Alumni Friday Blue

Need to have, not a nice to have

Dear Friends,

If you are a regular reader to this newsletter, you will know my feelings on the essential nature of the alumni network, nay the alumni community that it serves and is served by its alma mater.


A couple of weeks ago a friend and colleague the fabulous Nena Grceva, Head of Alumni at the Hertie School in Berlin shared this quote:

Alumni Networks are

the biggest, fastest growing and farthest reaching

networks of support that any institution has


No author was attributed with this quotation. It succinctly outlines what many of us might be thinking about our alumni. (Thanks Nena!)

Let me highlight three things that are powerful about this statement. 

  1. Alumni networks are dynamic, constantly evolving entities!

  2. Support is positioned as both support for the institution and for the alumni network itself

  3. Our colleagues can offer us inspiration to energize our alumni connections and our practice!

Our alumni-facing work is fundamentally about human connection. However, despite the size, breadth, and scope of alumni networks (and that it is recognized as such) we still obsess over the quantitative metrics of alumni engagement. Being big and awesome just isn’t good enough. There is an important place for metrics in alumni engagement. However, the danger is focusing on the numbers and not on the relationships with and between our alumni. 


Your challenge this week:


For alumni-facing professionals: Forget the number for at least an hour! How are you genuinely connecting with your alumni leaders so that they feel valued and special?


For students and alumni: Bet you didn’t realize you are part of such a powerful, BIG alumni network – you are! Take this Alumni Friday to navigate the alumni network perks at your own institution – what’s on offer? Here’s an article from earlier this year to offer some action points. Choose one thing to follow-up or an event to attend – go big, sign-up for something out of your comfort zone!


With only weeks until the end of the year, take some time to celebrate alumni fabulousness! If you haven’t picked up The Alumni Way quote sheet for ongoing inspiration – you can do so here.


Want to mobilize your alumni network? Let’s talk – I am available for speaking engagements, webinars and workshops in 2024! 15 minutes together to explore!

With big alumni love,




Quote from the book

“Our relationship with our alma mater can hold relevance in our lives. These relationships are multi-layered, with the flows of people, knowledge and resources.”

The Alumni Way, p 26

Photo below: Go big! Last week I was at CERN and had the opportunity to visit the new Science Gateway, an education and outreach centre open to the public to learn about those big questions in our universe – a must-visit! It’s big and bold (like our alumni!)