Alumni Friday Blue
Are you planning (or planning to attend) yours?

Dear Friends,

I am an alumni reunion junkie. I love going to a dedicated weekend that includes all things alumni. I oscillate between the joy of nostalgia and meeting old friends to the pride of where the institution is today and making new friends.

Alongside my day job working directly on alumni potential, I am President of the Alumni Association at the University of St Michael’s College in the University of Toronto. I hold this role thousands of miles from my alma mater, an experience I wrote about early on here. I am immensely proud of my fellow Board members and fellow alumni in the active role they are taking to plan the next alumni reunion. We are six months away and we meet often, shaping an exciting program that includes a throwback 80/90s pub and a day of learning.

As a celebrate 10 years (!) since the publication of my academic article Higher education over a lifespan: a gown to grave assessment of a lifelong relationship between universities and their graduates published in Studies in Higher Education, reunions make a cameo appearance.  Explaining the engagement component of the alumni relationship building cycle drawing on my research, that happens after affiliation and affinity. Alumni “what’s in it for me?” engagement is also the precursor to support – giving of time, talent, treasure and ties. (If you can’t access the article via your university’s library, hit reply and I will send you a reprint). For more information on the relationship building cycle scroll the KITE resource pages here and look for the fun diagram!

Reunions matter because they embody alumni-centricity. Involving alumni directly in the process – as we are doing at St Mike’s – deepens the authenticity and connection it offers the alumni community.

Your challenge this week:

Is your alumni reunion coming up? Consider ways to get involved in – or even attend – the reunion. Is it nostalgia or nourishment you’re after? Find programming that suits your circumstances. No reunion planned yet? Check out other alumni events that might fit the bill, register and see where it takes you! (this goes for both alumni-facing professionals, alumni and students alike!)

I am speaking at upcoming workshops and events in Galway, Berlin and Geneva as well as online for the University of Toronto. You are welcome to discuss ways to bring alumni centricity to your next alumni event! Book a time to discuss with me here.

With alumni fun,


Quote from Studies in Higher Education article

So begins the alumniinstitution relationship in earnest: the alumni respond to a planned activity, such as attending a reunion or profiting from an Alumni Office-organised

p. 1155

in Gallo, M.L. 
Higher education over a lifespan: a gown to grave assessment of a lifelong relationship between universities and their graduates,
Studies in HigherEducation,
38:8, 1150-1161.


Photo below: The St Mike’s Alumni Reunion Committee with the USMC College President (third from left). Our mighty committee spans alumni across 7 decades – this is incredible!