as homecoming or an alumni weekend.

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.

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.

Talking Points: Rough Waters
CURRENTS Article The new income-based plan Revised Pay As You Earn (REPAYE), which took effect in December 2015, adds more complexity to an already difficult decision. The big news, however, is that it can help alumni with older student loans to lower their monthly payments. Let's look at its pros and cons.

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.

‘G’ Is for Giving
CURRENTS Article When Louisiana's Grambling State University announced that state funding would cover just 30 percent of its budget, two alumnae created a unique giving program. The "I'm a G: 10 for $10" campaign challenged alumni to give $10 and to recruit 10 friends to do the same.

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.

Paging All Postdocs
CURRENTS Article The University of Cambridge in the U.K. is extending alumni benefits to its current and former postdoctoral researchers. In May 2014, Cambridge established an Office of Postdoctoral Affairs to serve the nearly 4,000 postdoctoral researchers on campus. The office offers advice to newcomers, hosts a range of intellectual and social events to connect the community of researchers, and provides career programming and job listings. The office also wants to keep the researchers engaged after their appointment ends.

Amazing Alumni Spaces
CURRENTS Article Whether it's historic or modern, intimate or enormous, a good alumni house enhances its university's culture and caters to alumni needs. It can be the backdrop of a memory-making wedding photo, the scenic start of a tour, a place to recharge school spirit, or a cozy nook for relaxing. Here are seven noteworthy alumni spaces that will impress you with their backstory, technology, collections, and character.

Saving Sweet Briar
CURRENTS Article The inside story of how a scrappy group of passionate alumnae raised money, fought in the courts, and gathered support from community leaders to keep Sweet Briar College's doors open—and what advancement can learn from it

2015 Circle of Excellence Grand Gold Winners
CURRENTS Article Emotion and connection were major themes among 2015's CASE Circle of Excellence Awards Grand Gold winners. Whether communicating about a deadly virus, cultivating entrepreneurs, engaging alumni with advanced degrees, or sharing the inspiring story of a college student whose life was cut short by illness, institutions dug deeply into their creative toolboxes-though not necessarily into their budgets. They also had fun courting prospective students and welcoming new admits to the family.

The Good the Bad and the Easy
CURRENTS Article We need to create sensible and effective metrics standards for alumni relations. We need standards and policies to help us benchmark our efforts across institutions—not just at our own. But how do we corral the herd? Let's look at the good and the bad in alumni relations metrics.

10 Sacred Cows of Alumni Magazines (And Why You Should Rid Your Pages of Them)
CURRENTS Article A longtime editor reveals his list of wrongfully revered and oft-repeated publication practices, departments, features, and philosophies.

Office Space: Solving Survey Fatigue
CURRENTS Article Survey overload is a problem for colleges and universities, which need to understand what alumni think and feel to make informed decisions about programming and develop strategies that increase involvement and financial support.

Boot Campus
CURRENTS Article Universities often struggle to engage and retain veterans. Like other nontraditional students, veterans are more likely to be older, married, and have full-time jobs and children. They aren't always interested in the traditional university experience, and they may have disabilities that require special accommodations. So how do you reach out to the veterans on your campus? How can you ensure they become as loyal to your institution as they are to their fellow service members? The first step may be to better understand their struggles.

In the Case of Law Grads v. Law Firms
CURRENTS Article The Detroit Small Business Legal Network, a nonprofit formed by Wayne State professor Eric C. Williams, will pair new attorneys with the growing number of startups fueling Detroit's economic revival.

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.

Door-to-Dorm Service
CURRENTS Article For freshmen transitioning to college life, care packages invoke a feeling of home.

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.

A Categorical Decision
CURRENTS Article In 2010, the Indiana University Alumni Association launched a new era of inspired innovation in alumni relations by using typology to assess, organize, and improve its work.

In Good Company
CURRENTS Article The RedTire program connects rural business owners with aspiring entrepreneurs and graduates of the University of Kansas, where it is based, and the state's five other public universities and 11 community colleges.

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.

Should You Establish an Advancement Office Overseas?
CURRENTS Article Institutions that have opened an advancement office overseas report intangible benefits, while others find it more economical to rack up frequent flier miles. Others do a combination of both. Here's how four institutions found success.

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.

Tweet Threads
CURRENTS Article One of Augustana College's oldest living alumni uses Twitter to receive a free "ugly holiday sweater" from the institution.

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

The Road to Lifelong Engagement
CURRENTS Article By targeting specific alumni groups, alumni associations can create powerful connections that increase engagement, volunteerism, and giving.

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.

Elite and Greet
CURRENTS Article Successful professionals find value in building connections and talking about their work with others in their field, which is why we created a networking program at Marquette University called CIRCLES. The program helps our professional alumni do business together—while helping us identify donor prospects.

Game Plan
CURRENTS Article Your alumni are begging for something fun that will grab their attention. Let's look at ways your university can dust the stuffiness off of its giving campaigns and attract the attention of long-lost alumni.

Goal Keepers
CURRENTS Article A new NCAA resource helps former student athletes score great careers.

The Other Senior Class
CURRENTS Article Lifelong learners are advancement professionals' dream supporters: They're loyal to the institution, they have plenty of free time, and they're passionate about education and giving back to society. They could be untapped sources for volunteering, leading, or fundraising.

The Loyal Treatment
CURRENTS Article Higher education can learn important lessons from corporate loyalty programs. So what are their secrets? And how can you cash in on them?

Liberal Arts & Alliances
CURRENTS Article Arts and sciences colleges tend to be the largest on campus, but the extensive donor base doesn't usually translate into the biggest gifts. Colleges and their donor bases are not identical. This means that liberal arts colleges need to take a unique approach to alumni engagement and development. The strategy also requires new talent management policies and cross-college collaboration.

Identity Crisis
CURRENTS Article Whatever the intention behind an institutional change, straying too far from the identity former students grew fond of can alienate and anger your biggest fans.

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.

Pass or Fail?
CURRENTS Article In response to a negative Facebook post, Jessica White, a 2007 U of M grad who serves on the Dean's Young Alumni Council, writes a blog post explaining that all alumni gifts matter.

Outlook: Solicit Behavior
CURRENTS Article Dealing with alumni who don't want to be contacted seems uncomplicated. Yet the process isn't as simple as it seems. The do-not-solicit policy at many colleges and universities is imprecise and can undermine your institution's culture of giving—and lead to the loss of big gifts. It's time to rethink the do-not-solicit policy: Does it refer to all communications or just some? Is it temporary or permanent? Who has the authority to classify alumni that way? When do we re-engage alumni, and how?

Everything You Need to Know About Campaigns
CURRENTS Article While fundraising campaigns seem ubiquitous, especially in the United States, growing numbers of universities from Australia to Europe are undertaking inaugural campaigns. Here are several strategies for success.

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

The Write Stuff
CURRENTS Article This year, the Cornell Black Alumni Association created a grant to assist members in publishing a book.

Next-Generation Networking
CURRENTS Article A growing number of institutions are adopting Switchboard, an online bulleting board, as an alumni and student benefit. The site was created in 2012 by two Reed College alumni as a volunteer project: a way to connect the Oregon institution's alumni, students, faculty, and parents. Now it's a business. The model is also expanding to communities beyond universities, from women bicyclists to meat sellers.

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.

President’s Perspective: An Open Letter to My Successor
CURRENTS Article John Lippincott offers advice to the next president of CASE.

Learning to Lose Control
CURRENTS Article As alumni and other audiences find new ways to connect, network, and give, our roles as the essential interfaces between our institutions and their various external audiences are becoming more unstable. To understand the problem, and to address this challenge proactively instead of reactively, we need to understand the concept of disintermediation: a reduction in the use of intermediaries.

What’s the Idea?
CURRENTS Article Alumni relations staff partnered with an English 101 class to interview graduates about their time at Elgin Community College, what the institution means to them, and their lives after graduation.

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.

The Asian Equation
CURRENTS Article Cultural awareness is becoming more and more relevant to alumni relations and development as the fields grow and evolve. The realization that what works in the U.S. may not work elsewhere is a modest yet crucial srtarting point in formulating an international engagement strategy.

Lyrical Intervention
CURRENTS Article Massachusetts' Wheaton College went coed in fall 1988. That year saw the formation of the a cappella group the Gentlemen Callers, which played a practical and symbolic role in Wheaton's transition. The group still exists today and has added fundraising success to its achievements.

5 Ways to Boost Alumni Travel
CURRENTS Article Vacations are back in vogue, so how can you maximize travel as an engagement and fundraising tool? Follow this five-step plan.

Inclusion Illusions
CURRENTS Article For many alumni of color and other minority populations who matriculated when campuses were newly or barely integrated or otherwise unwelcoming places, the sting of racism and isolation still lingers. For this group, diversity matters. Embarking on an honest discussion about the institution's perhaps not-so-hospitable past is a challenging, but necessary, step toward successfully engaging diverse alumni. Other requirements: commitments from both the institution and alumni, sound volunteer-management techniques, and inclusive alumni programming.

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.

Beyond the Classroom
CURRENTS Article In the past decade, as states slashed postsecondary education appropriations, and college presidents responded by prioritizing academics over cocurricular programming, hundreds of large and midsize universities began fundraising for everything from new student union facilities to transportation to off-campus cultural excursions. Student affairs fundraisers face many hurdles, among them educating campus constituents about the importance of their work, finding prospects amid scant student records, and getting donors to support areas not directly related to attaining a degree.

Dues or No Dues
CURRENTS Article Should your alumni association charge for its services? This article explores dues models at several institutions, including Sam Houston State University’s hybrid structure of charging dues but still delivering certain amenities to nonpaying members; the University of Virginia Alumni Association’s strict dues-paying program where members must pay the fee before receiving services, which is a plan that enjoys a large rate of participation; and the University of North Carolina at Charlotte’s dues-free model that includes a perks program.

From Feedback to Road Map
CURRENTS Article In the mid-2000s, Wake Forest University’s annual giving began a five-year dip. This story explores how the North Carolina institution used its existing technology tools and dedicated advancement services professionals to chart a new course for alumni relations.

Think Inside the Box
CURRENTS Article In an effort to target students on their way in rather than on their way out, several California institutions are offering incoming freshman welcome packets and outgoing seniors graduation boxes, which include a mortar board decorating kit and other university-branded items.

Foreign Service
CURRENTS Article Are you looking for new ways to involve your international alumni in the life of your institution? CURRENTS examines the specifics of engagement initiatives at the University of Toronto, the University of Queensland, and London’s School of Oriental and African Studies, among others, and offers recommendations that other institutions can implement.

Engagement with an Endpoint
CURRENTS Article Last year the University of Michigan's 30-Minute Mentors program brought 50 graduates back to campus to provide quick career consultations for 164 students. This year, the university added a virtual complement to serve more students and diversify the pool of alumni mentors.

Numbers Aren’t Your Nemesis
CURRENTS Article Institutional leaders are taking a more business-like approach to alumni relations, focusing increasingly on the bottom line and a clear return on investment. Alumni professionals need to better exercise the basics of financial management, both for survival and to make a case for future investment. This story details steps your alumni office can adopt right now to do just that.

What’s the Idea?
CURRENTS Article How can institutions communicate the urgency of increasing the alumni giving participation rate? This brief article includes advice from Hilary Shepard, Boston University's annual giving director.

Everything Old Is New Again
CURRENTS Article The Babbler Express is a printed, biannual newspaper mailed to graduates age 55 and older from both Lipscomb University and Lipscomb Academy, a high school located on the university's campus. The publication is part of Lipscomb's increased outreach to senior graduates.

It’s Academic
CURRENTS Article Alumni consider relationships with professors to be critically important to their educational experiences—and a primary source of their affinity for their college, university, or school. Yet alumni offices and associations often struggle to build relationships with these important institutional ambassadors. To improve relations with alumni, advancement professionals need to enlist faculty members as partners. This article offers advice for doing just that.

