The following sessions have been confirmed for the Alumni Relations track. Once the program has been finalized, a comprehensive schedule will be posted.
Uniting the Past with the Present: How the University of Louisiana Monroe Turned a Decade-Old Identity Crisis into a Successful Rebrand
In August, 2017 the University of Louisiana launched a brand new, yet somehow familiar look; one that continues to impress faculty, staff, alumni, and current students. The University continued to struggle to find its identity after facing a name-change in 2000, and a mascot change in 2005. The rebrand managed to speak not only to current students, but resonated with the alumni and community base who said they often felt “forgotten.” The ULM Office of Marketing & Communications began working on the rebrand in 2015 and completed the entire process in-house with a meager budget and office staff of only seven members. The office kicked-off the rebrand with “The Big Reveal” of a new logo and has enjoyed success as the entire rebrand process continues to be well-received.
Dr. Julia Letlow, Director of Marketing & Communications, University of Louisiana Monroe
Navigating the Dichotomies of Higher Education Advancement
Friendraising vs. Fundraising. Alumni vs. dollars. Many gifts vs. large gifts. Cultivation vs. solicitation Building for a new generation of alumni donors vs. working with alumni who can make large gifts now. How can we develop high-level strategies and operational steps that simultaneously and adequately address the seemingly opposing currents in our advancement operations? It can be frustrating and difficult or exhilarating and rewarding. We will discuss the dichotomies that all advancement shops face and how to manage them advantageously.
Mr. Jesse Pisors, Vice President for Advancement & External Relations
Elevating Special Events
Special events have traditionally been used to identify, cultivate, and thank alumni and donors, as well as to craft occasions specifically to generate additional funding. Trinity University has redesigned special events to be more intentional in several ways: to cultivate high potential affinity groups, to develop targeted goals for each event, and to develop meaningful metrics. In this presentation, we will share our experiences of how we developed a relationship with a new affinity group, as well as how we measured the data to determine the results. Come and bring your winning ideas as well, so we can share approaches on how best to realize long-term benefits for our institutions
Shawne Zakaria, Director of Special Events, Trinity University
Susan Lavenant, Assistant Director of Special Events, Trinity University
Kay Casey, Associate VP for Alumni Relations & Development, Trinity University
Let’s Stay Together: How Alumni Staff and Volunteers Can Work Together to Promote Engagement
Alumni staff and alumni association volunteers often find themselves competing for alumni support. However, with a continued decline in alumni engagement and giving among certain institutions, it is imperative that alumni relations staff and alumni association volunteers learn to work collaboratively. The award-winning Texas Southern University National Alumni Association and Texas Southern University (TSU) Office of Alumni Relations have built a great relationship to ensure that TSU graduates can give back and be involved beyond graduation. During this presentation, you will learn how to develop strong relationships between university alumni personnel and alumni volunteers, while maintaining and increasing alumni engagement.
Dr. Jasmine Pope Collier, Major Gifts Officer, Dallas Country Community College Foundation
Connie Cochran, Assistant Vice President of Alumni Relations and Special Events, Texas Southern University
Lasting Connections: 1869 Scholars Alumni Mentoring Program
Today’s alumni seek meaningful and personal relationships with their alma mater. Trinity University developed an innovative program partnering talented alumni with current students in a purposeful and guided mentor relationship. Through structured, one-to-one student-alumni mentorships, 1869 Scholars Alumni Mentors engage students through curriculum in one of two tracks, vocational exploration or skills articulation. To ensure program quality, alumni mentors receive web-based training and curriculum resources. Both alumni mentors and students have the opportunity to share ongoing feedback through a third-party software to help guide the program. Four powerful byproducts of this 1869 Scholars include 1) the creation of a shared language which students, staff, faculty, and alumni can use to better articulate the value of higher education, 2) intentional opportunities for alumni and students to establish meaningful connections, and 3) alumni integration with current campus culture which increases student awareness of alumni engagement expectations and 4) an increase in donor interest. Presenters will provide a program overview, present preliminary results from qualitative and quantitative assessment, discuss program challenges and opportunities, and provide ideas for how session attendees might replicate the program on their campuses.
Mrs. Katie Storey, Young Alumni & Student Programs Coordinator, Trinity University
Ms. Twyla Hough, Director of Career Services, Trinity University
We All Want the Same Thing, so Why Not Work Together?
The Office of Alumni Engagement at Tarleton State University created mutually beneficial partnerships with chapters and colleges to form one big team. Together these groups increased alumni engagement, worked on creating a culture of membership and made Tarleton better together.
Jessica Evans, Director of Alumni Engagement, Tarleton State University
Start with Students: The Case for Student Outreach and Best Practices to Get Your Program Started
We all know that students are our future alumni, but what are you doing to connect with them while they are on campus to cultivate a culture of giving before they graduate. Come hear why the real reasons you should be engaging with current students, as well as examples from the top award-winning programs nation-wide to help you start or revamp your current programs.
Ryan Miller, Director of the UALR Alumni Association, University of Arkansas at Little Rock
CASE’s Alumni Engagement Metrics Project
In early 2018, CASE published a whitepaper entitled “Alumni Engagement Metrics” based upon the input of a Task Force, who’s mission was to “Develop an industry-wide framework to measure alumni engagement.” Since then, CASE has pulled together a group of beta institutions that are testing that framework. Come hear about the framework and the beta activity.
Fred B. Weiss, Chief Research and Data Officer, CASE
Using Career Services to Enhance Alumni Engagement
Discover how Tulane University is using high-tech and high-touch to create alumni engagement in its career services programming. As one of the original users of the Graduway product, Tulane is taking this product to a new dimension. We are not only using our Tulane Connect platform in the traditional sense but, carrying it forward into a more high-touch environment. Through a recent survey of our users, we offered our alumni the opportunity to help us make it better. Over 400 alumni offered to participate in discussion groups to help us in this effort. We are now conducting focus group session with alumni throughout the county. This process offers us another way to engage alumni in a more personal way. In this session, you will learn how we are using various ways to engage our alumni through career related activities and how this is helping us better engage our alumni in a more meaningful and measurable way.
Nicole Bush, Director of Alumni Career Services, Tulane University