Vacation check-in – part 3


Dear Friends,


My working vacation in Nova Scotia is ending soon. Alongside assembling family memories, I managed some reflection time. This includes some poignant conversations about the power of alumni as a key diaspora community.


As I noted in my LinkedIn post this week, I feel like a part of the Nova Scotia diaspora.
I never lived here, nor studied here, but I spent a lot of quality time here – my immediate family is here and love it. It’s that internalized 
feeling that connects me to place. This has spurred my interest and action to see the development of a global Nova Scotia alumni network (still a dream, but I can dream!).


This connects very much to identity. When we want our alumni to engage (or when we are alumni and we engage) it is because of this internalized identity: it is part of who we are. This spurs action. Engagement doesn’t happen without this identity.


A short word on government-supported global alumni networks. Sometimes university alumni programs can feel threatened by this work, worried that alumni will opt to connect with the country and not the institution. My research suggests the opposite. Alumni identity is not mutually exclusive, we can hold a love for the country where we studied and our institution (or sometimes just one or the other). Often these national alumni programs can be a gateway to institutional involvement too.


Your challenge this week:


For alumni-facing professionals: Is there an omni alumni network (state, province-wide, national, scholarship-based) that your alumni would benefit from? Share this information with your alumni. Alumni engagement does beget further engagement!


For students and alumni: Consider your identities. What connects you to your alma mater? Is it your academic program of study? A sports team? The country where you studied? See if there are ways you can reconnect with these identities you hold most dear.


This isn’t the first time that I spoke about identity in this Alumni Friday edition. This is a fundamental in The Alumni Way (still 50% off here with the code POTAW23). I haven’t talked as much about the connection between diaspora and alumni – check out my guest spot on the Doing Diaspora vlog with Dr Martin Russell, it explains a lot for the diaspora-alumni curious!


Have a wonderful weekend!


Yours with Atlantic sunshine,



Quote from the book

“Our life identities and our alumni identity are not something we should take for granted. It requires our thoughtful reflection.”

The Alumni Way, p. 18



Photo below: Here we are! As I mentioned in last week’s newsletter; I met Sean Meister, Nova Scotia’s unofficial LinkedIn guy, in downtown Halifax, to talk about all things diaspora and alumni.
Meeting in person is terrific – an extra challenge; meet someone in person for an energizing talk over the coming Alumni Fridays – it will make your weekend!