Alumni are one of the prime assets of an educational institution and meaningful engagement of the former can help assist the latter in improving themselves in the facets of student development such as internships, placements, mentoring, and post-graduation. Every institution has a sea of alumni in its kitty but no proper medium to channel it. To make things easier, we at Vaave have carved four distinct personas out of the alumni demographics.
- Millennials (21-25 year old alumni)
- Vagabonds (26-34 year old alumni)
- Captains (34-55 year old alumni) and
- Patriarchs ( 55 years and above alumni)
To understand more about the diverse alumni demographics visit, The Four Alumni Personas
Patriarchs are the most seasoned and experienced alumni who are situated at the top of the alumni pyramid. They have seen the ups and downs of life, went through the turbulence of professional spheres, led successful professional campaigns, and cemented themselves as veterans in their respective fields. They seek recognition for their contributions, appreciation for their accomplishments, and acknowledgment for their unflinching dedication. With their enormous patience and soothing demeanor, they are looked up to by many younger alumni and amateurs. Patriarchs with their web of connections, can bring a lot of value to the alma mater in all the spheres of education if engaged properly.
Through Vaave’s industry-defining BEHA (Build-Engage-Help-Ask) Framework, let’s understand how to make older alumni sign up, by highlighting the importance of alma mater in their lives.
Reunions and Awards
As mentioned earlier, seasoned alumni seek recognition, appreciation, and acknowledgment for their achievements and contributions. What’s a better way than to facilitate them on the campus where they have received the strong foundation to achieve so? Organizing distinguished alumni awards is one of the recommended practices. Award those older alumni who have reached pinnacles in their professional spheres. This notable gesture amplified their love for the alma mater. Hosting reunions and coffee meets with their fellow alumni is also a great method for the patriarchs to lay back and reminisce about their golden days of youth.
The patriarchs, after decades of toiling and shouldering both familial and professional responsibilities, would yearn for such moments, and as their alma mater, by catering to these wishes, you will never be forgotten. This type of alumni engagement will reap many benefits for the institution as well.
Patriarchs are generally seasoned experts in their respective fields with diverse connections and well-established networks. You might be wondering how to help them when they themselves are beacons of perfection. Most of the senior alumni would want the resources they have been offered to be leveraged in assisting their children. In other words, help the alumni in helping their children.
As an institution, you can assist the children of the senior alumni in obtaining internships and placement opportunities. Some of them might be aspiring to pursue their post-graduation overseas. Connecting them with the younger alumni such as millennials (21-25 year old alumni) to interact and clear their apprehensions about the same can be of great help to them.
The chapter-based alumni groups can help in securing accommodation for the children of the senior alumni as well. The patriarchs may have children who are seeking marriage alliances. The senior alumni could connect with their counterparts to initiate proceedings about the same. This kind of help or assistance will be largely appreciated by the senior alumni.
Signing Up the Patriarchs
Many of the older alumni may not be tech enthusiasts and it becomes harder to develop a database. Also, it is a bit tricky to find the details of the alumni who graduated 25 to 30 years ago and gather their details to build a credible database. But, the value you have created by engaging the alumni by facilitating them and the assistance you’ve offered to their children, as explained above, along with the enormous gratitude they’ve towards their alma mater will prompt them to sign up and stay engaged.
Connections & Funds
Patriarchs with their deep sense of nostalgia always look forward to helping their alma mater in one way or another. Once after establishing a bond with them, as an institution, you can ask the senior alumni to amplify your corporate connections. Let the alumni introduce you to various HRs, hiring managers, and top brass such as the CEO & COO of corporate companies. This way you can forge professional connections to bring more companies to your campus for placements.
Ask the patriarchs to head the establishment and monitoring of the Center of Excellence and Research and Development labs across the campus. They can also chair the committee overlooking the entrepreneurship activities in the college incubator.
The latest practice is to employ the services of retired alumni as honorary professors for imparting industry-related knowledge to the students. Not only these, the alumni can also donate significantly to the fundraisers which are used for improving the infrastructure of the institution. The senior alumni can be leveraged for the holistic development of the institution.
To learn more about best practices of Alumni Engagement, register for Alumni Leadership Program at https://13x.app/c/alp