College of William and Mary alumni face as busy a spring as graduating seniors this year with events planned throughout the East Coast. The Board of Visitors’ Alumni Relations Committee met Thursday morning to discuss these upcoming activities as well as possible changes to Alumni Association outreach initiatives.
The Alumni Association hosts national and regional events and maintains the contact information of the College’s thousands of alumni.
“[Alumni] are at the foundation of what we want to do over the next five to ten years at the College,” Committee Chair Kendrick Ashton Jr. ’98 said. “We’ve got to, as a board, be equally engaged and understanding of how we support … them.”
Recently, the Alumni Association hosted an auction in New York. Half of the attendees were those classified as young alumni, or alumni who graduated within the last ten years.
“It was wonderful to have all those young people there,” Executive Vice President Karen Cottrell ’66 M.Ed. ’84 said. “They looked beautiful; they were taking pictures of each other and they made it a very festive event.”
The Alumni Association will host regional events in Washington, D.C. and Atlanta, Georgia before the end of the academic year.
Alumni Association Assistant Vice President John Kane updated the committee on the ways in which they obtain data about alumni. The association emails and calls alumni and connects with them through databases like LinkedIn. The association is considering switching over to the Blackboard CRM database.
“This does accomplish melding together a few of the current systems we’re using now,” Kane said.
When compared to peer institutions, the College’s Alumni Association rates in the upper 50th percentile for obtaining accurate information on everything but alumni cell phone numbers.
“We’re a long way from perfect, but we indeed make progress,” Kane said. “Our [response] rate did go up. We’re certainly comparable with most of our peers.”
Barbara Joynes ’82 introduced herself as the incoming president of the Alumni Association.