Chain Reactions
CURRENTS Article The U.S. service academies have implemented programs that match current students with alumni who graduated 50 years ago in order to strengthen ties between the academies and their graduates. This article discusses the U.S. Naval Academy's Another Link in the Chain program and the U.S. Military Academy at West Point's 50-Year Affiliation Program.

R-E-S-P-E-C-T
CURRENTS Article Working with professors to create a strong alumni education program requires savvy internal public relations, common sense, and courtesy. Necessary steps include making the case for the importance of substantive alumni education, taking the initiative to build relationships with faculty, and cooperating on the best ways to conduct adult learning.

Recruit. Retain. Repeat.
CURRENTS Article Gone are the days of volunteers responding in large numbers to an institution’s blanket request for help. Free time is in short supply today, and your alumni and other stakeholders who are considering a volunteer opportunity want assurances that their time will not be wasted. How do institutions recruit and manage volunteers in this environment? One piece of advice: Find the right person for the job, and be clear about expectations.

Resolve to Go Global
CURRENTS Article Alumni relations professionals still struggle to serve graduates abroad in meaningful ways. Gretchen Dobson, author of Being Global: Making the Case for International Alumni Relations, encourages leaders to start a new year—and a new century of alumni relations—with these five steps.

LinkedIn to the Rescue
CURRENTS Article Alumni relations professionals share tips for using LinkedIn to provide graduates enhanced career services and opportunities to engage with their alma maters.

All in the Hamily
CURRENTS Article This feature article looks at how Hamilton College developed its own moderated social media platform, The Scroll, which relies heavily on user-generated content to engage its audiences in authentic, lively, and uncensored conversations that represent and embolden the New York institution's brand.

Time = Treasure
CURRENTS Article Advancement leaders should promote and recognize nonmonetary contributions and alumni engagement the same way they do financial gifts. Many institutions understand the need to find, train, evaluate, and retire volunteers, but few spend time creating the case for participation, setting and communicating alumni volunteer goals, making a targeted ask, and acknowledging services rendered.

Home Is Where the Goal Posts Are
CURRENTS Article Although their dormitory was razed more than a decade ago, Ohio State's Stadium Scholarship Alumni Society keeps its traditions alive by engaging with current students and funding their scholarly and service activities.

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.

RT @SUAlums: Checked Out @WorkingOrange Yet?
CURRENTS Article Syracuse University's new Working Orange Twitter feed represents a quick, easy way to approach alumni-student career mentoring.

Putting Your Arms Around Smoke
CURRENTS Article The alumni relations profession recognizes the importance of charting return on investment, but the field lacks a definitive model to follow. Three leaders offer differing perspectives on what should be considered when deciding how to measure alumni engagement.

The China Connection
CURRENTS Article This article explores how and why institutions are using Sina Weibo and other Chinese social media platforms to recruit prospective students and engage alumni.

Repairing Cracked Relationships
CURRENTS Article Encountering disillusioned alumni throws a wrench into the already complicated science of alumni engagement. Two alumni leaders from Emmanuel College and Boston University share insights about how their offices helped re-engage alumni upset by major institutional changes. They've found that the best tools to build bridges with unhappy alumni are those employed by companies that address consumer complaints.

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.

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.

Find the Right Fit
CURRENTS Article Many institutions adopt a one-size-fits-all strategy for engaging international alumni, but what works for graduates in Germany may not work for alumni living in New York City. Alumni relations strategies must reflect the needs and cultural environments of graduates who live in different countries. The ESADE Alumni International team shares its successful model for governing international chapters that achieves this important balance.

Wicket Ways
CURRENTS Article The yearly croquet match between St. John's College and the U.S. Naval Academy engages the community and both institutions' stakeholders.

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.

A Toast to Alma Mater
CURRENTS Article Alumni affinity programs usually involve insurance solicitations and credit card offers, but the University of Louisiana at Lafayette Alumni Association has found something more popular: wine.

A Little Help from Their Friends
CURRENTS Article Today’s economic climate is accelerating the trend of institutions investing in alumni legislative advocacy. These programs typically follow one of two models: Grasstops advocacy, which engages targeted groups of alumni who have a personal connection with public officeholders, and grassroots advocacy, which involves the larger alumni body and mass communication efforts. Despite having somewhat different needs from their four-year, public counterparts, private colleges and universities, community colleges, and international institutions all can benefit from forging closer relationships between graduates and their elected representatives.

Making Their Presence Felt
CURRENTS Article Andrew Morrison at the University of Liverpool writes about how the U.K. institution has been able to engage—and in some cases raise gifts from—alumni of the university’s online program. He discusses findings from the university’s survey of online alumni and covers the ways that engagement of online graduates is different from and similar to engaging traditional graduates.

Narrowing the Field
CURRENTS Article Traditional alumni programs are about prompting graduates to do something—anything—for the institution. But these mass approaches, on their own, deliver small returns on large investments. Allocating some significant resources to a smaller group gives alumni professionals the opportunity to better engage a population that can truly advance the institution.

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.

Alumni to the Rescue
CURRENTS Article The oldest alumni association on record, the Williams College Society of Alumni, was founded in 1821 to support the institution during a time of economic uncertainty. Nearly two centuries later, the organization still takes to heart its mission to protect the college through service and philanthropy.

Smaller Is Better
CURRENTS Article Bronx Community College in New York is piloting alumni programs that organize graduates by small, tight groups with specific interests and needs.

Social Prospects
CURRENTS Article This brief article looks at how Cornell University is using the profile information its alumni provide in its social media communities to identify potential donors.

The Pages of Time
CURRENTS Article Three graduates of Whitman College organized the Whitman College Letter Project, which used the personal correspondence of students to tell a history of the institution in the 1960s. The project was inspired by a presentation by a noted professor during their 40th class reunion in 2011.

Honesty Is the Best Policy
CURRENTS Article In this article, Tina Hay, editor of The Penn Stater, discusses the editorial decisions the magazine made in covering the child molestation scandal that erupted at Penn State in November 2011.

Not a Moment Too Soon
CURRENTS Article As advancement professionals seek new ways to build passionate alumni bases prepared to devote time and financial resources to their alma maters after graduation, many alumni offices and associations are bringing alumni into programming even before first-year students begin classes. Alumni leaders go about this task in different ways, including send-off parties, orientation events, mentoring opportunities, and traditions books.

Swifter, Sharper, Stronger
CURRENTS Article A growing number of chief alumni officers are striving to make the alumni board a more strategic entity. To achieve this, chief alumni officers recommend aligning the alumni board's goals with the institution's goals, rethinking the board's membership and nominating process, and making the board's work meaningful to alumni and the institution. The end result is a more positive experience for alumni relations' VIPs: the volunteers.

Mascot Madness
CURRENTS Article Mascots can foster school spirit and energize sports teams but also can breed discord. Some schools have been challenged to replace controversial mascots while others have encountered resistance when introducing different mascot designs. Whether it's an adorable animal or a menacing vegetable, a mascot serves to keeps students, teachers, alumni, and fans engaged with the institution they love.

The Journey Is the Reward
CURRENTS Article The alumni relations profession has undergone profound changes in the past 100 years. As the field celebrates the centennial of the Association of Alumni Secretaries - a predecessor of CASE - eight alumni relations leaders share their thoughts about the challenges and opportunities the profession faces at the dawn of its second century.

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.

Office Space: Prime Time
CURRENTS Article This column discusses how and why annual giving has grown more sophisticated and more important at higher education institutions in the past couple of decades as well as the challenge of engaging alumni in a weak economy amid rising college costs and student loan debt.

Odds and Ends: Online Life Is a Virtual Cafe
CURRENTS Article In this Q-and-A with Jonah Peretti, CEO of BuzzFeed, he discusses virality, social readers, and how people portray themselves on social media, and likens how people use social media and the Internet to time spent in a Paris cafe.

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

A More Perfect Union
CURRENTS Article From annual funds to capital campaigns, alumni relations and stewardship professionals are finding their paths crossing more than ever. Strategic collaboration between development and alumni relations enhances an advancement operation's bottom line.

That Entrepreneurial Spirit
CURRENTS Article Now that credit card affinity programs aren't as lucrative for alumni associations as they once were, many alumni associations are looking to diversify their mix of revenue sources.

Sweet Suite Tradition
CURRENTS Article This brief article highlights an annual winter holiday tradition of the Greenhill School: the kindergarten Nutcracker. The school integrates the Nutcracker into the kindergarten curriculum. Members of the Greenhill senior class who performed the Nutcracker, along with their parents, are invited to attend the dress rehearsal performance, which has become a sort of rite of passage for seniors and their parents.

A Vested Interest
CURRENTS Article A new endeavor recruits alumni to advance loans students at their alma maters need to stay in school.

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.

Outlook: Stuck in the Middle
CURRENTS Article Higher education and alumni associations hold an important key as more and more baby boomers seek help in making transitions to second careers.

Recommend to a Friend?
CURRENTS Article Customer relationships built on loyalty lead businesses to higher growth and profitability. They lead our institutions to more alumni engagement, the currency of our industry. The Net Promoter system can help institutions better comprehend and meet the needs of various constituencies, including donors and alumni.

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.

The Debt Threat
CURRENTS Article A young alumnus would like to give to the annual fund, but his student loan debt is holding him back. What can advancement do to address this burgeoning problem?

Can You Say More About That?
CURRENTS Article When yes/no or multiple-choice answers don't suffice—when a qualitative understanding of a topic rather than a quantitative head count is needed—it's time to consider focus groups. They work well when learning why, how, and what for is more important than measuring how many.

In Service to Others
CURRENTS Article At Stonehill College in Massachusetts, a service initiative helps local schoolchildren and serves as an extension of the undergraduate experience.

From Lancaster, Pa., to Milan
CURRENTS Article A European clothing company borrows its name from a U.S. college and boosts the college's international exposure in return.

No Crowd Too Large
CURRENTS Article The Northeastern University Office of Alumni Relations helps student groups achieve big things through a crowdsource funding program.

Office Space: Personal Invitations
CURRENTS Article The LGBT community is growing in visibility and formal acceptance. How can institutions better welcome and integrate this community into their educational advancement efforts?

The Mindful Development Officer
CURRENTS Article Veteran advancement officer Deb Taft offer tips for reaching out to diverse alumni and volunteers and ensuring they're involved in meaningful ways.

The Diversity Imperative
CURRENTS Article As the United States as well as college enrollment grow more diverse, advancement shops are challenged to improve outreach to alumni and donors of difference. Many colleges and universities are trying new approaches, such as meaningful engagement of minority communities and business groups in their areas or a rethinking of race-based affinity groups.

Odds and Ends: Click Here to Network
CURRENTS Article LinkedIn’s Christina Allen helps students, alumni, and alumni professionals connect

Selling for U
CURRENTS Article Brandeis University maintains a fruitful, 64-year relationship with a group of "friends" who hold book sales and other fundraisers for the institution year after year.

Rally ’Round the Leader
CURRENTS Article New York's Albany Law School celebrates Kate Stoneman Day.

Give Them What They Want
CURRENTS Article The University of Connecticut is devising new communications strategies, including experimenting with email segmentation, to make its philanthropic messaging relevant.

States of Emergency
CURRENTS Article Given the stakes and the current economic climate, U.S. higher education officials across the country are stepping up their advocacy efforts.

Taking Off
CURRENTS Article At Queen's University in Ontario, Canada, the student-led Queen's Student Alumni Association strengthened its link with the Queen's University Alumni Association to find new ways to engage the next generation of alumni.

