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Young Alumni Break Out Session 4/26/07 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Nikole McCollum   
Wednesday, 27 June 2007

Young Alumni

Tips and Tricks from the Pros

(or at least the people who think young alumni are a "tough nut to crack")

Discussion Leaders
Tom Maravilla, Stanford University

Rex Morey, Dartmouth



Emily Morris

Beth Miranda


Sabrina Smith

Tina Gourley


Patrick Rivera

Hoopes Wampler


Katherine Liede

Rachel Kushner


Casey Ryan


Maryetta Lynch

Nikole McCollum

Elizabeth Player Jones

Kara Fischer


 The term “Young Alumni” was defined differently for each university. Young alumni could be considered 0-5 years out, 0-10, 0-15 or by age, up to 32 years old, if they were in a graduate program.  What types of technology are being used?
InCircle (Stanford and Dartmouth). InCircle is an online networking tool similar to Facebook and MySpace except that it is only for alumni of a particular college. The popularity of InCiclre is that it allows alumni to contact “groups” that they belong to through emails. Dartmouth is seeing usage decline because of the popularity of other social networking sites.

Email forwarding (all universities had this)

Facebook- only a few colleges were harnessing this technology, but everyone was aware that students use it regularly. Most did not set up Facebook groups, but knew of ones that had been set up by students.

Email Newsletters – Stanford does a monthly volunteer written newsletter that goes out to its young alumni club in the SF bay area. All content is provided by volunteers but proofed by staff and sent out through the university email system.

Text messaging (Harvard) – piloting this program for the first year. Student have to opt in, but the beauty of it is that most likely everyone will keep the same cell phone number. Program is inexpensive. Works well in conjunction with other marketing efforts, such as sending reminders to RSVP for events, etc.

YouTube- Cornell’s student senior gift campaign made a YouTube video to reach out to the senior class and get them to donate. It was very successful and they raised a lot of money. So far no one had tried this idea with alumni. But the idea was brought up to include the “Top 5 YouTube Picks” as an interest grabber in emails/communication pieces.

 What is a good price point for young alumni?
Everyone agreed that no matter what the program young alumni wanted to feel as though they were getting a “deal.” They are very quid pro quid. MIT does their PIE Reunion in Vegas and cost to attend not including air fare is $300 and they have a great turnout.

 What has been your experience with young alumni and travel programs?
They are hit or miss. Again, young alumni want flexibility and to feel as though they are getting a “deal.” Often alumni travel is very expensive and people have to book way in advance. Young alumni are often not likely to have a lot of vacation saved up or be able to book more then 6 months in advance. No one seemed to have the answer to engaging young alumni in travel.

 What other ways do universities engage young alumni?
Career Services is a way to engage young alumni by filling a need. The Stanford Graduate College of Engineering found that most of the people who attended career services/networking related events are people who have graduated within the last five years.

Webtraining/Webinars were suggested as a way to reach young alumni. They have been mildly successful, but a great way to reach out to alumni who are not local to an area. The most popular topic has been “Changing Careers.”

Age/Stage Panels – MIT brings puts on panels for young alumni focused on a certain career or job path.

First Time Homebuyer Programs- Stanford hosts these seminars after work and typically has attendance of 300-500 alums at each one. They bring in a mortgage broker, loan officer, real estate agent, and on campus credit union to talk about the process.

How to Get Rid of Debt Seminar

Stanford has a young alumni club (C-YA) that is completely volunteer run and advised by a staff member. There are anywhere from 25-35 young alumni on the steering committee that all serve on a different group (i.e. social events, community service events, speaker events, athletic events). Each member serves for a 6 month term. Group puts on about 10-15 events a month.

 Other topics that were mentioned
Kaplan Test Prep – Saves alumni $100 and gives the university $25

Gov-connect [not sure if this is the correct title] – it gives alumni a discount on computer purchases and is popular with young alumni.

 Topic for future discussions
How do you handle transition…what do you do with an alum when they are no longer considered a young alumni?

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 27 June 2007 )
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