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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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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

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

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.

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.

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.

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 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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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?

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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: 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.

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.

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.

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."

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

AdvanceWork: 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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: 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: 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

AdvanceWork: A Doggone Dilemma
CURRENTS Article Problem/Solution

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

AdvanceWork: 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.

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.

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

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.

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