In Their Own Words
CURRENTS Article Annual young alumni panel pleases parents, boosts admissions

Volunteering Rates
CURRENTS Article Sweet Briar College's alumni office has created a volunteer management system analogous to the college's prospect management system.

Advancement Acolytes
CURRENTS Article Maryland's Bowie State University offers a fellowship for students in the advancement office that introduces them to the field and solicits their help in engaging alumni.

Grassroots Organizing
CURRENTS Article When a group of young Tufts alumni said it wanted to raise money for the institution, the university gladly obliged.

Tools of Engagement
CURRENTS Article How can alumni relations professionals remain relevant in a world where computers and technology do much of what they used to do on paper and via phone? The author offers advice on how embrace social media tools and use them to engage alumni.

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.

Let’s Get Together
CURRENTS Article A growing number of institutions are recognizing the importance of reaching out to and involving alumni in meaningful ways—even encoding that outreach into a specific campaign goal.

Shaking It Up
CURRENTS Article Alumni clubs and chapters are powerful tools for keeping alumni connected to each other and the institution, gathering insight into what alumni want from their alma mater, and even raising money for the institution. Alumni leaders don't need to devote a large amount of their budget to create successful groups, but they do need to ensure that the groups are well-managed and catering to the critical mass.

Increasing the Harvest
CURRENTS Article In 2007 the University of Colorado Boulder Alumni Association eliminated dues and created "Forever Buffs," a new model of the alumni experience that welcomes all students and alumni into a 270,000-strong family with lifelong benefits. In place of dues is a one-time $70 fee all students pay upon matriculation that guarantees them a lifetime of alumni services and programming. The author describes how the funding switch was made and how "Forever Buffs" has changed the alumni association.

Bright Prospects
CURRENTS Article Graduate students have different campus experiences than undergraduates and are generally not immersed in the social energy of the campus—at least not to the extent of undergraduates. But that doesn't mean they don't want to contribute to the alumni community, if approached in the right way.

The Whole Universe
CURRENTS Article The guiding principle of alumni engagement at the Tuck School of Business at Darmouth College is straightforward: Treat students like alumni and alumni like students, and then sit back and watch the magic happen.

Un buen principio
CURRENTS Article Cada vez es más conocido que durante la educación superior hay que cultivar y educar a los alumnos en el tema de la donación desde que son estudiantes. Se sugieren nuevos programa de filantropía dentro de los estudiantes para generar la cultura de donación.

What Winter Doldrums?
CURRENTS Article Franklin Pierce University finds a sporting way to keep students busy during the long, cold winter.

Giving by Example
CURRENTS Article A group of Morehouse College alumni who received scholarships from Oprah Winfrey start their own scholarship fund, spurring other alumni affinity groups to do the same.

Words with Worth
CURRENTS Article Community college asks alumni to provide words of inspiration to current students along with their annual fund gifts.

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.

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.

A Head Start
CURRENTS Article There's growing acknowledgment in higher education that alumni donors need to be cultivated while they're students. New student philanthropy programs are cropping up and old ones updated to educate students about the role philanthropy plays at an institution, engage them, and instill in them a habit of giving.

Please Feed the Website
CURRENTS Article This article looks at the Harvard University Alumni Association's effort to both connect with public-service-minded alumni, as well as other like-minded members of the Harvard community and help them connect with one another through its Public Service on the Map website. Though the website wasn't intended to stay around longer than a year, the HAA has learned important strategic lessons from the site's successes and failings and is looking at ways to breathe new life into it.

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.

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

A Is for Affinity
CURRENTS Article A survey tool to gauge alumni affinity promises to help institutions prioritize fundraising, alumni relations, and communications efforts.

Prepare to Engage
CURRENTS Article This article discusses the importance of focusing on building community and creating a two-way social media conversation with your institution's constituents. Experts advise that institutions using social media should be less concerned with the tools they're using and more concerned with whether and how they're engaging their alumni, students, and other constituencies. In addition, rather than jumping into using several tools, it's more important to first use a tool well before moving on to add another tool. The article also discusses some of the findings from the 2011 CASE/mStoner/Slover Linett social media survey.

On the Same Flight
CURRENTS Article Many larger institutions are decentralizing their alumni operations, meaning that colleges, schools, and faculties have their own alumni staff members who work separately from a central alumni office. Decentralized alumni relations, like most alumni relations endeavors, requires maintaining a strong overall vision; balancing the needs of the whole with those of the parts; and keeping open lines of communication between deans, school-based offices, and the central alumni organization.

Putting on a New Game Face
CURRENTS Article The University of Mississippi recently introduced Rebel Bear, the new mascot that replaced Col. Reb, the previous controversial mascot that the university banned in 2003. In this article, Michael Thompson, senior associate athletics director for communications and marketing at Ole Miss, discusses the challenges of creating and developing a new mascot and introducing it to the university community.

Backyard Egg-stravaganza
CURRENTS Article The Michigan State University Alumni Association offered a class on raising chickens in your backyard as part of their Evening College, and the course was one of the best-enrolled of the semester.

An Alumni Love Story
CURRENTS Article Antioch College closed in 2008 after years of mismanagement and acrimony. But since then, alumni have raised millions, and a new class of students will start this fall. What will the revived Antioch look like, and how will advancement's role at the college differ to keep history from repeating itself?

Slam Dunk
CURRENTS Article Two different goals--providing professional connections for alumni and filling a basketball arena--were met when the Northwestern Alumni Association and the athletics department came together to put on networking nights at home basketball games.

Office Space: Meet the (Student) Press
CURRENTS Article This article looks at why it's important to have a good relationship with the campus newspaper and offers tips on building a positive and professional rapport.

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.

On the Ground Floor
CURRENTS Article At Texas Woman's University, the alumni association was involved in the creation of an online student honor society, which is now helpful in turning those stellar students into engaged alumni.

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.

Putting It Together
CURRENTS Article Carnegie Mellon University's Loyal Scots program aims to get alumni to both participate in events and give.

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。

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.

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

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.

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.

Become a Survey Sophisticate
CURRENTS Article This article explores what matters and what doesn't in getting your alumni to take the online surveys you send them.

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.

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.

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.

The Science Behind Alumni Engagement
CURRENTS Article As part of an effort to double fundraising over the next 10 years, the University of Waterloo surveyed its alumni and purchased external data to determine how to move potential leaders into a more active role with the university.

Our House
CURRENTS Article Alumni houses or centers are usually constructed to serve alumni first and foremost, but by also allowing access to students, other campus departments and offices, and the community at large, alumni associations can bring these buildings to life and cement relationships with different important constituents.

Conviértase en un experto en encuestas
CURRENTS Article Este artículo explora lo que importa y lo que no importa en hacer que tus alumnos respondan a las encuestas que les envías.

Tending the Flock
CURRENTS Article Is international alumni relations worth the effort? Or should you focus your time on alumni who are closer to home and easier to reach? This article suggests items to ponder in making this decision and tips for implementing an international alumni program.

Opening Windows
CURRENTS Article Social media advisor Beth Kanter answers questions about free agents, fortresses, and other social media issues. Kanter works with many different nonprofits on better reaching their audiences and achieving their missions through social media.

Gift of Swag
CURRENTS Article Longwood University figures out a way to engage alumni who are getting together on their own.

Office Space: Asset Management
CURRENTS Article Today's students are naturals when it comes to creating content for the Web and social media. This article discusses how to involve them in telling the story of your institution and things to consider when working with these content creators.

Back to School
CURRENTS Article California's National University is offering scholarships to its alumni teachers who have been let go by the state so that they can return to college and increase their employment prospects.

Influencing the Influencers
CURRENTS Article This article discusses the growing trend of U.S. four-year institutions collecting e-mail addresses from parents of applicants. Some institutions are using this information as a marketing tool to involve parents in the college selection and decision-making process.

Key Constituency
CURRENTS Article California State University, Chico, a 17,000-student public university, has built a parent program within the alumni office—with great assistance from many other campus departments.

One Big Happy Family
CURRENTS Article Whether public or private, small or large, two- or four-year colleges, institutions are actively catering to parents, hoping to turn them into an essential student support system—and enthusiastic donors.

The Power of Two
CURRENTS Article BI Norwegian School of Management publishes two alumni magazine, one in Norwegian and the other in English. The English-language magazine has helped keep international alumni engaged.

Image Conscious
CURRENTS Article Three alumni relations professionals share their thoughts on managing their professional and personal social media lives. The first has one Facebook profile but is very cautious and hesitant about whom she friends and what she shares; the second also has one profile and does not see a problem with connecting with as many people as possible; and the third maintains two separate Facebook accounts, one for personal friends and the other for professional acquaintances.

A TASTE for Adventure
CURRENTS Article Johns Hopkins University's Take a Student to Events (TASTE) program fosters informal relationships between alumni and current students. Alumni volunteers sign up to take individual or small groups of students on outings such as zip-lining, spelunking, job shadowing, etc.

Membership Has Its Benefits
CURRENTS Article Each year, Lebanon Valley College holds the Lazern Lecture Series, a two-day alumni residency program that brings alumni back to campus to visit classes and connect with students.

Big Mother
CURRENTS Article The "Hi, Mom" webcam at St. Olaf College allows parents to check in with their kids, and the college's president held the webcam's inaugural conversation with his own mother.

Future Leaders Today
CURRENTS Article Members of the Pre-Alumni Council at Clark Atlanta University learn about philanthropy when they compete in the Miss UNCF pageant.

Conducive to Success
CURRENTS Article The best alumni relations officers understand the direct relationship of their work to resource gathering, and they integrate awareness of philanthropy and development programs and even solicitation into their work.

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.

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.

Fair with Flair
CURRENTS Article In June, officials at the London College of Communication at the University of the Arts London held the first arts career fair in the U.K. for arts graduates from across the country.

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.

Espacio de oficina: No pierda el enfoque
CURRENTS Article Los grupos de enfoque pueden ser una buena forma de obtener retroalimentación útil de los miembros de una escuela. La consultora de mercadotecnia, Carol Cheney, explica cómo formar y dirigir con éxito un grupo de enfoque. Ella hace hincapié en que las opiniones negativas y las positivas que proporcionan los que participan en un grupo de enfoque se pueden utilizar para fortalecer a la institución.

Office Space: Don't Lose Focus
CURRENTS Article Focus groups can be a good way to get helpful feedback from a school's constituents. Marketing consultant Carol Cheney explains how to set up and carry out a successful focus group. She stresses that both the negative and positive feedback from focus group participants can be used to strengthen the institution.

Dues Diligence
CURRENTS Article Some alumni associations have recently made news by eschewing their dues programs in favor of a nondues model. This article argues that it is important for administrators to carefully evaluate the importance and value of dues programs. Although the body of research on alumni association membership is limited, what exists suggests that membership dues programs provide value to their institutions beyond the income they generate for the alumni association.

To the Rescue?
CURRENTS Article Faced with large and continued cuts in state funding, U.S. public postsecondary institutions are looking for new ways to both communicate their needs and garner support. This article discusses how they are calling on long-time supporters, enlisting new allies, developing strategic alliances, and crafting new messages and campaigns, all to underscore the importance of higher education.

More than a Penny for Your Thoughts
CURRENTS Article The College of Santa Fe awards scholarships to students who are recommended by an alumna or alumnus. It's a way for alumni to feel they are giving back to the school without costing them anything.

Open-Door Policy
CURRENTS Article When the Great Recession hit, many colleges and universities found themselves with little career assistance to offer older alumni. Necessity is the mother of invention, and many of these alumni associations have increased their offerings for alumni of all ages and found new ways to partner with career services offices.

Trip of a Lifetime
CURRENTS Article Smith College offers a series of workshops in a program called "Passport to Life After Smith." The workshops focus on skills students can put to use in the real world after they graduate from college.

