Author: Casey Ryan, C’95
We raised $4,302,890,707 in our Making History Campaign. Wow, that’s a lot of money. If you haven’t yet visited the final report website, you should in order to see how much of an impact the legacy of this campaign will have on the University.
Yet our campaign was crafted to be different; we emphasized engagement goals for ourselves that focused on increasing every alumnus’s access and interaction with the University whether it was on campus and out in the world. We took these objectives seriously and created or retooled over 25 programs during the life of the campaign that increased alumni engagement.
I wanted to highlight 10 of my favorite engagement programs that have come about due to the campaign.
10. Trustees’ Council of Penn Women (TCPW) Summer Networking Receptions: Over the summer, TCPW, whose charge is to support, foster and promote the advancement of women’s issues within the University, hosts Summer Networking Receptions for Penn alumnae and current Penn students to make social and business contentions. Bringing Penn alumnae together and spotlighting a female executive from the region as the keynote speaker for the reception, TCPW provided exclusive opportunities for networking.
9. Social Media: Social Media has been around since 1994 started by now defunct brands like TheGlobe, GeoCities and SixDegrees. Sites like My Space and Friendster, which started in 2002-2003, were the watershed portals of the Social Media trends that made way for Facebook in 2004 and Twitter in 2006. Facebook and Twitter burst onto the scene and soon became the ubiquitous means of staying in touch with over 500 million Twitter users and over one billion Facebook users. It was obvious that having a presence online would be valuable. While an ever-changing social landscape, this nexus of online communities and outlets will evolve and Penn will plan to stay in the forefront of new media.
Since the start of the campaign, seven years ago, Penn has since joined Twitter (with 4,244 followers) and Facebook (with 51,276 likes) in 2009. Also, that year, Penn started to manage its presence on LinkedIn with 26,728 members. As of summer and fall 2012, Penn has joined the ranks of Instagram and Pinterest.
8. Quaker Yellow Pages: The Quaker Yellow Pages were launched to help our alumni support businesses of Penn alumni. Alumni can find the products and services advertised by fellow alumni. Individuals are encouraged to post a listing to promote your own product or service for free. Simply select one of the choices below. Penn Dental was inspired to create their own Quaker resource, the Find a Penn Dentist tool, which will give you the names of Penn Dental alumni who practice in your area.
7. Penn To You: Penn To You: More than a School Night embraces Penn’s unofficial motto: Never stop learning. In the classroom, in the community, and in the wider world, Penn people bring an intense intellectual curiosity to everything they do. Penn to You is designed to bring Penn alumni, parents, and friends together for an evening of intellectual and social engagement. Each event will feature one of Penn’s 12 schools and will include conversation, presentations and panel discussions with select faculty—many of whom were recruited through the Making History Campaign.
6. Penn Spectrum: In 2010, University held its first-ever weekend-long alumni conference devoted entirely to celebrating diversity, Penn Spectrum. After three years of taking the event on the road, Penn Spectrum returns to campus, capping the momentum of our diverse alumni. All alumni are welcome. More information will be available on the Penn Spectrum page.
5. Frankly Penn: Frankly Penn, the Penn Alumni Blog, was established in March 2011 to represent life at the University of Pennsylvania. The team of bloggers consists of alumni, students, staff and faculty from around Penn –both on campus and beyond. This mixture of voices illustrates the dynamic and robust spirit of the University to all who read it. Led by the communications team at Penn Alumni, the blog has had 89,992 views and 564 posts, plus the blog has been continuously updated, Monday through Friday, since its launch.
4. Family Programs: Penn Alumni Families provides Penn Alumni family-specific events for our Philadelphia area alumni with children ages 12 years and under. This new series provides an opportunity for alumni to enjoy Penn events with an emphasis on programming for their children. With the success of Family Day at Mask & Wig and 40 Winks with the Sphinx, look for more events in Philadelphia and in the regions.
3. Penn Quotient: The Penn Quotient was developed at our Winter Board Retreat as an easy way to determine how you can best show your loyalty and support for your alma mater. It’s a simple checklist to identify those things you are already doing and to explore those you have yet to try.
Complete the checklist once a year to achieve a perfect score:
- Attend Alumni Weekend in May
- Explore arts and culture at Homecoming
- Join or attend events with your local club
- Visit QuakerNet and update your profile
- Promote Penn to prospective students
- Participate in an Alumni Education program
- Donate to one of Penn’s many annual funds
- Read The Pennsylvania Gazette
2. Penn Alumni Office Hours: As a student at Penn, you could take part in the opportunity to ask in-depth questions and to explore points of interest with your professor outside of class during his or her office hours. Penn Alumni Office Hours provide this same opportunity to alumni by hosting a virtual Office Hours webinar presentation featuring one of Penn’s dynamic faculty members, who will focus on a topic or issue of their choice.
From the ease of your computer, you can attend these free webinars and submit questions and comments both in advance of and during the program. If you are unable to visit the Office Hours live, all Office Hour webinars will be recorded and made available through the Penn Alumni Relations site.
1. Penn Alumni Interview Program: The Penn Alumni Interview Program involves the largest number of Penn Alumni who volunteer for a single project. During Making History, we were able to transition seamlessly the program from the Admissions to Alumni Relations. Capitalizing on the synergies that exist in the Alumni Relations office as well as the leadership of our dedicated staff, the Interview Program was able to steward our Interview Program chairs and interviewers to conduct 21,750 interviews which represents 68% of the total candidates that applied to Penn.
Penn alumni interviewers help high school students learn more about Penn, and they help the Admissions Office learn more about applicants to the university. As the Interview Program has the goal of being able to offer an interview to every student who applies as a prospective undergraduate, the Interview Program team will be traveling out to our alumni to help provide training and the information our alumni interviewers will need to help Penn see its goal come true.
Author’s note: I am currently out of the office on a business trip. At the time I submitted this entry, all statistics sited in this blog were accurate.