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ERIC Number: ED559939
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 249
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-3033-3420-7
Bridges to a Lifelong Connection: A Study of Ivy Plus Young Alumni Programs Designed to Transition Recent Graduates into Engaged Alumni
Wampler, Fredrick Hoopes
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, University of Pennsylvania
Many colleges and universities are starting to work more strategically to educate current students about what is waiting for them in their alumni years after graduation. The idea is to teach students and get them excited that the experience they have with their university is one that will last a lifetime. However and in spite of the success of many strong student engagement and philanthropy programs, a significant level of connection or giving coming from young alumni is not common. The inquiry here centers on the study of how and why young undergraduate alumni stay connected to or become disconnected from their alma maters right after graduation and in the first few years after college. A principal hypothesis of the study is if students are engaged and connected to their undergraduate institutions immediately after graduation, a persistent behavior and engagement pattern will develop creating a lifetime of connection and giving back to the university. Colleges and universities need to devise new strategies for engaging and connecting with their young alumni. To study the phenomenon of young alumni engagement, a case study analysis was conducted on the Ivy Plus institutions with a specific focus on recent graduate programs at Cornell and Princeton. The result is a set of conclusions and operational practices which can be utilized by any institution. The findings illustrate that understanding the alumni culture of an institution and working to influence and connect with current students is paramount in order to achieve success. Then, creating ways for young alumni to develop supportive behaviors through peer-to-peer connections will bring recent graduates closer. Using traditions, rituals and multi-generational connections will also work to build stronger identities and commitment. Fundraising plays a key role in engaging young alumni in a way where they can feel like their donations have an impact. Finally, all young alumni programs should include a robust and comprehensive volunteer structure where young alumni not only do for themselves--they also do for their friends. Young alumni want to serve the institution, but for young alumni, the institution is the relationships they create and nurture over a lifetime. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: New Jersey; New York