Alumni Association Implements
Aimed at Strengthening Alumni Connection
Rollins e-mail for life. It’s a great idea for keeping alumni connected for life…and one that is soon to become a reality, thanks to an intensive year of planning and refocusing by the Rollins College Alumni Association Board of Directors.
In support of its ongoing mission to keep alumni connected to Rollins and each other, the alumni board engaged in an ambitious yearlong strategic planning effort in 2009-2010, setting a bold agenda for the future that includes initiatives like Rollins e-mail for life. Kurt Wells ’95, then in his second year as Alumni Association president, led the planning charge of the 28-member Board. “The Board was ready to make a real difference and to set a plan to achieve great things for Rollins’ future.”
The process began in May 2009 with a presentation to the board by Mark Dollhopf, executive director of the Association of Yale Alumni, who provided insights on how to engage alumni in the strategic planning process. Dollhopf had just led Yale alumni through a robust and successful planning effort to tap into the creative energy of Yale’s affinity groups. “Involving alumni in this process was very important to the board,” said Sharon Carrier, who was named assistant vice president for alumni relations just as the strategic planning effort was being launched. “Mr. Dollhopf’s message was inspirational, and his ideas really set the context for our planning process.”
With support from Carrier and the Alumni Relations team, alumni board members began their work by conducting alumni interviews and researching successful alumni programs in colleges and universities across the country. The results revealed that Rollins falls short of the best alumni programs in a few key areas, including engagement of alumni in their home areas through strong regional chapters and facilitation of alumni communication through online tools.
After participating in several planning retreats, the board defined a new statement of purpose, articulated its guiding principles, and reaffirmed its vision for Rollins alumni, “Connected for Life.” It also outlined five priorities with supporting strategies for implementation over the next three years. Alumni had the opportunity to review these plans and provide input to the board during the Alumni Association’s annual Reunion meeting in March.
With the formal adoption of the strategic plan in May 2010, alumni can look forward to new ways to connect with Rollins—through regional chapters, an online alumni community, Rollins e-mail for life, and faculty and alumni speakers at regional events, to name a few. It is fitting that these new initiatives, designed to carry Rollins’ proud legacy into the future, will begin to roll out this fall as the College celebrates its 125th Anniversary.
ROLLINS ALUMNI ASSOCIATION STRATEGIC PLAN
Purpose | To support and advance Rollins by keeping alumni connected for life
Guiding Principles | The Rollins Alumni Association is committed to developing great alumni by partnering with the College in supporting the alumni life cycle that starts with the student experience, carries forward through the transition from college, and develops over a lifetime.
Vision | Connected for Life
Priorities (2010-2013) | Geographically localize alumni engagement by establishing regional chapters that will support and drive the Alumni Association’s purpose and vision.
Develop and package relevant information, services, and programs that will be of interest to, engage, and benefit alumni and students and promote the Alumni Association’s purpose.
Strengthen and formalize partnerships to support high-priority programs of the Alumni Association.
Ensure appropriate Board structure, governance, and policies as well as leadership development and implementation of strategic initiatives.
Develop and implement an effective, multi-faceted communication and marketing plan that delivers unified alumni messaging, resonates with the Alumni Association’s target markets, and advances its strategic initiatives.