In the digital age, keeping in touch with people has become as simple as turning on a computer, and this fact weighs heavily on alumni relations at Emporia State. However, some students aren’t planning on just using digital means to keep in touch.
Nikki Metz, alumni programs coordinator at the Sauder Alumni Center, detailed some of the university’s methods for keeping alumni up-to-date on events at ESU.
Metz said they use an e-newsletter called the Hornet Blast, which can be signed up for online. There are also alumni chapters for the university in several cities, including Kansas City, Wichita, Salina, Topeka and Lawrence, among others. The Emporia Connection chapter is the African American chapter, which is a national chapter that meets once a year.
“It’s a two way street. If our students have good experiences, fond experiences and a great life changing experience as an undergraduate or a graduate, they’re going to be prone to keep their contact information up,” said Roger Heineken, administrative officer for the Memorial Union and ESU alumnus.
Greek alumni also have a wide variety of ways they can keep in contact with their chapters. Luke Drury, junior political science major and president of the Alpha Kappa Lambda fraternity, said that the fraternity uses both a monthly and a quarterly newsletter to keep in touch with alums.
Also, he said that they try to make sure to invite alumni to as many events as possible to help keep them involved in the house. Events include rituals, formals and Founder’s Day. Social media also plays a large part in staying connected with alumni, Drury said.
Adrian Carmichael graduated from Emporia State in December 2010 with a degree in finance and is now working in the Admissions office as the coordinator of data management. Carmichael is also an alumnus of Sigma Phi Epsilon, which he says adds to the alumni experience.
“(Being a Greek alumni) definitely gives you a better connection when it comes to dealing with the house,” Carmichael said. “Not only that, but you get involved with homecoming, and an average alumni may not have that incentive to come back.”
Sororities use similar methods to maintain communication with graduates. Brooke Schmidt, junior Spanish major and president of the Alpha Sigma Alpha Sorority and newly-elected president of Associated Student Government, described several different ways that the sorority keeps up with alums, including social media, newsletters, having an alumni advisory board and even sending out cards on certain holidays.