Being a college alumnus plays an important role in life. Whether you were the first person in your family to go to college or are preparing for your child’s graduation, it’s never too late to give back and be a part of the next generation of success stories.
We are inspired by our strong alumni relations here at Virginia Tech! Our Hokie Nation is a dedicated group that fosters great relationships with their alma mater.
This blog post will discuss how you can support your alma mater as a college alumnus with some ideas that might not have come up before, with additional tips and ideas from some of our very own alumni!
We all know our Hokies bleed orange and maroon with an unparalleled level of dedication. If you’re a recent graduate, you’ve become a part of the Virginia Tech family and you want to make sure your alma mater is always on top. If you’ve been out of school for some time, we hope this article will inspire new ideas on how to give back in ways that will benefit current and future students.
Virginia Tech Alumni – Tips for Supporting Your Alma Mater
Be on the lookout for bits of advice from Virginia Tech Alumni Wayne & Renee Robinson (both class of 1980) and Mayer Levy (class of 1955).
In the meantime, check out what Wayne & Renee have to say about why they choose VT, and what they love about it.
1. Join or Start a Committee
Be an active member of alumni events and committees to show your school spirit and to help with the fundraising and organizing that your college alma mater is doing. You can join or start a committee that focuses on athletics, academics, career fairs, or any number of ways to provide support. Many colleges have committees for out-of-state alumni who cannot attend games but still want to support their school in other ways.
Virginia Tech Alumni Wayne & Renee Robinson share these ideas for a strong alumni club.
“Success in alumni relations is based on communications,” Wayne says. “Casting a vision, it’s important. And depending on how large the actual alumni groups are, casting vision is important to everybody who is a part of that community.”
Renee added, “it’s important that people feel like they are still connected. You have to have “touches” with people.”
2. Make a Donation
Many colleges host events or ask for donations from alums because they need help financially. Creating an ongoing partnership or making a one-time donation can make an impact on the future of your college. Donating money is especially helpful if you are in a position to donate for specific things that would benefit from your contribution, such as scholarships for incoming students or sports teams.
3. Become an Alumni Ambassador
Being an ambassador for your alma mater involves being knowledgeable about topics such as the current state, new plans for growth, and budgeting information. It’s not hard to become a well-informed alumnus; all you need to do is search “your college name” plus “board of trustees,” and then read through available documents.
4. Mentor Current Students
Being a mentor is one way to help your college, especially if you are an expert in a field that the student will be learning about. For example, if you are a finance major looking to give back to your college alma mater, you could connect with students within the business department. Mentoring can help the student in many ways, from transitioning to their new life at college by helping them understand different things, such as school policies or other organizations on campus, to understanding how to network and search for jobs as they near graduation Being a mentor is an especially great way to stay involved in your alma mater’s community.
The INNsider Tip: There are different options for ways to mentor, ranging from officially structured programs to more flexible options, so you can choose what works best for you.
5. Volunteer at Events
Donate your time and skills to various volunteer events such as painting or decorating for college alumni weekends. You can also volunteer with local community projects that the university is working on, such as helping clean up a beach after spring break or partnering up with Habitat for Humanity to build houses in the area.
The INNsider Tip: Many alumni chapters have events in conjunction with The Big Event, so there are ways to volunteer wherever you are.
6. Join Social Media Groups
There are a lot of groups that you can join, especially on social media. Social media groups for alumni are a great way to keep up with what’s going on at school and share your experiences with others. You can join groups on Facebook (or other social media sites) that talk about your college as well as share pictures of current events and campus activities.
7. Online Forums
There are also many online forums that you can join to discuss topics related to your alma mater. Joining a forum is a great way to get involved in your college while staying connected to the people on campus.
8. Visit Often
Go back to visit friends who still go there, celebrate important events, attend commencement, watch a sporting event, cheer with the crowd during basketball games, march in the homecoming parade, or meet with professors. Or you could simply enjoy time at your favorite college campus, doing the things you love to do.
Some alumni, such as Mayer Levy, visit as many as eight times per year!
Wayne & Renee Robinson say they visit often because they have a general love for University (it’s past, present, and future) and come back often to support alumni events, celebrations, any weddings in the area, and of course, the athletics and academics, too.
They say about visiting, “it’s just fun. It’s sort of a safe cocoon of a place to be.”
9. Host a Tailgating Party
Hosting a tailgating party is an enjoyable way to support your alma mater and encourage school spirit. Tailgating can be a budget-friendly way to get together with friends for some fellowship and food without breaking the bank. A tailgating party can include typical football game food such as brats, hot dogs, chips (and dip), fruit, and veggies. You can also include some typical football game drinks such as beer, wine coolers, or lemonade. A tailgating party also encourages school spirit through the decorations, so make sure to decorate it with your college colors!
The INNsider Tip: If you’re in Blacksburg, grab your friends and family for a pre-game tailgate party hosted at The Inn in our Continental Divide lounge before every home game this football season!
10. Join The InnCLUB
Are you a Virginia Tech University alumni? We want to personally invite you to join the new Inn Club so that you can get the most out of your visits back to your favorite school. We’ve created a program to enrich your Hokie experience with many fantastic benefits.
Alumni Mayer Levy says one of his favorite things about staying at The Inn at Virginia Tech is the staff and the service they provide. He goes on to add “location, cleanliness, and fellow visitors are enjoyed when staying at The Inn. We sometimes get assigned to the guest room with our names on a plaque!”
While we can’t guarantee a room with a plaque, you can rest assured your visit to The Inn at Virginia Tech – whether through perks from The InnCLUB or not – will be a memorable one!
Learn more about The InnCLUB here.
Whether you’re a Virginia Tech alumni or from another school, there are many ways that you can support your alma mater!