Alumni are important university stakeholders, and they can be a resource for the department and its students. The Chair should coordinate the department’s communication with alumni.
Academic departments typically host an open house for alumni at homecoming, and the Chair should coordinate this effort to ensure that a suitable location is selected for the open house and that an adequate number of faculty are in attendance. It may be useful to have a sign-in sheet to keep track of which alumni drop by during this event.
Alumni are often willing to speak to students about graduate and professional school opportunities, careers, and other topics. Since many alumni return to campus during homecoming, speaking events can sometimes be scheduled more easily (and inexpensively) during this week.
The alumni network can also be useful when students are seeking mentors in order to explore certain careers or when they are looking for internships or jobs. Consider using alumni as guest speakers or resource professionals for courses and programs. Often our alumni find this their most meaningful way of giving back to their alma mater.
In order to enhance their relationships with department alumni, many departments choose to send electronic (more cost effective) or hard-copy newsletters and other communications directly to their alumni. Alumni Records in the Development Office maintains email and mail addresses of alumni, which they will provide to Chairs upon request.