Odds and Ends: Enthusiasm Required
CURRENTS Article In this interview with comedian Susie Essman of the show Curb Your Enthusiasm, Essman talks about her roles as a comedian, a supporter of arts education, and an involved alumna at her alma mater SUNY Purchase.

Virtually Yours
CURRENTS Article Technology is providing alumni relations professionals with a new way to organize events and engage more alumni, but it also offers us the opportunity to look at our field through a new lens. For example, using webcams and digital recorders, brick-and-mortar events can be retooled to reach more than just those people who attend. Alumni leaders now have the ability to engage their entire database worldwide without being limited to a particular venue, region, or timeframe.

Virtualmente suyo
CURRENTS Article La tecnología ofrece a los profesionales de la vinculación con exalumnos un nuevo prisma para ver los eventos. Es el fin de una era en las relaciones con los exalumnos. Las evidencias están a la vista, y la mayoría de nosotros no las hemos visto o no estamos dispuestos a aceptarlas. Para muchas asociaciones de exalumnos, la asistencia y la participación en eventos y programas siguen disminuyendo mientras los costos que conllevan siguen aumentando. Los sitios de redes sociales, y otras herramientas web 2.0 ofrecen nuevas formas de comunicarse con los egresados, sin mencionar que son nuevas formas para que éstos se comuniquen entre sí sin la participación de las asociaciones de exalumnos.

Cómo encontrar el enfoque correcto
CURRENTS Article Las asociaciones de ex alumnos cambian entre hacer conexiones con los ex alumnos y apoyar los objetivos de desarrollo

Tapping Energy by Conserving It
CURRENTS Article Some colleges and universities are capitalizing on the current interest in the sustainability movement as a way to engage alumni.

Finding the Right Gear
CURRENTS Article Even in the best financial times, the relationship between the development office and the alumni association can be uneasy. While some alumni leaders would never try to calculate an event’s success in funds raised, others find that their most important and successful events happen with development goals in mind.

Advance Work: Travel Program Plus
CURRENTS Article The University of Toronto organized a 12-day alumni trip to Kenya to help a nonprofit build a village school.

Advance Work: Elective Exams
CURRENTS Article Pittsburgh’s Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business and College of Business Administration started a weekly online quiz as a way to drive more people to the Web site and engage alumni and prospective students.

Network Views
CURRENTS Article The financial crisis of 2008 brought with it a deepening sense of insecurity, and the desire to be connected to a network increased. The MIT Alumni Association wanted to respond to this change in the economic landscape, and in doing so, staff found a new way to partner with alumni and enhance the roles they play.

In Full Bloom
CURRENTS Article The digital age is upon us, with technology reshaping the way institutions interact with students, faculty, alumni, and donors. Find out how this new age is changing the world of communications and marketing, alumni relations, and development.

Advance Work: Better with Age
CURRENTS Article The alumni relations director at Siena Heights University created a new advisory group for former board members in response to their desire to remain engaged.

The Power of Data
CURRENTS Article Alumni professionals need to demonstrate more effectively the impact they have on the achievement of university ambitions. A group of alumni professionals—mainly from the United Kingdom but also from other parts of Europe, Africa, and Asia-Pacific—created the International CASE Alumni Relations Survey in the hope of developing just such evidence.

Are We There Yet?
CURRENTS Article With an increased institutional focus on the bottom line and demand for accountability both inside and outside institutions, alumni relations can no longer rely on head counts or anecdotal feedback as indicators of a job well done. Alumni leaders now have to prove it, and to do that, they need to look at their programs with a critical eye, comparing where they stack up against peer and aspirant institutions on specific, measurable objectives. Alumni relations professionals need to benchmark.

Advance Work: Powering Up
CURRENTS Article The United World College of South East Asia starts a robust alumni relations program from scratch.

Office Space: Foreign Affairs
CURRENTS Article As more institutions expand operations abroad, setting up satellite offices in various countries that have high concentrations of alumni makes sense.

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

Advance Work: News at Your Fingertips
CURRENTS Article The University of Waterloo is offering its iPhone- and BlackBerry-wielding alumni the option of receiving school news on their mobile devices.

Advance Work: Giving It Their All
CURRENTS Article During the 100-day period that began on commencement day, the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown's career counselors devoted 100 percent of their time and resources to securing employment or acceptance into graduate school for the recent graduates.

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.

Continental Drift
CURRENTS Article Educational institutions are entering new education markets and recruiting students from abroad at a quickening pace. Now, of necessity, they are turning their attention to international advancement and how best to engage alumni, friends, governments, foundations, and other entities beyond their borders.

The Inner Circle
CURRENTS Article Is an institution’s own private social network relevant in this era of Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter? The answer is yes ... or no, depending on the institution.

Advance Work: Novel Idea
CURRENTS Article The Cedar Crest College Alumnae Book Club has become a successful new program.

Advance Work: Young Alumni Rock
CURRENTS Article La Trobe University in Australia has success with its new young alumni group.

Talking Points: What's Around the Corner?
CURRENTS Article Under a new U.S. law, affinity credit card agreements are now subject to increased disclosure requirements. This column explains why Congress opened up these agreements for scrutiny and how can alumni associations can comply with the new law.

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

跨跃孤洲
CURRENTS Article 邀请教授参与各种校友活动,不但能吸引更多的校友共同参与,还为校友会创造新的机会向校友宣传母校在科研和教学方面令人振奋的成就。然而,怎样才能让教授在校友工作中发挥更大的作用呢?校友工作者必须开拓新的沟通渠道,培养更紧密的合作关系,加强宣传校友工作对学校发展的重要性。

Untapped Resources
CURRENTS Article Georgetown University’s Discovery Initiative is an advancement program in which students and recent graduates meet with alumni who are not currently involved with the Washington, D.C., university. The short-term goals are to identify alumni who could become major gift prospects or alumni volunteers, and generate market research on the university’s vision and case for support. The program’s long-term goals are to build support for the next campaign and the one after that, and to build a greater sense of alumni engagement in the Georgetown community.

Island Hopping
CURRENTS Article Including faculty in various aspects of alumni programming can attract more alumni to events and provide the alumni association with another means to communicate the exciting research and academic offerings of alma mater. However, creating a larger role for faculty in the alumni association doesn’t magically happen. Alumni professionals must open new lines of communication, forge new relationships, and educate faculty on the importance of advancement to the institution.

Come Together
CURRENTS Article The article explores how alumni engagement has evolved. Alumni professionals today are reaching out to current students and pursuing a relationship with alumni that spans the different stages of their lives. A sidebar--"It's the Alumni, Stupid" by Mark W. Jones--accompanies this article.

Making Lemonade
CURRENTS Article In the current economic climate, alumni associations are taking hard looks at their budgets and making cuts where necessary. However, the recession is an opportunity for alumni associations to create and build alumni loyalty through networking and career services--when they are needed most.

Advance Work: Smells Like School Spirit
CURRENTS Article Students and alumni at a handful of universities are lining up to remember their college experience via perfume and cologne.

Talking Points: Studying in Cyberspace
CURRENTS Article Will the growing numbers of online students become committed alumni?

The New Communications Frontier
CURRENTS Article Advancement professionals should begin to enlist today's "helicopter" parents as partners in support of students and as advocates for colleges and universities. Institutions that define an appropriate role for parents can better tap into this group to contribute to institutional goals in the areas of affinity, recruitment, student retention, and development.

Drawing Alumni Closer
CURRENTS Article The University of Illinois Alumni Association has decided to end its 136-year-old dues program, which boasted more than 130,000 members. Now, all graduates are members of the alumni association at no cost, no strings attached.

Don't Take the Fall
CURRENTS Article Even before the economy took a nosedive, many institutions were seeing affinity revenue stagnate or drop. With institutional budgets constricting and alumni wallets shrinking, funding the alumni association is requiring more creativity than in years past.

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: Standing Out in a Crowd
CURRENTS Article Taking a page from the corporate world, the University of California, San Diego Alumni Association has created a crowdsourcing site to enter into a new dialogue with alumni.

Meet the Next Generation
CURRENTS Article Alumni admissions programs can be a boon for both the admissions office and the alumni association. The size and scope of such programs can vary, however, as evidenced in this article.

Network News
CURRENTS Article Baylor University in Texas uses a network model to link the Baylor community worldwide. The network has generated more than 1,700 events since September 2003, indicating that the Baylor Network is a success.

Through Space and Time
CURRENTS Article The status quo for international alumni has been to let them form a chapter and leave it at that. In an effort to tap their development potential, recruit more foreign students, and enhance their global reputation, the institutions highlighted in this article are taking international alumni engagement to another level.

Advance Work: Risky Behavior
CURRENTS Article GoCrossCampus, an online game created by five former and current Ivy Leaguers, is scoring big points for alumni relations.

Into the Mainstream
CURRENTS Article Six alumni professionals--all early adopters of online social networking--offer their thoughts on why alumni professionals need to just dive into the world of Facebook, LinkedIn, and their ilk.

Brave Net World
CURRENTS Article In June 2008, CASE surveyed alumni relations directors about their use of online social networking to engage and communicate with alumni. This article delves into the data garnered from this survey, including software, budget, staffing, best practices, and performance measurement.

Advance Work: Map Attack
CURRENTS Article Dickinson College is using Google Maps to put a new spin on the alumni directory.

Odds and Ends: What Does Surya Say?
CURRENTS Article In this Q&A, Surya Yalamanchili, director of marketing for LinkedIn, discusses his own social networking life, what's new at LinkedIn, and more.

Untangling Diversity
CURRENTS Article Diversity is a complex issue, and the concept has different meanings, depending on your institution and advancement office. But one thing that everyone can agree on is that diversity is important, and reaching communities of color is imperative.

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: Pokes and Tweets
CURRENTS Article What outside social networking sites are alumni relations professionals using to engage alumni?

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

Leaders in Training
CURRENTS Article Guiding young leaders may involve more work for alumni staff, but the payoff is long-term support and engagement with the institution and its alumni program.

Know Your Market
CURRENTS Article Surveys may not be the solution to every engagement conundrum, but good research can help institutions understand how to better connect with alumni. Alumni relations officers and research pros share what they've learned and provide tips on how to get the most useful data.

Advance Work: Invention Attention
CURRENTS Article The Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute alumni association created a brochure to highlight the institution's famous alumni. You may not know their names, but you do know their claims to fame.

Pillars in the Alumni Community
CURRENTS Article Alumni awards offer a chance to showcase the institution and strengthen alumni connections. Some institutions give numerous awards and others only a select few; some have formal ceremonies, and others keep it casual. The culture of the institution and the goals of the alumni association should determine your awards program.

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

Advance Work: Distance, Shmistance
CURRENTS Article An alumni group that started as a grassroots effort in North America has grown into a successful endeavor for the University of Sydney, half a world away.

Advance Work: Breaking Bread for the Future
CURRENTS Article The head of one alumni association has a habit of showing up to dinner at campus sorority and fraternity houses. It's a part of his effort to sell students on the importance of the alumni association.

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.

Advance Work: The Eagle Has Landed
CURRENTS Article An international independent school has come up with an easy and relevant way to keep its alumni engaged. It involves a stuffed eagle, some pictures, and a blog.

Back to Basics
CURRENTS Article Alumni travel programs have proliferated. Some campuses have multiple programs being run by different campus offices. The author of this article believes that the underlying value of alumni travel has become blurred.

Now You See Them, Now You Don't
CURRENTS Article More and more institutions are offering online degrees. If advancement professionals fail to engage and cultivate these alumni, then a philanthropic windfall could be frittered away.

Advance Work: Quality Not Quantity
CURRENTS Article In order to build the University of British Columbia alumni association, Marie Earl focused on getting the "thought leaders" together--people who know and influence many other people.

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.

Advance Work: Conformity at Its Best
CURRENTS Article Massachusetts Institute of Technology programmers and project managers develop a way for alumni volunteers to easily create Web pages for their chapters or affinity groups.

