A new program launched last week is making a push to keep young alumni involved at GW.
Last Wednesday, about 200 people attended the kickoff event for the Young Alumni Network, sponsored by GW’s Alumni Association. The initiative plans to inform recent alumni in D.C. and surrounding areas about how they can continue to be involved in the University after graduating.
“Until now there haven’t been any major outreach programs specifically targeted to recent alumni, and in my view, the more we can keep recent graduates connected, the better,” said graduate student and Presidential Administrative Fellow Ellen Wexler, a coordinator of the Young Alumni Network.
Working with about 15 other alumni, Wexler and the group has been brainstorming ideas for the initiative since August. The team spoke with other market basket schools similar to GW to examine their alumni programs and also surveyed recent alumni to gauge their interests about staying involved.
Through research, Wexler found that universities have differing programs for alumni, some of which require alumni to pay to continue being an active member and to participate in events. At GW, all graduates are automatically placed into the alumni network, and have the opportunity to attend events.
“We’re always looking for ideas,” Wexler said. “We already had a social event on Wednesday, but there is so much more in store.”
Scott Mory, assistant vice president for Alumni Relations and Annual Giving, is helping the young alumni initiative and said recent alumni are most important to keep involved at the University.
“Their connection to each other and to GW is still so strong,” he said.
With many of GW’s recent alumni residing in either New York or the D.C. area, the Young Alumni Network is also planning a launch in New York.
“We want to do all we can to extend outward and reach the most alumni possible,” Wexler said.
Last week’s announcement that Steven Knapp, a senior administrator at Johns Hopkins University, will be GW’s next president was good news for this initiative, Mory said.
“The new president is a firm believer in alumni relations and definitely wants to keep students connected after college,” Mory said.
In an interview last week before Knapp’s announcement, he said he plans on looking at ways to engage alumni, especially those in the immediate area.
“There’s an opportunity to provide a network for students to make connections with alumni,” he said. “We have a lot to do in terms of reaching out to the 70,000 alumni living in the greater metropolitan area. There’s a huge community out there, and I want to develop sense of family.”