How universities can keep alumni excited and connected

This post is by David from David Teten's blog

A new board member of the Alumni Association for one of the Ivies reached out and asked me for some ideas on how they could better engage their graduates. I took this as a challenge, and brainstormed a list of ideas on how universities can do more to engage their alumni community.  I thought this might be of interest to others:

  • Encourage tighter cooperation among their alumni special interest groups (SIGs). The easy way to do this: Provide a central database of ALL SIGs and the current officers leading them. Universities typically have many affiliated Special Interest Groups (SIGs), but almost no cooperation between them. For example, Harvard College, Harvard Medical School, and Harvard Business School all have SIGs focused on women, but those groups don’t interact much between themselves while the students are on campus. However, a 30 year old Harvard college grad working in medtech and a 30 year old Harvard Med grad working as a doctor definitely have overlapping interests. As an example of cross-alumni SIG cooperation: HBS Alumni Angels of NY organizes periodic pitch nights geared to women, African-American, Latino, Arab, and LBGT entrepreneurs, joint with all the relevant HBS and Harvard affinity groups.  This helps create diversified deal flow and closed investments.  Similarly, in April 2017, HBS Angels NY organized the first annual MENA Tech Summit joint between Harvard Arab Alumni Association, ABANA (formerly the Arab Bankers Association), HBS Alumni Angels NY, and HOF Capital.  
  • Share a database of elite fellowships/support programs appropriate (Read more...)