Finding Their Voice
CURRENTS Article Five years ago, Hamilton College in New York created the Multicultural Alumni Relations Committee to engage alumni of color with the institution. This article looks at how the group formed, how it has grown and flourished, and how it has overcome some of its challenges.

Alumni Programming Goes Boom
CURRENTS Article There's a lot of talk about engaging young alumni, but what about older alumni? Some baby boomers are heading toward retirement, and alma mater can provide a lot of what they want. Put some thought into programming for this cohort, and it could pay off nicely for the institution.

Advance Work: No Turning Back
CURRENTS Article The University of Pittsburgh alumni association stopped printing an annual alumni report and instead put it online. This switch not only saved money but allowed the association to better communicate with alumni.

Advance Work: Fun with Ratios
CURRENTS Article Using data from the Association of American Universities and U.S. News and World Report, an alumni professional devised a way to determine how alumni relations staffing affects fundraising.

Sweet Smell of Success
CURRENTS Article The 2007 CASE Circle of Excellence grand gold and gold medal winners profiled in this article have taken their advancement publications, events, and programs to a higher level. These featured winners, however, are a small sample of the 319 winners from 195 institutions.

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: Do-Gooders Unite
CURRENTS Article Colorado College's Public Interest Fellowship Program allows alumni to interact with current students and pass on their nonprofit wisdom.

Dues and Don'ts
CURRENTS Article This article discusses industry perceptions of alumni association dues. Do they inhibit giving to the annual fund, or do they help highlight engaged alumni? Do dues-paying alumni associations end up spending too much time and money recruiting members? As with most vexing questions, the answer to these questions is: It depends.

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."

Easy as Pie
CURRENTS Article The author is a member of the Association of Private College and University Alumni Directors, a group of alumni directors who share benchmark information, provide professional support, and conduct research. The most practical application of the group is the in-depth program assessment and metrics rating system it has developed: the Alumni Relations Assessment and Metrics Program, which collects, analyzes, and reports on the effectiveness of alumni relations programs. This article includes a sidebar, "Strength in Numbers," about the Northeast Indiana Alumni Directors Consortium.

Talking Points: Caught Up
CURRENTS Article This article provides an overview of the student loan scandal, which started with an investigation of potential conflicts of interest between higher ed and the lending industry and expanded to alumni associations in an effort to determine whether these groups are steering students toward specific loan consolidation companies in exchange for certain benefits.

All Business
CURRENTS Article Many campuses are developing programs specifically to meet the needs and harness the energy of entrepreneurial alumni. Engaging these alumni from the get-go will make it easier to approach them if they hit major donor status.

Advance Work: Moguls in the Making
CURRENTS Article Georgia Tech's student foundation is on it way to a million-dollar endowment, teaching future alumni about the value of annual giving and investment en route.

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.

Making the Grade
CURRENTS Article It's time to assess your young alumni programming. Read about what some other institutions have done to engage this important segment of the alumni association.

Like With Like
CURRENTS Article Young alumni might not be as excited as your older alumni about coming back to campus for a traditional homecoming or reunion weekend. How do you keep them engaged? Think affinity programming.

Advance Work: Taking It to the Troops
CURRENTS Article University of Iowa clubs are sending gear and goodies to Iowa-based troops in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Kosovo.

Advance Work: International Connection
CURRENTS Article The University of California is connecting students studying abroad with UC alumni living in the same city. Alumni feel more connected to their alma maters and the students have someone to help them get their bearings--a win-win situation.

Ethics Case Study: Tongue Tied
CURRENTS Article Is voting for an alumni award candidate based on past or potential giving to the institution ethical? CASE members respond.

Talking Points: The Parent Gap
CURRENTS Article The phrase in loco parentis isn't as commonly heard or used on campuses as it once was, but the authors of this article believe that the doctrine of in loco parentis is not a relic of the past; it has a strong presence in higher education and student affairs practice. This article briefly examines the history of in loco parentis and recent related legal decisions, and includes recommendations for how institutions can respond to the recent shift in public perception and institutional policy.

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.

Out of Reach No Longer
CURRENTS Article The author of this article surveyed alumni association executive directors about their interactions with the student affairs offices on their campus. He found that, generally, a lot more collaboration could be occurring to help bring students into the alumni association fold before they graduate.

Special Delivery
CURRENTS Article Some institutions welcome input from admissions consultants; some won't give them the time of day. Some consultants are independent "packagers"; others are members of regulating associations. This article describes the difference between the two kinds and in the ways they work to help students get into their choice of college.

Dispelling the Millennial Myth
CURRENTS Article In this article, the authors take a closer look at Millennial theory as described by Neil Howe and William Strauss. Their books, Millennials Rising and Millennials Go to College, are primary resources for information about Millennials--students born in or after 1982--including characteristics, traits, etc. Much of this has become common knowledge and accepted as fact, but the authors of this article caution campus communicators against relying solely on Howe and Strauss’ descriptions of students for their marketing efforts. They don’t completely disagree with Howe and Strauss, but they expose Howe and Strauss research/data as somewhat flawed and offer alternative sources of more longitudinal data that offer a more accurate portrait of students today. They also offer a point/counterpoint perspective on what Howe and Strauss say and some alternative ideas that are likely more relevant.

Opponent or Opportunity?
CURRENTS Article The Caltech Alumni Association has found that the third-party site LinkedIn offers their alumni the best online community for the money. This is a sidebar to the feature "Everyone Into the Pool."

The Changing Face of the Online Community
CURRENTS Article Social and professional networking has moved online, and educational institutions are uniquely positioned to offer these services to their alumni. Find out how other nonprofits have built successful online communities.

Everyone Into the Pool
CURRENTS Article Online communities are not just a fad. Is yours up to par? Do you know what your alumni want? Find out how others have figured out what's best and how to keep it fresh.

Advance Work: Face Time
CURRENTS Article Surveying parents in person may take time but can pay off in more ways than one.

Advance Work: Extra Credit
CURRENTS Article Wofford College offers interesting classes for alumni during homecoming. But no homework or quizzes this time around.

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.

Community Writ Large and Small
CURRENTS Article At many institutions the majority of students are women, the student body is increasing, or more ethnically diverse students are enrolling. Alumni officers are smart to revise their programming to serve these alumni.

A League of Their Own
CURRENTS Article The 2006 Circle of Excellence award winners profiled in this article are hitting it out of the park. This article describes a few of the grand gold and gold medal award winners.

Advance Work: Class Connections
CURRENTS Article The Northwestern Alumni Association works with professors to involve alumni in class projects.

Advance Work: Dressed to Spill
CURRENTS Article Alumni clothing and paraphernalia are no longer just for the walking and talking set. The Georgia Tech Alumni Association started the Baby Buzz Club so that alumni can garb their young ones in yellow jacket style.

The Art of Advocacy
CURRENTS Article As more state budgets are slashed, lobbying has taken on more prominence, with some campuses keeping lobbying firms on permanent retainer. States are being squeezed by health care, Medicaid, and K-12 costs on one side and a low-tax ideology on the other. The article looks at these and other related issues and what the government relations function looks like in this new political environment. The article gives an overview of the how the political and legislative climate is affecting higher education, and in turn, how campus government relations and advocacy functions are responding and changing.

Close Partners or Strange Bedfellows?
CURRENTS Article Some campuses have great success running the annual fund out of the alumni office. At other institutions, the functions remain successfully separate as long as the development and alumni relations offices coordinate their efforts.

Advance Work: Pillow Fight!
CURRENTS Article A long-standing event at University of California, Davis brings together alumni and pajama-clad students.

Advance Work: International Incident
CURRENTS Article To cut costs, Carleton University stopped mailing its magazine to its 1,800 alumni living outside North America. The results were devastating, and the university made a concerted effort to win back its international alumni.

A Measured Response
CURRENTS Article With growing alumni populations, flat or shrinking budgets, and pressure for measurable results coming both from alumni boards and heads of school, it’s clear that alumni marketing plans are here to stay. Learn what others have done and gain some insight into starting your association's plan.

Room for Improvement
CURRENTS Article Golden Gate University’s alumni association was not reaching its potential. Therefore, the author of this article saw an opportunity to revisit the association’s goals and embarked on a project to document and improve the GGU alumni experience.

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.

Closing Remarks: Sowing for the Future
CURRENTS Article In this column, Carin Huffman Grinch outlines the value of starting or expanding a student advancement program as a way to engage alumni before they step foot off your campus.

Different Breed
CURRENTS Article Nontraditional students are usually less involved in the social aspect of campus life than their traditional counterparts. Although their education experience might be positive, they might not feel particularly tied to a campus on which they spend relatively little time. This can make nontraditional students harder to reach as alumni; however, alumni professionals who understand their needs and recognize their constraints can encourage them to become an active part of the alumni association.

AdvanceWork: Everlasting Loyalty
CURRENTS Article "Personalized memorial products"—caskets, urns, memory books, and monuments—have become popular since the early 1990s, but industry professionals differ on how much of a market there is for burial products with campus colors and seals. Two casket companies and a University of Kentucky licensing director discuss the demand from diehard alumni. This AdvanceWork item is of interest to alumni staffs who work on revenue-generating and affinity programs.

More than Meets the Eye
CURRENTS Article This sidebar--part of the "No Boundaries" article--identifies eight factors to keep in mind when creating an online mentoring program.

No Boundaries
CURRENTS Article Technology permits institutions to provide mentoring programs that are more focused and tailored to the participants’ schedules and needs. And as an added benefit, the program can provide the alumni relations office with one more way to create stronger ties between alumni--current and future--and the institution.

Family Vacation
CURRENTS Article In 2004 Brigham Young University surveyed 60 institutions of comparable size to get a better sense of the alumni travel scene. The survey findings showed that BYU’s focus on domestic and family travel separates it from mainstream alumni travel programs--and that’s just fine with BYU alumni.

A New Chapter
CURRENTS Article The traditional chapters and clubs model in which they are organized geographically and run by volunteers continues to make sense for some institutions, but not for others. Many institutions are tinkering with the traditional model by counting on technology to connect people, using alumni office staff to take care of the administrative details once handled by volunteers, and developing alternative programs that meet alumni interests and needs.

Leveraging Leaders
CURRENTS Article This article discusses the University of California, San Diego Alumni Association's process for developing alumni leaders who donate their time, talent, and treasure to their alma mater, serving as catalysts for others.

Advance Work: Up Close and Personal
CURRENTS Article A new video magazine is bringing the University of Texas football program into the homes of alumni and fans. The Texas V-Mag delivers full-screen, broadcast-quality video stories to paid subscribers.

Closing Remarks: States of Emergency
CURRENTS Article Even as federal and state dollars for U.S. higher education decline, for public institutions the proportion of public funding from all sources still exceeds that of private gifts. With that in mind, the author questions why public institutions spend so little time and money on state and federal government relations. Using alumni and donors as campus champions and understanding state and federal budget cycles are two strategies she suggests for improving government relations.

Advance Work: Creepy Campuses
CURRENTS Article Campus ghost stories can build affinity with students, who can develop fond memories of telling spooky tales on campus, and attract fans of history and the supernatural who otherwise have no ties to your institution.

Advance Work: The Pull of Peers
CURRENTS Article Web sites such as Facebook that organize social networks specific to individual colleges, universities, and schools are growing in popularity and might compete with an institution's own site for the attention of students and graduates. Some alumni relations officials believe alumni sites must grow more robust to survive; others take advantage of the commercial sites' popularity to communicate with their constituents.

Cream of the Crop
CURRENTS Article This article profiles a few of CASE's 2005 Circle of Excellence award winners in the fields of fund-rasing, special events, campaigns, marketing, alumni programs, stewardship, and advancement services operations.

