New Initiatives Put All-Alumni Survey into Action

March 24, 2020

Executive Director of Alumni Engagement Adrienne Teague — who has been at the university for about four months — and her team have been busy processing results of the all-alumni survey conducted last spring and making plans based on that data. Right on the horizon are several new initiatives that will help foster strong connections among MBU alumni, their peers, and the university.  

“Our alumni have shared their needs and desires, and now it’s our job not only to listen, but also to deliver,” Teague said. “Our biggest goal is to engage as many alumni as possible through meaningful opportunities to connect them with Mary Baldwin and with one another — no matter when you graduated, or what program you were a part of. Keeping our community ties strong, whether that happens virtually or in person, is more important than ever right now.”

A signature part of the Office of Alumni Engagement’s (OAE) plan is the debut of a brand-new, state-of-the-art online program that will put at an individual’s fingertips many facets of MBU’s vibrant alumni community. The online community, accessible through an exclusive MBU alumni website, will connect alumni with their peers based on a number of factors including class year, locality, interest, or customizable affinity communities like the Virginia Women’s Institute for Leadership, the Ida B. Wells Living-Learning Community, or the Murphy Deming College of Health Sciences. Creating this new portal was the No. 1 request from alumni who participated in the survey. 

“Our new community portal will take the paper directory and move it to an online, real-time, searchable directory that will keep alumni connected in and out of their Reunion years and beyond,” Teague said. 

Alumni will also be able to access a full calendar of events throughout the year, including those gatherings planned for a particular regional network near where they live. And not only will alumni be able to view events, but they can also register online and view guest lists and updates with ease. 

“Our biggest goal is to engage as many alumni as possible through meaningful opportunities to connect them with Mary Baldwin and with one another.”
— Adrienne Teague, Executive Director of Alumni Engagement

With construction now underway, OAE plans to launch phase one of the online community in fall 2020. But Teague encourages alumni to get involved in shaping the new program even before it’s fully operational.

“We want to invite our alumni to participate in the naming process with us, since we don’t think ‘Online Community’ is a super-interesting name! We’ve seen other institutions come up with cool nomenclature like ‘MyCarolina’ or ‘VolsConnect,’” Teague said, “and we want to give our alumni the opportunity to tell us what they think this new built-for-alumni platform should be called. Please watch your email for the opportunity to suggest a name and then vote for the winner.” 

While the online community will launch with much improved processes for communication and connection, OAE is also planning future phases to include enhanced email communications, information related to career development, opportunities to engage with MBU students, and much more. 

“I’m so excited to look back in a year or two and see how we were able to leverage this platform to increase Reunion program interaction, stay connected with our alumni through updated information, and build out a mechanism to capture achievements and then share the good news with our alumni community,” Teague said.  

In addition to building and launching the online community, OAE is also spearheading an initiative they’re calling “Raise your hand. Lend your voice.” It’s an opportunity for alumni to help the OAE team and the Alumni Association build out a plan in three initial categories: communications, including the website and community platform; regional engagement and how to best bring Mary Baldwin to more alumni in communities across the nation; and career and professional development, assisting OAE by connecting professional networks and industries to all alumni. Interested alumni should stay tuned for more information about getting involved and sharing their ideas.  

“Every day I’m meeting and talking with alumni and university partners to learn more about the great work going on here at MBU, and the rich history of experience that our alumni provide to this place,” Teague said. “I especially like that in every conversation I’ve had, I hear the word ‘community.’ And I really see that personified in the people I’ve connected with. Everyone comes to the table with a passion for Mary Baldwin, and to be a part of that community is something that I truly cherish. There is still much more to learn, and many more people to meet … but so far it’s been a great first few months as part of the #MBUfamily!”