By RJ Sakai 08F, AAG Chair
Six times a year, the Alumni Advisory Group (AAG) convenes to discuss ways to strengthen our community. Fourteen members dial in from all parts of the country to act on the collective belief that alums play a crucial role in Hampshire’s ability to be an experimenting college at the forefront of higher education. Drawing from a diversity of backgrounds and decades of entry, AAG members work closely with the Office of Alumni and Family Relations to enhance alumni engagement, volunteerism, and support for the College.
Eager to benefit from the alumni perspective, offices often call on the AAG to discuss strategies for outreach and communication. Recently, the group has provided advice to the Career Options Resource Center, admissions, advancement, and communications.
Since the founding of the group, five years ago, the AAG has thought not only about how alums can support the College, but also how the College can support alums. The most significant accomplishment of the AAG addresses the long-felt need for opportunities that connect alums with one another regionally. Established in three major cities, Alumni Circles have successfully modeled how to develop volunteer-led alumni networks that respond to the unique needs and wants of local members. Volunteers in Boston, New York, and the Bay Area have begun regularly bringing together alums for networking, socializing, and connection. Various cohorts of AAG members established the mission, vision, and volunteer-recruitment strategy that led to a successful rollout.
Looking ahead, the AAG has begun work on three priorities: exploring technology options for alumni networking, improving how new graduates are welcomed into the alumni community, and identifying sustainable ways to solicit alumni feedback on issues that are useful to campus leadership. On top of this, the group is excited to participate in developing an engaging 50th-anniversary program (2020, here we come!).
Hampshire’s future will be strengthened by increasing the visibility of our amazing alumni network, and by encouraging alums to volunteer, give back, and engage with the College.
The mission of the Alumni Advisory Group, established at the invitation of the College President, is to support the mission, values, and philosophy of Hampshire College by building alumni engagement, supporting the College in attaining its fundraising goals, and through its members acting as ambassadors for the College today. The AAG works to establish, maintain, and build mutually beneficial and lifelong connections among alums, and in so doing, strengthens alumni leadership as a College resource.