Author Topic: alumni associations?  (Read 303 times)

lightning

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alumni associations?
« on: October 21, 2021, 09:49:03 PM »
Part of the reason why I was never active with my alumni associations was because the benefits of networking and socialization through the alumni associations were never as good as networking and socialization through social media like Facebook and other similar platforms. "Reunions" were organized informally through social media, without any help or affiliation with our alma maters.

Any "reunion" event organized by the alumni association (not very many) looked boring, and the people that were attending were people that I never cared to affiliate with, nor did I want to. Their magazines were boring, too, and the reports of alumni activity were very incomplete and didn't really capture some of the cool stuff people were doing in their lives. Some of their other services like an alumni email address, got very little support from IT, and were unreliable.

After decades of ignoring the alumni associations of every college I have ever attended, I have started to become engaged with them, and I have even begun donating a *little* $. Two of them have my direct contact info, which I voluntarily gave to them. One of them has even called me up for a *little* $, and I donated some.

I never would have imagined myself doing this ten years ago.

Honestly speaking, after one year as a so-called active & contributing alumni association member of two of the three colleges that I attended, I'm not exactly sure what the benefits are.

What say you all? Are you a member of your alumni association, and why do you bother, if so? I'm not sure why I bother with it, and I'm thinking of dis-engaging.





Harlow2

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Re: alumni associations?
« Reply #1 on: October 22, 2021, 07:02:10 AM »
Lightning, what prompted you to join them? I don’t belong to any either, but my doctoral institution sends broadcast emails about lectures, events, and job boards. They seem interested in having grads do mentoring and informal admissions contact, which I don’t have time for right now but could be interesting eventually.

lightning

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Re: alumni associations?
« Reply #2 on: October 22, 2021, 08:05:31 AM »
Lightning, what prompted you to join them? I don’t belong to any either, but my doctoral institution sends broadcast emails about lectures, events, and job boards. They seem interested in having grads do mentoring and informal admissions contact, which I don’t have time for right now but could be interesting eventually.

That's a great question.

For one of them, another alum who is a close friend and colleague, contacted me through Facebook IM and asked me if I wanted to contribute to a memorial fund for a professor under whom we both studied. I did so without hesitation because that professor was important to me. The next thing I know, I was a member of the alumni association, and renewed my contribution for the following year. I must have checked a box that signed me up to me an association member and auto-contributions. I better check on that.

For the other, they were offering swag that I really wanted. This is going to sound really vain, but this particular college is prestigious and the swag is, well, really good for dopes like me who want to show off in a tasteful way. Beyond that, I'm not sure why I bothered with it. I certainly could have waited until the swag showed up on eBay.

I'm already mentoring students from one of the institutions and participating in very informal invited talks/get-togethers, but this all happened because of social media interactions outside of the alumni association. I have always received a lot of email blasts from them about events, but I don't really pay much attention to those.


mamselle

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Re: alumni associations?
« Reply #3 on: October 22, 2021, 09:54:26 AM »
I did independent studies in my undergrad and grad work, so no alumni/ae associations exist beyond the larger, university-wide ones that keep track of you as long as you're breathing.

I bin those appeals, since they don't really connect with anything I valued about my programs--the U/G school, Ohio State, only wants to sell me football tickets, and my later schools aren't even that organized.

My high school association is more avid, and basically, more annoying. I keep having to ask them to take my email off all their round-robin messages about this party or that that they've had, and all the reply-all responses with more photos, more anecdotes, etc. I valued very much the teachers at the school, and I keep in touch with two or three former students with whom I have something in common; the rest were either mean, rude, or enablers to the mean and rude kids and I'd rather not be reminded of them (oh, and I married one, who seemed nice at the time but turned out to be meaner and ruder than any of the others, and he's under a permanent restraining order, so I don't plan to attend any functions where he might be present, either.)

In cheerier news, there's a local U/G alum association where I live now, and I contacted them once, since my tours here included sites related to the state's founding and other regional historical events that developed out of events here, where meeting sites, declarations, and signed documents can be seen, visited, etc.

I offered to do both a slide lecture and a walking tour for free, and was turned down, because "we only meet for football games and tailgate parties."

Ha-rumph.

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AvidReader

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Re: alumni associations?
« Reply #4 on: October 22, 2021, 10:21:45 AM »
I joined one last year in hopes that reactivating my email address would also give me library database access. It did not.

AR.

sinenomine

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Re: alumni associations?
« Reply #5 on: October 22, 2021, 10:36:17 AM »
I’m a lifetime alumni member of one of the schools I went to; I donate regularly (and have earned the perk of requesting no phone solicitations), volunteer, and enjoy the access to library databases I don’t get through work. The other school I graduated from sends me regular emails, but since I don’t see the benefit in joining their alumni association, I haven’t bothered. Technically, I’m now also an alum of the school where I work, since I did a graduate certificate they offered to faculty. Their alumni office now bombards me with emails and even snail mail, all of which I find oddly amusing.
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pgher

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Re: alumni associations?
« Reply #6 on: October 22, 2021, 06:14:19 PM »
One ranking metric is percent of alumni who donate. So it benefits the university. The point is to "pay it forward." I have occasionally donated to each of my alma maters (or is it almas mater?), always unrestricted.

filologos

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Re: alumni associations?
« Reply #7 on: October 22, 2021, 06:39:16 PM »
alma maters (or is it almas mater?)

Almae matres, if we're being pedantic.

hmaria1609

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Re: alumni associations?
« Reply #8 on: October 22, 2021, 07:13:50 PM »
I get the alumni e-newsletters and magazines from both my undergrad and library/graduate schools. (One is a college and the other is a regional public university associated with a state system) I'm also subscribed to the alumni groups for both schools on LinkedIn.com.

There have been the annual alumni reunions in the summer and alumni events at Homecoming in the fall. I haven't gone because of distance. Both schools haven't been great doing regional alumni events outside of the state. (Florida has been popular for alumni events in the past)
The last alumni event for DC area alumni for my undergrad was in 2019. Another was planned for last year but the pandemic happened.

When American Library Assoc. (ALA) Annual rolls around in the summer, some of the library schools in that area of the country will have reunions at various hotels in the host city. There's also a whole aisle of library schools with booths during the exhibits for interested students and alumni to stop by. Mine has a been "no show" for it for some years.

More recently I've contributed money to both schools.
« Last Edit: October 22, 2021, 07:17:46 PM by hmaria1609 »

Hibush

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Re: alumni associations?
« Reply #9 on: October 22, 2021, 08:43:02 PM »
Being a member of the alumni association alerts you to far more opportunities for donating money to make cool things happen. So if your goal is to give money, then they are really handy.

kaysixteen

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Re: alumni associations?
« Reply #10 on: October 22, 2021, 11:04:21 PM »
How many schools require alums to actually *join* their alumni societies?   At dear alma mater, for instance, the home of the oldest alumni society in the US, celebrating its 200th anniversary this very year, every year at graduation, the society president gets to give a speech formally welcoming the new grads to said society, and then, like clockwork, the alumni mag just keeps coming, and periodically class agents post appeals to send contact info for any classmates who have fallen off of the alumni office radar.