At the University of Rhode Island Alumni Association, their mission is to “inform and engage current and future alumni as committed partners of the university, its mission and traditions,” said Michele Nota, executive director of the association.
The Alumni Association, a not-for-profit organization, was founded in 1922 and there has been a formal board every year since. The association is responsible for various tasks including making sure alums have internships and jobs and recruiting potential applicants for the university. They also do community service work.
The association has various committees that are in charge of planning events, networking and advancing the association’s goals.
Nota said that some of the committees are just central to running a not-for-profit company but others exist for the networking and engagement piece. Some of the association’s committees include Alumni of Color, Audit Committee, Class Reunion Committee and Women’s Council for Development.
Since URI has such a large student body, the reunions are based on interests such as foreign language, for example, an affinity-based model. Typically, reunions are held around homecoming weekend, which is just around the corner. The 50th class reunion is always held the weekend of commencement and the Golden Grad Reunion. for anyone who has already had a 50th class reunion, is held two weeks later.
According to Nota, the classes were small in number compared to today’s up until the 1970’s and many students graduated within 4 years, making it easier to track down alumni. Today, it is more challenging with 115,000 alumni scattered all over the world.
To recruit alumni, the association sends faculty and President David Dooley wherever in the world the alumni are to showcase the best work from the university through their work in addition to student work. They also use mail, phone and social media to get in touch with alumni.
The Alumni Association raises funds with their annual golf tournament and black tie event, to be held in Providence this year.
“Back to that mission of engaging alumni, it’s the perfect venues for alumni to feel good about supporting the institution while networking with alumni either on the golf course or at a dinner dance,” Â Nota said.
“I think the Alumni Association is here as a central point for alumni to re-engage back with the institution,” said Nota, “and we are excited and open anytime an alum comes to visit the campus.”
Current students can get involved through the Student Alumni Association, a group of about 60 students “helping to support that bridge from students to alums,” said Nota. The application process opens again in the spring.