Lifelong Engagement

Summary of Primary Recommendations

  • Transform the philosophy for alumni engagement, ensuring that it is a continuum starting during the admission process and continuing on through the post-college experience
  • Revamp the alumni leadership model to build and sustain a mutually supportive, broad-based level of engagement and service with Gustavus
  • Develop a ten-year strategy to increase alumni participation in giving to Gustavus to at least 50 percent
  • Be recognized as a best-practice college in alumni communication (online, social networking, and print)

Tier 1


Create a new focus and philosophy in alumni programming based on a lifelong journey from the admission process through post-college experiences. (4)


Be recognized within five years as a best-practice college in alumni communication by creating a robust online alumni communications platform, ensuring that class communication is vibrant and volunteer-driven, and creating a Gustavus Quarterly editorial advisory group. (5)

Actively gather new and different information from alumni to celebrate achievements more widely throughout campus and to drive all forms of alumni engagement. (5)


Revamp the alumni volunteer leadership model to sustain a mutually-supportive, broad-based level of engagement and service with Gustavus. (4)

Substantially increase alumni engagement by reinventing the alumni class leadership structure, creating volunteer management of social networking sites, and establishing formal programs connecting alumni with academic departments and alumni-driven shared interest groups. (4)

Engage alumni in the identification of new student applicants, connect prospective students with an alum, and bolster the number of alumni involved as resources for students vocational and career aspirations. (2)

Invest in a market analysis for the development of robust continuing education programs for alumni, parents, and friends, including programs on campus, in the Twin Cities, travel tours, and distance education. (4)

Promote the “Reading in Common book to alumni to build community among alumni and to connect with current students. (4)

Create a communication infrastructure and tools to connect internationally-based and internationally-connected alumni for student mentoring and to serve as “Admission Ambassadors. (2)


Develop a ten-year strategy to increase alumni participation in giving to Gustavus to at least 50 percent. (4)

Tier 2


Explore methods to track and use alumni communication preferences to make 25 percent of communication permission-based, personalized, and customized. (5)


Create a staffing, financial, and volunteer management model to sustain mutually beneficial Gustavus “Friends of the ... and shared interested groups. (4)

Develop a plan, structure, and staffing for self-sustaining mission-focused lifelong learning, including leadership-focused programming, for alumni, parents, faculty, staff, and regional professionals. (4)

Create a framework to connect students and alumni in such areas as real estate (housing for graduating seniors) and advising/mentoring connections. (4)

Establish a clearinghouse for Gustavus faculty/staff that facilitates communication and connects faculty/staff with alumni during other college-related travels. (4)

Create an award to honor alumni involved in global and/or multicultural efforts. (4)


Create a new volunteer structure to support the soliciting of philanthropic gifts. (4)

Tier 3


Create guidelines for alumni communication by developing a ratio for contacts containing a request for money compared to non-giving contacts. (5)


Systematize a formal program to connect every incoming student with an alumna/us (parents, staff, and friends) to serve as a resource and/or sounding board for the college experience. (2)

Develop and support new technologies for distance-learning continuing education opportunities. (4)

Continue to explore the feasibility of building a housing facility close to campus for active alumni, parents, and friends ages 55+. (3)

Re-imagine and broaden the granting of “honorary alumni status to parents, staff, friends, and former board members/volunteers of Gustavus. (4)