I'm often asked how we measure success in alumni relations. Most people who ask assume the primary metric is the number of donations we receive. In fact, a few alumni believe the sole purpose of alumni relations is to raise money! That couldn't be further from the truth.
Yes, donations play a crucial role in the university's drive to maintain excellence, and alumni contributions help establish scholarships and fellowships, support faculty research, and build educational programs. But gifts come in many forms, and a successful alumni relations program relies on one very important gift: the gift of time. Alumni who volunteer to give talks, attend events, speak with high school students, recruit future graduates, participate on alumni boards, or volunteer for school driven initiatives, contribute immeasurably to our success.
Establishing and maintaining meaningful relationships with our alumni is a key measure of success. That's why we continue to reach out to the alumni community through educational, social, and professional activities. Recent events were held at Yahoo!, Microsoft, Amazon, Disney, Electronic Arts, and Google. This summer, we also continued our tradition of holding fun family-friendly activities with our fellow alumni from the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering in Boston, Washington, New York City, and Austin, Texas.
A strong alumni network makes an impact on the world because alumni step in to support ongoing projects within the university and help classmates embark on new technology ventures. A special Yahoo group was formed last year to enable alumni in computer-related disciplines to share information and ideas, and bring jobs and technical questions to a discussion-style forum. Interested alumni can visit tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/tartanadvantage to join or learn more.
So, what makes a successful alumni relations program? People! Remember, the gift of time is one of the most important gifts alumni can give. Our continued success depends on it! If you're interested in learning more about volunteer opportunities, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.