Alumni Friday Blue
Taking time to reflect

Dear Friends,

I am on a travel hiatus at the moment, after a swirling schedule the last 6 months, this is my first full month at home before travel is in full swing again in November.

This is my chance to draw breath.

It’s Alumni Friday so why not? We can all use a breather. Last week I offered some ways to use your Alumni Friday effectively, but also gently.

This week, we can focus on being reflective. As I think of my time away and promoting alumni potential – with alumni-facing professionals, with senior managers, students and alumni alike – three themes come through:

  1. There is a curiosity about alumni, and an inkling about the potential, and the challenge is where to start!

  2. The pushback factor: the alumni-donors coupling is strong, so much so our alumni can become cynical of any engagement efforts. While I agree with Chris Marshall and his podcast guest spot here where he describes integrated advancement, there are ways, especially outside of North America, where alumni as doers (taking an active place across the lifespan- I can enthusiastically recommend Prof Jessica Vanderlelie’s Alumni Engagement Concepts and Good Practice Guide – if you reflect on nothing else this Alumni Friday – read this! (see page 10 if you are particularly interested in the role of alumni in employability – it’s a terrific resource!)

  3. Alumni relations needs to be relevant. Alumni need to feel that sense of purpose to become / stay engaged too! Relevance is one of alumni relations biggest hangups. Fundraising can show relevance with the amount of money raised. Are engagement scores enough? Don’t our alumni (especially our most recent alumni) want more? What would it be like if our alumni networks were viewed as social impact networks? Check out a World Economic Forum Article I co-wrote on the topic and another article exploring this idea.

Your challenge this week:

For alumni-facing professionals: Take an hour to reflect. Review one of the resources above and consider one action to integrate into your practice.

For alumni and students: Take the hour to reflect on how you want to show up as an alum. Do you want to explore mentorship? Inspire prospective students? Consider how this alumni engagement might enhance your career and leadership skill set.

For everyone: last week I offered you to spend part of your Alumni Friday with me! No strings! No cost! Just a 15-minute spirited alumni discussion! Book an Alumni Friday session with me before the end of 2023!

With alumni inspiration,


Pick up your copy
The Alumni Way here

Photo below: Online to reach the world!
My time at home is filled with workshops, webinars and panel discussions, including this one with 
The IC Global Café, a free community for international education professionals.
As an IC Global Fellow, I enjoyed a spirited discussion with Charlene Allen (The IC Global, top left), Vicky Lewis, international education expert researcher (bottom left) and Piet van Hove, President of the European Association for International Education- EAIE  (bottom right)