AdvanceWork: Season's e-Greetings
CURRENTS Article When alumni relations officers at Miami (Ohio) and Colgate universities wanted to spice up their alumni outreach efforts, they turned to e-cards. The Flash-based “postcards” of photo, sound, and video messages most often are used to engage and involve alumni in campus activities, seek their support, and help them feel connected to alma mater. This article explores why and how these campuses embraced e-cards and links to several examples.

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.

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 8minuteDating.com and NetworkingMatch.com--Netherton organized a "speed networking" event for her alma mater's Boston Alumni Club. This article discusses the event-planning process and outcome.

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: Membership Has Its Privileges
CURRENTS Article The Wisconsin Alumni Association and the University of Wisconsin-Madison Libraries teamed up to offer WAA members free online access to library resources--a benefit previously available only to students and faculty on campus.

A Picture of Health
CURRENTS Article Advancement market research models are becoming increasingly sophisticated. Innes van Nostrand, the alumni director of an independent school in Toronto, shares details of what he calls a “third wave” of market research that’s changing alumni programming, particularly at smaller institutions. Although alumni directors previously have relied on surveys, market segmentation, and other efforts to understand their alumni audiences, they now can tie together market research with program activity at the individual level. By knowing what each person thinks and feels--and then designing and delivering programs based on each person’s interests and needs--campuses can provide more personal alumni services. Third-wave research also has implications for fund raising and prospect research.

Learning Curve
CURRENTS Article The University of Virginia Alumni Association has developed two approaches to help alumni and their children navigate the legacy admissions process. Alumni Family Days events bring alumni and prospective legacy students in contact with admissions officials, and the alumni association's admissions counselor helps legacy prospects with the admissions process, gives them a realistic picture of their chances of admission, and serves as a contact point for alumni and their children whether they are admitted or not.

Inner Workings
CURRENTS Article As alumni officers search for ways to engage former students, they often overlook opportunities to build partnerships that support the strategic initiatives of the institution, not just the alumni office. Alumni staff members at the University of Iowa medical school have found a way to meet a vital campus need with the Help Our Students Travel program, in which alumni host students who are traveling around the United States for residency interviews. The HOST program is just one example of how alumni offices can work in partnership with campus colleagues. Alumni officers on other campuses can develop similar efforts by examining the goals and needs of their institutions and examining how the entire campus can serve and be served by alumni.

Conversation Piece
CURRENTS Article Alumni directors constantly seek new ways to evaluate their programs and services as they attempt to connect with their former students. A research model from the Performance Enhancement Group has helped provide alumni feedback to more than 50 private and public colleges and universities throughout the United States. PEG has aggregated the responses into a database of more than 50,000 alumni from all 50 states and many other countries. Among other things, survey findings reveal that alumni from all types of institutions feel a sense of pride in their alma mater, younger alumni are less satisfied with campus communications, and that academics matter to alumni. To get even more value from their own alumni research projects, alumni directors should communicate the survey results with a broad alumni audience, develop targeted communications for specific alumni segments, take action directly related to the results, and inform alumni that those changes stem from their input.

AdvanceWork: Manic Monday
CURRENTS Article E-mail marketers aren’t sending their messages on the days recipients are most likely to read them, according to a recent eROI study. “How’s Monday for You?” reports that marketers send more than 2.3 million e-mails on Thursdays, but only 24.2 percent of those messages are read. By comparison, 34.6 percent of the more than 1 million messages sent on Mondays are read.

AdvanceWork: Et Tu, Alumnus?
CURRENTS Article Are alumni effective fund raisers? Winston-Salem State University’s advancement officers seem to think so: To date, they’ve trained two dozen alumni to solicit gifts from fellow graduates. The training program, funded by the Thurgood Marshall Scholarship Fund, is part of WSSU’s effort to increase alumni giving and involvement.

One Craft, Different Cultures
CURRENTS Article More alumni directors outside North America are reaching out to their alumni audiences to encourage lifelong relationships with alma mater. However, these alumni directors face unique challenges. In Europe, Latin America, Africa, Asia, and Australia, school and university alumni often don’t have the tradition of giving to alma mater that’s a given in the United States and Canada. The institutions might not have maintained close ties with alumni, and poor record keeping can hinder relationship-building efforts. Some institutions' goals for alumni relations include encouraging continuing education and career networking by alumni as well as fund raising. Campus alumni offices also can become resources for groups of alumni who are more connected to each other than to the institution.

AdvanceWork: In Memoriam
CURRENTS Article Corning-Painted Post High School’s alumni association pays special attention to the passing of alumni and friends. Since 1997, president Dave Conlin has maintained pages on the association’s Web site that memorialize deceased alumni, as well as deceased parents and children of alumni. “They’re always very appreciative,” Conlin says of former students’ reactions to his efforts.

All Hands on Deck
CURRENTS Article Turnover can create havoc in an advancement office, leading to holes in the institutional memory and breaking fragile links between donors and the institution. The advancement staff at the University of Massachusetts Lowell has reinvented its operations to create a team approach that strengthens long-term relationships and focuses staff members on securing cash gifts, especially major gifts. Using a structure of four interdisciplinary teams, advancement officers focus on offering relevant alumni programs and services, meeting face-to-face with donors, involving all staff members in gift cultivation, and maintaining an attitude of mutual respect across advancement.

AdvanceWork: Class Acts
CURRENTS Article Alumni employees should be rewarded for their loyalty to alma mater. This article highlights several recognition efforts that advancement officers have implemented to celebrate and thank their alumni employees. Campuses profiled include Norfolk State University, Thomas Edison State College, Kennesaw State University, Simpson College, and the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

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.

Mutual Interests
CURRENTS Article Although most parents aren’t alumni of the campuses their children attend, they constitute an audience that demands involvement. Alumni staff members can serve this constituency by recognizing parents as partners and showing them how they can assist the campus. Institutions involve parents in such activities as career development, legislative advocacy, and student recruitment. In return, campuses invite parents to attend Parents Weekends, participate in special meetings with top administrators, and enjoy other perks. To improve parent programming, alumni directors must examine their expectations and commit resources to training staff members and developing services. Those who don’t want to offer stand-alone parent programming can team up with other departments across campus to create an overall mission for parent relations.

All in the Family
CURRENTS Article Campuses are responding to parents' need to be involved and informed in their children's education by engaging them in parent-to-parent fund raising. This article examines why parents are so effective as volunteer fund raisers, how to recruit and train them, and how to best make use of their volunteering.

A Separate Piece
CURRENTS Article Parents have become increasingly important as a campus constituency, a change driven by both financial and generational factors. Their increased involvement--from recruitment to commencement--demands an organized communications effort that strikes a balance between information and involvement, and many campuses have responded by adding programming and dedicated staff. This article outlines essential strategies for communicating with parents, including creating separate experiences for them.

Ties that Bind
CURRENTS Article The relationship between independent school officials and parents is complex and ever-changing. Although both sides are working toward a common goal--giving students the foundation they need to lead happy and successful lives--they often don’t, or can’t, understand the other’s point of view. This article examines the school-parent relationship, as perceived by both sides, and recommends strategies school officials can implement to transform parents into partners rather than adversaries.

Giving Up on Letting Go
CURRENTS Article On campus, in the press, and in society at large, parents often are blamed for not letting go of their children, for being too pushy and overinvolved. But contrary to popular belief, kids don't want their parents to let go, and the "helicopter parent" phenomenon may be related to changing notions of adulthood. College is no longer considered the threshold to adulthood, researchers say. This article traces the historical and societal changes in the way parents relate to their college-age children and their institutions, from in loco parentis to the passage of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act in the early 1970s to recent challenges to FERPA. It also examines the emotional and financial drivers behind helicopter parents.

AdvanceWork: Have Alumni, Will Travel
CURRENTS Article Alumni travel programs are a great way to connect graduates to campus--if you can get alumni to participate. A Brigham Young University survey of 60 similarly sized institutions with alumni travel programs found that 21 percent of such programs attract fewer than 99 total travelers annually. Another 15 percent attract a thousand or more travelers each year.

Winners at Heart
CURRENTS Article Profiles of 12 winners of CASE’s 2004 Circle of Excellence awards. The winning alumni relations programs offered creative ways to generate revenue, use technology, or support a campus cause. In the development categories, campuses showed how to use flash e-mail annual giving solicitations and speech-writing students to attract donors. Communications winners relied on humor, creativity, and unconventional publications. And top advancement services shops highlighted the importance of identifying top campus prospects, working as a team, and maintaining accurate data.

Do Drop In
CURRENTS Article An alumni center is a home and a gathering place for alumni, students, and the community. In this article, Kansas State University’s alumni director offers a behind-the-scenes look at how staff members manage the day-to-day requirements of maintaining a beautiful, multipurpose facility. To build and care for an alumni center, alumni directors and their staffs must assess the need for such a space on campus and in the community, work closely with association board members and the institution’s CEO, and get input from alumni. Once the center is built, alumni staff members must rely on adequate staffing and well-developed guidelines to manage and promote the center properly. Creating an endowment can help an alumni association pay for future repairs and enhancement projects.

AdvanceWork: New Recruits
CURRENTS Article Students can’t pursue a degree in advancement, so how can campuses recruit them to the profession? Practitioners suggest institutions develop formal advancement internship programs or hire student workers. A third option is CASE’s Association of Student Advancement Programs, which provides networking and leadership development opportunities to promote student involvement in education advancement.

AdvanceWork: Small Talk, Big Benefits
CURRENTS Article New graduates are particularly eager to build professional relationships that might one day lead to job offers. Alumni events sometimes provide unique opportunities to do just that. Debra Fine, author of “The Fine Art of Small Talk,” offers a number of pointers that can help strengthen new alumni’s networking skills.

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.

AdvanceWork: Old Friends
CURRENTS Article The University of New Hampshire’s Elders program keeps older alumni connected with campus professors, students, and staff members. Since its inception three years ago, the program has reached more than 300 alumni and friends ages 70 and older at a dozen senior-care facilities and residential communities throughout New Hampshire. Every site visit includes presentations about various UNH programs and question-and-answer sessions.

Following a Class Act
CURRENTS Article With careers at their peak and children leaving the nest, Baby Boomer alumni are often looking for ways to give back to alma mater and society. One such effort is Princeton Project 55, which matches students and graduates with paid internships and fellowships in nonprofits around the United States. The project--named not for its founders’ class year but for their age at its inception--has developed several flourishing programs since it began in 1989. As the time draws near to turn the program over to a younger generation, Project 55’s founders must look for ways to prepare new talent.

The Ones to Watch
CURRENTS Article Although Baby Boomers have similar characteristics, their attitudes differ significantly based on their age and the specific time they were in college. Alumni staff members must keep that important fact in mind as they plan programs and events for Baby Boomers, who constitute the majority of the workforce and are at the height of their earning power. To connect with alumni from the ’60s and ’70s, alumni officers must offer time-sensitive events; casual, family-friendly activities; and staff support tailored to the needs of this particular group. Online newsletters and chat groups are a plus--but alumni directors should first ask Boomers how they want alma mater to communicate with them.

AdvanceWork: Why So Formal?
CURRENTS Article Stanford University recently tested four different salutations on an e-mail to alumni inviting them to participate in an online survey. Surprisingly, young alumni responded better to a formal salutation than to an informal or generic one.

Let's Make a Deal
CURRENTS Article Alumni might not realize that they can benefit from the technology their alma mater already uses to locate and stay in touch with former students. Help alumni activate their “hidden” alumni network by showing them how to connect with fellow graduates via online directories, campus personnel directories, online class notes, and more. With these high-tech tools, business-savvy former students can forge new ties, rekindle lost campus connections, and open doors to new opportunities. An accompanying sidebar offers advice on networking etiquette.

