It’s time to think radically about our alumni together


Dear Friends,


Last week I had the privilege to moderate an incredible panel of seasoned alumni professionals at the CASE Europe conference in Edinburgh. CASE is the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education, the professional association for advancement and alumni-facing professionals. As the delegates at the conference would attest, CASE also stands for Copy and Steal Everything, that is, draw on the ideas and insights of colleagues and adapt it to suit your own institution.


We had about 100 years of alumni experience on the panel stage. With a very packed room, there was 1000s of years of alumni experience floating in the room! The session was interactive and when we discussed Alum From Day One, the response was a shake-up: Alum BEFORE Day One (thanks and shout out to Joel Menard from the University of Amsterdam!).


What is Alum BEFORE Day One? It was rightly argued that even students with offers to a university and even prospective students are part of the alumni community – they are becoming connected to the culture and developing a sense of belonging to the university – they are reflecting on whether this suits them, they are curious about learning more too. This might seem like a step too far. Is it?


Maybe this extended thinking wouldn’t work in your institution. BUT how can alumni be involved in this potential alumni community? Here’s a piece where I was quoted talking about the place of alumni to support international offer holders. There are other creative ways to engage alumni with these earliest alumni!


Your challenge this week:


For everyone: How can we rethink our typical alumni-ness or alumni event? Why do what you’ve always done? If it is comfortable it’s time to question it! As a student or alum, consider new people to reach out to, perhaps beyond your areas of interest. For alumni-facing professionals – it’s time to rethink your tried and tested events – ask why? Is it still relevant? Can we engage in something new or refresh this traditional initiative?


Are you rethinking your alumni strategy? Looking for a refresh? I offer one time alumni professional team sessions and coaching advisory services online. Or we can explore how I can help you build an energizing alumni engagement strategy! Do get in touch and we can discuss.


Next week I am in Prague delivering a workshop to alumni professionals – over 30 signed up to date – if I can help to energize the practice for your region or cluster of universities happy to put together a dynamic program! Let’s talk!


Yours with alumni inspiration,


Quote from the book

“Universities often start the alumni education early. It is hoped that with these efforts, students will subconsciously develop an active student life to eventually translate to becoming an active alum.”

The Alumni Way, p. 31




Photo below: Reviving alumni friendships – I had the pleasure reconnecting with my good expert alumni friends Sandra Rincón of Brite Ideas podcast and Prof Anita Straujuma of Riga Technical University, Latvia (check out her academic alumni research here!)