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Alumni Advisory Council 2020 Activities and 2021 Plans

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By Melanie Conner
Student and Alumni Affairs Liaison

The Alumni Advisory Council, founded in 2016, was established to form partnerships with alumni, advise university leaders and engage alumni further in community initiatives.

In 2020, the Council’s focus also broadened to include listening to the alumni community to understand how to better serve the alumni population. In 2020, the Council expanded to ensure that all six academic schools were represented.

The Alumni Advisory Council currently includes 24 members. The Council’s leadership board is made up of several people:

  • Lauren Crabtree (School of Arts and Humanities), President
  • Oluwaseyi Lawal (School of Health Sciences), Vice President
  • George (Ross) Patterson (School of Security and Global Studies), Secretary

Office of Alumni Affairs Partners with the Alumni Advisory Council

In the early part of 2020, the Alumni Advisory Council worked with the Office of Alumni Affairs to identify goals to benefit our alumni population. Throughout 2020, the Alumni Advisory Council worked diligently to understand current elements of the alumni experience and work toward the improvement of the alumni community. Some of their goals and objectives included:  

  • Maintaining contact and communication with alumni
  • Promoting alumni benefits and/or services available to the alumni community
  • Supporting a proposal for alumni discounts and scholarships
  • Participating in more virtual events and activities, including a 2020 Virtual Homecoming
  • Updating and revitalizing the alumni public web pages
  • Sponsoring the alumni gift (challenge coin)
  • Registering and receiving approval as a recognized campus organization

Looking Ahead: 2021

Our 2020 Council will hold its year-end meeting on December 17. The Alumni Advisory Council will wrap up its 2020 goals and chat about 2021 planning.

As 2021 approaches, the Alumni Advisory Council will welcome 11 new members. The Council plans to propose key initiatives to influence and increase alumni partnerships with the university, while also making sure the alumni voice is present as the university progresses. Some of the targeted goals for 2021 include a focus on increased engagement in the university directory and the mentoring program, focused integration with Academics, and a thorough review of current alumni social media and community spaces.

The Alumni Advisory Council will continue to review alumni feedback and will work to establish a system of communication with their peers to ensure feedback is actively captured and shared.

Thank You to Our Council Members

We thank our current Council members for all of their hard work and dedication to the Alumni Advisory Council!

Hwal Lee, who is currently serving on the Alumni Advisory Council, says, “It has been a great experience that I would recommend to any alumni, and I’m grateful that the University has given me the opportunity to be a part of it. Rest assured that I will continue my connection and service in any way I can, because the university is the reason I was able to attend my first commencement ceremony in more than 20 years, after all.”

Melanie Conner is a Student and Alumni Affairs Liaison at the university. Having worked in higher education for almost 10 years, Melanie enjoys cultivating relationships with students and alumni. She has undergraduate degrees in education from Germanna Community College and in sociology from the University of Mary Washington.

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