Organizations are ever evolving. As education, specifically higher education, has changed over the past 40 years, so too have the wants and needs of current students and alumni. Let’s examine the future of alumni associations.
A student entering WLU for the 2015 academic year may be stepping onto the same campus as a student in 1975, but they are entering a whole different world of educational opportunities. What’s different today? Education is viewed as a right, not a privilege. It’s a new kind of education that involves distance learning and other major technology influences. With that comes a lack of class identity. Graduates of the 50s, 60s & 70s wore mortarboards on graduation day with the same classmates that wore “Dinks” during Freshman Week.
Today, students experience the five or six-year syndrome and do not graduate in the traditional four years.
Society in general has become individualistic and students and alumni are no different. Alumni don’t need us to connect with each other; they are using social media like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc. Alumni are time poor. They want to communicate and participate on their own terms in a personalized manner.
In order to adapt to the needs of current students and alumni, the WLU Alumni Office has changed and will continue to change. Our priorities for the future include:
- Work closer with the Development Office
- Do more data mining
- Use more electronic communication
- Take advantage of social networking and online communities
- Understand the need for affinity groups
- Be the keepers of campus tradition
- Become more creative
- Worry less about participation numbers
- Worry more about who is involved
- See our alumni as investors in the institution
- Assist with career services
We hope that all alumni will consider participating in the life of West Liberty University. Please contact our office with your needs
— Shane Stack ’10