AdvanceWork: Bona Fide Girl Power
CURRENTS Article Under the leadership of its first female board chair, St. Bonaventure University launched a new alumni award program to honor female graduates. The "Great Women of Bona's" program was tied successfully to an annual fund appeal by having the chair and female trustees do a phonathon to selected alumnae that raised $35,000 in a matter of hours.

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.

AdvanceWork: Any Way You Slice It
CURRENTS Article Alumni relations professionals can borrow a page from the corporate playbook by thinking about alumni segmentation in terms of career stage. A corporate alumni relations manager details five segments she uses to plan her alumni programming: The new alum, the experienced alum, the stay-at-home alum, the entrepreneurial alum, and the hiring alum.

Deal of a Lifetime
CURRENTS Article Revive a dormant membership program with ideas from the Cal Aggie Alumni Association of the University of California, Davis. The association staff found that detailed research, comprehensive marketing efforts, and solid member benefits can help alumni associations improve services and capture alumni attention.

Paying Your Dues
CURRENTS Article Shrinking campus budgets often lead to discussions about the value of alumni association membership dues programs. Do these programs bring in revenue and increase overall campus support--or do they create alumni confusion as well as competition for the annual fund? Alumni managers from a range of campuses weigh in on how they educate former students and find the right solutions for their campuses.

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: The Latest Student Recruitment Niche
CURRENTS Article San José State University and the University of Colorado, Boulder, are among the first institutions to form affinity groups for gay alumni. Advancement professionals offer advice on cultivating affinity with that or other constituencies.

Top Product Picks
CURRENTS Article To improve alumni merchandising programs, today’s alumni officers are redistributing marketing, order-processing, and fulfillment duties among their staffs, campus bookstores, and—to an increasing degree—third-party vendors. But one thing remains true: Distinctive products with a compelling campus tie are the top sellers and one small way to cement connections with graduates.

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.

Good Sports
CURRENTS Article The reputations of intercollegiate athletics and education institutions have been marred by destructive sports spectators who dismantle goal posts, damage fields, and riot in community streets. Some campuses, alumni associations, and athletics conferences have banded together to clean up intercollegiate athletics’ act.

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.

Leap of Faith
CURRENTS Article Annual giving volunteers need to feel that their efforts are appreciated and that their contributions are making a difference. As Phillips Exeter Academy's development officers discovered, engaging volunteers by raising expectations can result in higher enthusiasm and greater fund-raising success.

AdvanceWork: A Sure Thing?
CURRENTS Article Independent Web sites that provide an online forum for alumni to share information are proliferating at a rate that may leave institution-sanctioned sites behind. Classmates.com, Reunion.com, and TheSquare.com are just a handful of players in this market space. Online alumni service providers warn that alumni directors must keep pace, or risk damaging their relationships with alumni.

This Just In…
CURRENTS Article Some alumni education managers make their programs timelier by covering current events, such as the Iraq war and SARS. Although program formats can include faculty debates, reunion weekend seminars, and lectures series, often these events have an Internet component. Alumni offices promote the events by e-mail, archive audio files on their Web sites, sponsor online chats, and create specialty Web sites for updates about alumni affected by news events.

Managing Precious Resources
CURRENTS Article To cope with the double problems of growing graduating classes and dwindling funds, alumni directors are trying to generate more revenue, trim expenses, and reallocate limited resources. A short accompanying article lists cost-saving measures.

Manager's Portfolio: Achieving Fabled Service
CURRENTS Article Like Nordstrom and other companies famous for customer service, alumni associations should infuse quality constituent service into everything they do. This column features examples from the University of Michigan Alumni Association, which has created a customer relations staff.

Overcoming Dual Loyalities
CURRENTS Article Graduate school alumni officers continue to keep their former students involved with traditional offerings, such as reunions, educational programs, and career programs. In addition, they’re using such community-building techniques as grad-student centers and low- or no-cost alumni association memberships.

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: Off the Wall
CURRENTS Article The University of Washington Construction Management Alumni Association caters to its specialty audience with a calendar featuring major regional construction projects instead of traditional campus photos. The alumni association sells the calendars or uses them as event favors. Proceeds go to scholarships.

AdvanceWork: RISD Goes Retail
CURRENTS Article The Rhode Island School of Design sells the fine art, jewelry, books, and music of alumni and faculty at RISD/WORKS, a combination gallery, design showroom, and retail store near the campus. The store also provides a database of RISD artists and designers on its Web site. Proceeds go to the college. This AdvanceWork item is of interest to alumni merchandisers, development managers, and marketing staff in search of revenue sources.

Seize the Day
CURRENTS Article Student alumni associations are an effective way to build loyalty before students leave campus. The author offers case studies in how to build membership, set direction, increase diversity, and deal with student volunteers. Other topics include SAA turnaround strategies. This article is of interest to alumni directors and supervisors of student alumni associations.

Generation Now
CURRENTS Article To involve alumni from the Millennial generation (born between 1978 and 1997), alumni associations need to understand that they’re likely to be brand-loyal joiners, networkers, and volunteers. But they’re also sophisticated consumers with high expectations for electronic communications, personal control, and service.

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.

Brain Trust
CURRENTS Article Several institutions are making use of their graduates' "knowledge capital" by expanding alumni volunteer opportunities beyond the usual realms of fund raising and admissions. Alumni volunteers may assist students with coursework, act as mentors, or aid faculty and staff with projects. This story looks at efforts by the Association of Alumni and Alumnae of MIT, Stanford Alumni Association, and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

Alumni Advocates
CURRENTS Article As alumni relations officers are aware, alumni advocacy groups serve their campuses, and the larger community, in a variety of ways. Some groups seek to protect or increase state funding for their institutions, or address other campus issues. Others are organized by academic discipline or professional fields and work to advance relevant social issues; for example, an organization of law school graduates.

Mending Student Discontent
CURRENTS Article Alumni still carrying grievances from their student days can be turned into enthusiastic donors if development officers listen to and address those grievances. Development officers should also be alert to the dissatisfactions of current students, and can try to collaborate with other campus departments to improve the student experience, in order to cultivate future donors.

AdvanceWork: Double Duty
CURRENTS Article Many alumni organizations take volunteer service into account when hiring, and some urge employees to experience volunteering firsthand. For alumni officers, volunteering helps them to appreciate the time constraints volunteers face, to form realistic expectations of volunteers, and to understand what alumni look for in the professionals who manage their efforts.

Industry Watch
CURRENTS Article Alumni relations executives are eyeing a variety of economic factors that have influenced their business plans. Overall, they are reporting a need to contain expenses to offset multiple hits to their budgets. The financial health of key industries also is having an effect on alumni travel programs and affinity programs.

Affinity Test
CURRENTS Article When considering any affinity agreement, keep in mind this critical factor: The corporation or company will be acting as an extension of your institution. Mutual trust is essential, but so is mutual knowledge and full disclosure. Get the whole picture by visiting your prospective corporate or company partners’ headquarters.

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.

Alumnae
CURRENTS Article Women are starting to constitute a greater portion of college and university alumni bases. It’s time to assess solicitations, programs, and services in relation to this ever-growing market segment; alumni organizations that appeal to female graduates will have a competitive advantage.

Alumni Forever
CURRENTS Article In response to a growing group of alumni who want to be buried or inurned at their alma maters, several institutions are constructing cemeteries, columbaria, or memorial gardens where graduates can return to campus after death. For some of these schools, these projects represent a new revenue stream; for others, it’s just a way to allow alums to come home again.

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

The Spectrum of Alumni Involvement
CURRENTS Article Benchmarking in alumni relations has historically been difficult. Keith Brant of the UCLA Alumni Association makes the case for assessing alumni relations programs by more than just alumni giving. Patrick Regan of the University of Portland offers his rating-scale system for measuring the variety of ways his office engages alumni in the life of the university.

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

The Many Faces of Alumni
CURRENTS Article Your alumni’s needs and preferences change as they age. But has your alumni association kept pace? Alumni associations must become more professional, business-driven organizations. They must hire staff with more marketing and technology skills, and must learn to segment their markets in order to develop customized program. Market research can help associations target their limited resources toward their most promising growth markets.

When Graduates Break the Generational Mold
CURRENTS Article Traditional institutions often categorize alumni by graduation year. But for commuter campuses and community colleges segmenting alumni by graduation date isn’t a useful strategy. To market to a nontraditional alumni base most of these institutions have devised their own form of lifestyle marketing by concentrating on this population’s interest in career development. This article will be useful to alumni relations officers, who can learn about the categorization methods used for nontraditional alumni.

Lend Alumni Your Ear
CURRENTS Article Well-run focus groups can help alumni relations officers determine what programs and services their alumni want. This article describes eight steps to conducting useful, cost-effective focus groups. These include identifying your most pressing issues and your target constituencies; developing a script; selecting a moderator, location, and participants; conducting the session; and analyzing the results.

Sending Signals
CURRENTS Article The popular distance learning approach of Britain’s campus-less Open University has generated a global presence and an international alumni base, as well as an atypical advancement operation. The fledgling alumni office seeks to involve alumni volunteers in multiple ways suited to OU’s character, such as student recruitment and mentoring. The development operation maintains a strong emphasis on business development while building programs in annual giving and planned giving.

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.

AdvanceWork: Calling All Student Volunteers
CURRENTS Article Campus groups earn cash for their cause through phonathon work

Raising the Roof
CURRENTS Article The director of public relations at Susquehanna University describes how campus leaders helped a new president adjust quickly to the institution. A committee created a transition plan that included a nine-month schedule of events and meetings with key constituencies. The committee also compiled a briefing packet and included the new president in discussions of important institutional issues even before his arrival.

AdvanceWork: A Real Advancement Hero
CURRENTS Article Frostburg State University features three superhero comic book characters in its annual fund appeal and exceeds its fund-raising goal by more than $20,000.

Closing Remarks: It's Still about People
CURRENTS Article Taylor warns that advancement is in danger of depersonalizing its mission by mistaking technology for human contact. To sustain vital, long-term relationships between alumni and the institution, alumni relations officers need to see alumni face to face. E-mail, the Web, and other technological innovations may make work easier, but they should not be used to the exclusion of personal contact.

Keeping Them In the Fold
CURRENTS Article Some major companies have launched alumni programs for former employees, in the belief that long-term ties with former workers could increase business referrals, strengthen corporate image, and provide access to intellectual capital. Like campus alumni programs, these groups offer such benefits as directories, newsletters, and events. The article discusses the implications for campus alumni programs, which may find themselves either competing with or partnering with corporate programs.

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.

AdvanceWork: Something's Brewing
CURRENTS Article Johnson & Wales University, which trains students in hospitality and culinary arts, unveils two signature coffee blends for use on its five campuses and three hotel-training facilities across the United States.

AdvanceWork: Where Have All the Portals Gone?
CURRENTS Article Internet services companies have found that offering free alumni portals--a model that relied on the expectation of income from marketing to alumni--is unprofitable in today’s Internet environment. Rather than pay companies to maintain their portals, many institutions have given up offering portals and chosen to refocus on their campus alumni Web sites.

AdvanceWork: Ways to Say Welcome
CURRENTS Article Alumni offices use small gifts to greet first-year students

Tech Support: Meet You in Cyberspace
CURRENTS Article A specialist in virtual communities tells what he learned when he volunteered to develop an online alumni community for his alma mater, Reed College. The key lesson: Success hinges on planning. The author offers advice on choosing the right software and host, finding moderators and establishing their duties, determining who will be allowed to join, setting guidelines for online behavior, and promoting involvement.

Many Happy Returns
CURRENTS Article In the two years after launching a free monthly e-mail alumni newsletter, the Stanford Alumni Association conducted three surveys of recipients. The results provided information on reader preferences for length, format, and content. Data also suggested that the newsletter promotes positive feelings and a sense of connection with the institution. An additional study of giving records found higher donor participation among newsletter recipients.

