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Alumni Associations: Why You Should Join Yours!

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May is quickly approaching and that means if you’re a college senior, graduation is right around the corner! Once you are finished with college and have your degree, you should seriously consider joining your school’s alumni association. They’re a great way to keep in touch with your friends and classmates, and an excellent way to network with other alumni. Your school probably has an alumni relations office or an alumni association website. You may even receive information from your alumni association in the mail soon after you’ve graduated.

What is an Alumni Association?

Alumni associations are groups comprised of former students that attended a particular school. Alumni associations often hold organized parties or events, as well as class reunions. These events often take place around Homecoming season. These events will give you a great excuse to visit your school, possibly attend Homecoming events, and see your old friends and professors.

Alumni association meetings will also provide you with the opportunity to network with other alumni, which may be a great benefit to you as a new graduate trying to climb up the career ladder. Meeting other professionals that work in your new field – particularly ones that also earned their degree from the same school that you did – never hurt anyone!

Being a member of your alumni association may also benefit you professionally in other ways. If you are going on job interviews after graduation, you never know when you may wind up being interviewed by an alumnus of your school. That feeling of camaraderie often helps people get jobs.

You may be wondering why you should bother to join your alumni association if you are moving to another state after graduation. That’s a good question! Alumni associations are often organized into smaller local or regional chapters scattered around the country or around the world. Just because you went to school in New York, there may be a chapter of your alumni association located in other states. These local chapters are a great way to get together with other alumni more frequently than waiting to attend the big events on campus. I went to college in Florida, and every time I get an alumni magazine in the mail I see pictures that were taken at meetings held by the local chapters in New England, Texas, California, and just about any other area you can think of.

Other smaller chapters may be created by various groups of students, such as those that were in a particular fraternity or sorority, or a group of students that all earned marketing degrees, or students that all became teachers, for example. If something like that doesn’t exist, you may be able to start up your own group. Most colleges and universities have some sort of alumni association website, although if yours does not you will probably be able to find other former students online thanks to social media websites like Facebook and LinkedIn.

Speaking of Facebook and LinkedIn and similar sites, you may feel that those sites alone will be enough to help you keep in touch with others. If you’re still hesitant to participate in your alumni association, there are plenty of other benefits to keep in mind!

Other Benefits of Joining Your Alumni Association

  • Discounts at the campus bookstores. Most colleges and universities offer discounts on merchandise to alumni association members. Discounts come in handy when you want to buy a school T-shirt or sweatshirt. You may possibly receive discounts elsewhere, too! Local hotels, museums, and points-of-interest near universities often offer student and alumni discounts.
  • Maintain your current email address. Most schools allow their alumni association members to continue using their student email accounts so that they will not have to change email addresses after graduation.
  • The ability to buy sports tickets. If your school has popular athletic teams, you may be able to purchase tickets to big games easier than other people if you are a member of the alumni association.
  • Most alumni association memberships include access to your school libraries, which will be a benefit if you ever need to do serious research for work projects.
  • Free alumni magazines and newsletters. These will help keep you up-to-date on campus activities, professors, and other alumni.
  • The ability to help others. This is yet another great reason to participate in your alumni association. The groups often raise money to provide scholarships for students planning to attend your school and raise funds to pay for campus improvements. I received a very nice scholarship to attend college thanks to funds provided by the alumni association.

There are plenty of other benefits that to joining your school’s alumni association after your graduation. They may vary from school to school, so check with yours to learn the specifics, but staying in touch with old friends and helping others should be enough to get most people involved!


Melissa Rhone+

Melissa Rhone earned her Bachelor of Music in Education from the University of Tampa. She resides in the Tampa Bay area and enjoys writing about college, pop culture, and epilepsy awareness.

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P.J. Flannery over 8 years ago P.J. Flannery

I wholeheartedly disagree with you and the importance of joining the alumni association. I recently graduated from a university with a degree in Communications. Because of the numerous invitations -- contacts, via e-mail and telephone calls which were really pressurizing me to become a member of the alumni association, I became totally disinterested and I therefore declined to become a member. I was therefore denied the use of the university e-mail account, and dial-up access to the Internet. Clearly, I was made to feel like a profound fool for not joining. Even after my pointing out that I did not want to be contacted by the university concerning any matter, I had to AGAIN emphasize this [via e-mail] that I am not interested in joining the alumni association and to stop bothering me for membership fees and/or donations for prospective students. Might I add, while I was a student, I did not enjoy much contact with my fellow - students. In fact my university discouraged students from organizing. Professors only encouraged students to act like a community when it suited them as in using the disastrous software application called "Blackboard". Why ought I now to think that these graduates, or professors will be any warmer toward me after graduation? I know the few professors who were really empathetic toward me-- I certainly do not require a phony alumni association to assist me in my continued desire to e-mail or telephone these two or three professors.