Are you part of the 81%?

Dear Friends,

There is a shift afoot in alumni engagement. This week, the US News & World Report announced they are removing alumni giving ranking as part of its methodology from its 2024 Best Colleges list.

This is game-changing for alumni engagement.

CASE (the Council for Advancement and Support of Education) celebrated this move in a statement saying: “We have long held that the percentage of undergraduate alumni who donate does not capture the depth and breadth of the relationships between all alumni and their alma mater…”

Often, alumni engagement is viewed as a gateway to financial giving, but this is an awakening of the importance of alumni involvement in meaningful ways. Some university philanthropic campaigns are also including metrics related to alumni engagement, sometimes as high as in the hundreds of hours of alumni volunteer service.

Your Alumni Friday challenge this week:

For students and alumni: Do some sleuthing: what ways can you give back your time or talent to the university? This is an immensely gratifying activity and often a nice talking point in an interview when it is highlighted on your CV or resume. Start with your university’s alumni web page to see what might be available and join your alumni online community to get an insider’s view of these opportunities.

For alumni-facing professionals: How can you thrust alumni engagement in and for your institution into the limelight at your institution? Think about who needs to know (including senior management, faculty, and of course alumni!) about the value of alumni engagement? Take a few minutes this Alumni Friday to objectively look at your communications about alumni engagement – website, reports, workplan – what is it saying to the world? Is the trumpet loud enough, and in tune?

According to CASE, 81% of engagement is alumni volunteer service. What’s your part in engaging in or enabling alumni involvement?

Next week, I am travelling to my 25th Alumni Reunion at the University of Toronto! As the President of the University of St Michael’s College Alumni Association, I am proud to share with fellow alumni my experience of service. Here’s a little snippet reflection here. I look forward to sharing my alumni-centred experience next week!

Yours with alumni infused engagement,


Quote from the book

“Alumni volunteers are viewed by their alma mater as leaders. Once we start to volunteer, we are called to take on more leadership within our alma mater.”

The Alumni Way, p.170

Photo below: Celebrating books on alumni relations! That’s me (left) with my dear friends, ICARe Founder and President Diana Vieira and co-author of  Engaging International Alumni as Strategic Partners Sandra Rincón. Reunited in Porto!