AdvanceWork: What's in a Name?
CURRENTS Article Six different ways campuses define the term "alumni"

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.

What's Holding Us Back?
CURRENTS Article Although online alumni education offers certain advantages over traditional programs--such as broader reach, easy specialization, and flexible scheduling--institutions have been slow to institute online courses. Shaindlin identifies some specific obstacles alumni officers face in developing online education programs and describes innovative examples from both ends of the cost spectrum.

Infusing Education Into All We Do
CURRENTS Article Educational programming often attracts alumni who don’t participate in other alumni activities, and it can also help the alumni office build on-campus relationships and support. This article presents a broad definition of educational programs and describes examples such as reunion seminars, community service projects, alumni club lectures and tours, student-alumni workshops, vendor-led seminars on financial matters, and online career networks.

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.

Setting Up Shop
CURRENTS Article The author presents stories of how institutions, ranging from two-year colleges to independent schools, have launched or revived alumni associations. Alumni officers can adapt the strategies she describes to match the needs of their own campuses.

AdvanceWork: Community Service in Paradise
CURRENTS Article Alternative spring break programs have become wildly popular with undergraduates.

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.

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

Be An Alumni Relations Revolutionary
CURRENTS Article The article summarizes advice for alumni relations officers from Guy Kawasaki, a leading tech-industry figure, member of the Stanford Alumni Association board, and author of the book Rules for Revolutionaries. Included are examples of alumni associations that have, in keeping with Kawasaki’s philosophy, experimented with new and better ways to operate, allowed innovation to flourish, and boosted alumni loyalty.

The House that North Dakota State Built
CURRENTS Article The author recounts her involvement in creating a new alumni center for North Dakota State University. As project manager, she was involved in designing and raising funds for the center, gathering bids and selecting a contractor, and providing oversight through the process of construction, decorating, and landscaping. The story addresses center staffing and management and describes the facility's dedication ceremony.

Write-Minded: Alma Writer
CURRENTS Article Not all alumni who wish to write for their institution's magazine have the necessary skill, but editors can benefit by seeking out truly talented alumni writers. Editors should do everything possible to say "yes" to alumni interested in contributing, while still ensuring the magazine's integrity. When a submission simply isn't usable, let the contributor down gently with a personalized note explaining why the story won't work.

AdvanceWork: Go to Work for Alumni
CURRENTS Article The University of Minnesota Alumni Association partners with major area employers to offer social and networking events, academic and research briefings, athletics and arts programs, and continuing education.

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: Alumni Leadership: The Next Generation
CURRENTS Article Johns Hopkins University's Krieger School of Arts and Sciences experienced a demographic shift in the 1970s.

The MIT Way
CURRENTS Article The secretary of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology alumni association discusses the operation of MIT's Alumni Network Services program. About a third of all MIT alumni have registered for the Internet-based program, which provides such services as lifetime e-mail forwarding and an online alumni directory. The author emphasizes the importance of making Internet-based services consistent with the association's mission, priorities, and desired outcomes, and lists nine operating principles that have guided the MIT project since its inception.

Entering A New Domain
CURRENTS Article Some alumni associations and campuses are partnering with commercial companies to create Web portals -- commercial gateways tailored for alumni that offer one-stop access to Web features. Such portals can: 1) generate significant revenue through advertising and e-commerce connections; 2) capture daily traffic from alumni and student users; 3) serve as a means to coordinate campus Web content; 4) keep official campus and alumni Web sites advertising-free. To be successful, a portal must have high usability, technical quality, helpful support, and good awareness. A resource list names of some commercial portal developers, and a sidebar presents negative opinions on institutional use of portals.

Valuable Volunteers
CURRENTS Article Community service projects are becoming a staple of alumni programming. Alumni organizations develop these projects in response to such reasons as: 1) an institutional mission to further social change; 2) expansion of student service programs; 3) a desire to reach specific groups of graduates; 4) a motivation to "do good." Community volunteer projects offer such benefits as diverse alumni involvement, increased giving and visibility, and a large payoff from a small investment. The article includes advice on forming partnerships with national, regional, and local organizations, and for handling challenges of staffing demands and volunteer management. A sidebar provides information on trends in volunteerism.

AdvanceWork: UBIT Update
CURRENTS Article What the recent affinity card court decision may mean

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

Tech Support: High-Tech Ties that Bind
CURRENTS Article In addition to e-mail and campus Web sites, the Internet offers special advantages for reaching out to international alumni. The article describes ways to use Internet telephone programs, streaming audio and video, freeware, and live chat to increase contact with alumni globally.

Manager's Portfolio: Advancement Away from Home
CURRENTS Article Frankle, alumni and development director at the University of Toronto, describes how her staff established a Hong Kong office. The remote office carries out such tasks as coordinating visits for institutional leaders, planning events for the large Hong Kong alumni base, supervising volunteers, maintaining alumni records, recruiting students, and conducting prospect research. Frankle recommends that institutions considering opening overseas offices should: 1) hire people with local and institutional knowledge; 2) make sure they know the language; 3) bring staffers home for training annually; and 4) evaluate them fairly.

All Roads Lead Back to Alma Mater
CURRENTS Article Five case studies show how institutions are linking international alumni to their alma maters. Examples include: 1) University of Wisconsin, Madison, with alumni in Bangkok; 2) Stanford University, with alumni in Paris; 3) University College Cork, Ireland, with alumni in New York; 4) Phillips Academy, with alumni in London; 5) University of Toronto, with alumni in Hong Kong. A sidebar provides tips for keeping in touch with alumni abroad.

Think Different
CURRENTS Article The first commandment for adapting your alumni magazine to cyberspace

Closing Remarks: Keep Those Letters Coming
CURRENTS Article Editorial guidelines for alumni correspondents

AdvanceWork: A Doggone Dilemma
CURRENTS Article Problem/Solution

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

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

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.

A New Order of Things
CURRENTS Article The University of Michigan Alumni Association reinvents itself as a market-focused organization

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: Yours, Mine, or Ours?
CURRENTS Article An exploration of the issue of "course ownership" when faculty produce Web-based distance learning for alumni.

AdvanceWork: For Keeps
CURRENTS Article This article outlines the basics of establishing an "e-mail for life" or permanent e-mail address service for alumni.

Back to School
CURRENTS Article Retirement communities located near campuses offer such benefits as continuing education and intergenerational contact. Some campuses establish their own communities; others enter into formal or informal partnerships with developers. Tips for a successful project include these: 1) Analyze your motivations. 2) Make sure the community offers shopping, medical care, and other necessary features. 3) Plan on providing assisted living units and a nursing facility as well as independent living units. 4) Choose a site with close proximity to campus. 5) Establish institutional and financial support up front. 6) Consult with professionals in the senior housing industry. 7) Be committed to lifelong learning. A sidebar profiles retirement communities associated with University of Virginia, Iowa State University, and Appalachian State University.

AdvanceWork: Dollars from Diplomas
CURRENTS Article AdvanceWork: Dollars from Diplomas

AdvanceWork: Reach for the Stars
CURRENTS Article Alumni relations and communications professionals offer advice on enlisting celebrities to promote alma mater.

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.

AdvanceWork: An Equitable Arrangement
CURRENTS Article Problem/Solution

Closing Remarks: You've Got Mail
CURRENTS Article A psychology professor muses about the mailings he receives from his alma mater — including reunion announcements, a survey for the alumni directory, and a solicitation for the annual fund.

Click Here for Career Support
CURRENTS Article Many alumni associations are offering their members online career services that include access to job listings, opportunities to post resumes, and links to career resources. These offerings greatly enhance an association's career services programs and may even produce income. Most associations partner with commercial career-service vendors, which requires little investment and may generate revenue; the article lists four such vendors and provides tips for assessing vendors. Some associations operate their own services; two examples are Augusta State University and UCLA. In either case, it's important to consider online career services just one part of a larger career assistance package.

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

In Advance: When Bigger Isn't Better
CURRENTS Article Rather than trying to mobilize the masses, Georgia State University focuses its legislative advocacy efforts by engaging a select 60-member team called AlumNet.

Breaking Tradition
CURRENTS Article Alumni officers at three nontraditional campuses Indiana University-Purdue University at Fort Wayne, University of Baltimore, and University of Michigan, Dearborn—describe programs targeted to nontraditional alumni, including bus trips, mini-universities, lunches with faculty members, networking events, mentoring programs, professional development opportunities, corporate receptions, and alumni travel programs.

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

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

Playing Their Song
CURRENTS Article Those with successful young alumni programs are finding that it pays to connect with current students early and often throughout their stay on campus. This article includes program ideas from Rhodes College, Acadia University, Stillman College, Illinois State University, New Mexico Highlands University, Georgetown University and Indiana University.

Keeping Up with the Younger Crowd
CURRENTS Article Trying to connect with your recent graduates? Consider this sampling of successful ideas for finding, involving, and motivating new alumni

Inside Information
CURRENTS Article Tips on better reaching and serving young alumni.

In Advance: What Works on the Web?
CURRENTS Article The article looks into three benefits alumni association Web sites should offer alumni. First, alumni want to feel connected with other alumni; they want to be aware of events happening on campus; they want access to university resources; they seek job and career networking possibilities; and they desire opportunities for continuing education. Second, alumni feel the need to receive online benefits of their alumni association directly. Third, alumni demonstrate interest in receiving added-value content about their alumni association online.

Model Examples
CURRENTS Article This article investigates the pros and cons of different structures available for alumni chapters to adopt.

World-Class Annual Funds
CURRENTS Article Wondering how you might broaden your annual fund campaign to include prospects outside the United States? Consider these tips: 1) target those countries where your alumni are most concentrated; 2) follow your campus’ strengths by targeting countries where faculty already possess expertise; and 3) focus on building ties with parents. How can you keep overseas prospects connected to your institution? Consider establishing an alumni association just for alumni in a particular part of the world, and encourage volunteers with overseas connections to get involved. When communicating about the importance of philanthropy, remember that approaches to natives of other countries and U.S. expatriates need to be different. When wondering if you should use English in all correspondence, use English if you teach in English.

In Advance: Hooray for Hollywood!
CURRENTS Article If your alumni association is fortunate to have an Oscar or other major award nominee or winner among its celebrity alumni, remember to stay in touch with them before, during and after the event. When Bethany College's Frances McDormand and W.H. Macy were nominated, the alumni office sent cards from students and staff. Consider inviting alumni to campus to watch the event on television, or invite the alumni back to campus to receive an honorary degree.

Showcase of Sites
CURRENTS Article Presents four higher education institutions and the unique features of their alumni Web pages. Dickinson College offers an online reunion. The University of Michigan gives sophisticated online career services. Colorado College presents an economics course, “The Deficit, Debt, and Generation X as part of its continuing education courses. And the University of Texas provides a chance to go cyber shopping for memberships and merchandise. For each of the institutions profiles, details are provided about how the idea developed, the number of visits the site received, the number of staff involved, costs, and results. A sidebar article briefly describes what's happening on a dozen other alumni web pages.

Coming Up Next
CURRENTS Article Examines three trends in the management of alumni office Web site. First, alumni Web sites are featuring more valuable offerings. Examples include directories of alumni e-mail addresses and alumni career networking areas. More campuses are now using professional Web site designers, rather than relying totally on staff and students. Finally, campuses are starting to market and evaluate their Web sites. Alumni magazines, mailings, and e-mail newsletters are valuable sources for marketing a Web site.

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

Political Performance
CURRENTS Article As educational institutions have to fight harder for state and federal financial support, campuses are finding that their alumni volunteers can be some of their best advocates with legislators or provincial representatives. This is especially true in states like Wisconsin and Minnesota, where there are severe restrictions on professional lobbying activities.

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