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CASE Guidelines for Alumni Relations Professionals on Establishing Vendor Relationships
The CASE Commission on Alumni Relations approved these guidelines in April 2008. They guide member institutions' relationships with vendors that provide alumni programs and services.

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.

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.

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.

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 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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