As many of you who completed last year’s alumni survey may recall, the alumni office has gone through an extensive review of programs and services. In a recent “state of the alumni union” address, we were pleased to share with the university Board of Trustees — and now you — some great service improvements. The following five areas have been our focus this past year.
1. Hire an alumni director. This was completed with an excellent hire of Maria Zalesky. Maria brings experience, skill and many ideas for program enhancements. She is also a capable manager and will do an excellent job within the alumni office. We are pleased to have her as part of the alumni team.
2. Create a new strategy for alumni communications and engagement. The first step was a brand new alumni website that is now complete and service oriented. Whether you are looking for a job link, career networking, a lost alumni friend or some great alumni events to attend, the new website is the place to visit. You can check it out right now at biola.edu/alumni. Other improved communications include a regular alumni newsletter, and a new event invitation strategy with both mail and Web invitations.
3. Program improvements. We have focused on young alumni and current student programs — including an enhanced Student Alumni Association (SAA) and strategic career networking events for young alumni — which have been launched in recent months, and will make you wish you were back in school! Biola Weekend has also undergone amazing changes, and we are scheduling numerous activities with President Barry H. Corey, including the new “Biola on the Road” events (biola.edu/otr).
4. Create a refreshed alumni board strategy. Looking for ways to get involved at Biola? The alumni board may be your opportunity. A renewed energy of service has been created with sub-committees that focus on areas such as board recruitment, events, fundraising and administration. The addition of numerous young alumni on the board has ensured an excited young voice and new, creative ideas for your alumni programs.
5. Revise the regional networking events (alumni chapters). We are reworking the regional networks to bring the best of Biola to you. This summer’s schedule will include 15 regional events/ student send-offs where we hope to see you! During the next year we will bring to you faculty, music, training and lectures that will remind you why you attended this great university and make you wish you were still a student.
We are excited about the great things happening at Biola and we know you will be as well. Thanks for your recommendations and suggestions, as together we are Alumni for Life!