This unit manages the Alumni Association's finances, investment portfolio, and overall budget.
This unit focuses on raising major gifts, particularly for endowments to support and sustain Alumni Association programs and services, as well as to support alumni affiliate groups (chapters, alumni interest groups, etc.) in fundraising, especially for their scholarship endowments.
The Office of Donor and Member Services manages biographical, membership, and donor information for alumni and friends (parents, corporations, foundations, etc.) of Penn State. Our office records, receipts, and acknowledges Alumni Association members and Penn State’s donors in a timely and accurate manner. The office handles the updating of alumni and friend records on the Division of Development and Alumni Relations (DDAR) database—the official database of record for alumni and friend data. It handles the recording of major pledges, the sending of pledge reminders, the processing of credit card gifts and memberships, as well as gift matching forms. Additionally, the office works with all of the colleges, campuses, and administrative units in helping them process gifts for their respective areas.
The Engagement team develops and implements a broad range of programs and services that facilitate the connection of alumni and students to the Alumni Association. This unit is charged with responding to the needs and interests of a diverse alumni constituency and promoting social, cultural, and intellectual engagement through new program initiatives as well as traditional offerings. The Engagement unit is organized into six programmatic areas: Alumni Events; Alumni Travel; Alumni Career Services; Volunteer Services; Legislative Education and Advocacy (Penn State Grassroots Network); and Student and Young Alumni Engagement, including the Lion Ambassadors, the Blue & White Society, and the FastStart mentoring program for underrepresented students.
Alumni Career Services is provided through a partnership with the Division of Student Affairs in conjunction with Penn State Career Services. This unit is responsible for offering a comprehensive array of career and life planning services and programs to alumni in person, by phone, or via the Internet, to meet the career development needs of alumni from graduation to retirement. Services include web-based seminars that are accessible to alumni around the world. Other programs such as Nittany Networking events, typically coordinated with alumni groups and societies, facilitate connections among alumni for social and professional networking.
The Alumni Events team plans and implements Alumni Association events such as class and alumni group reunions, athletic-related gatherings, receptions featuring the University President, and events associated with recognition programs and Alumni Council. This team also coordinates the rental of space in the Hintz Family Alumni Center and provides planning support for all activities, meetings, and events at the alumni center. In addition, this unit develops programs that feature faculty to enhance alumni educational experiences. These include Huddle with the Faculty, Annual Civil War Battlefield Study tour, and the City Lights series in major cities. With a renewed emphasis on reaching out to the young and young at heart, these programs are designed for alumni of all ages.
Alumni Travel engages alumni and friends in memorable travel and learning experiences. More than 30 domestic and international tours are offered with a focus on travel and cultural immersion. Alumni Travel also manages the TravelBlue Discount Vacation rental program which is an exclusive offering to alumni associa-tion members.
Student and Young Alumni Engagement encompasses the Alumni Association’s efforts to positively impact and promote the organization to the student and young alumni population by providing leadership models and training as well as opportunities to connect with Penn State’s talented alumni. This is accomplished through programs targeted to young alumni and the two student organizations that are supported by the Alumni Association—the Blue & White Society and the Lion Ambassadors—as well as through several collaborative initiatives with the Division of Student Affairs. This partnership has fostered such programs as Be a Part from the Start for first-year students; Parents & Families Weekend; LionLink, the alumni-student networking program; and FastStart, the mentoring program for underrepresented students. FastStart (Faculty-Alumni-Student Triad) is a mentoring program that matches first-year students of color with a faculty or staff mentor and an alumni mentor to help students flourish in their new environment by answering questions, directing students to resources, offering support and wisdom, and providing informal networks for career development. Each year, the FastStart program matches approximately 100 students with 100 faculty/staff, and 100 alumni mentors. Through these and other programs, the Alumni Association informs students and introduces them to the benefits of membership as students and alumni.
The Volunteer Services team provides assistance and guidance to all the alumni affiliate groups, including chapters, affiliate program groups (APGs), alumni interest groups (AIGs), college and campus constituent societies, Alumni Council, and the Executive Board. Staff train alumni volunteers, organize and present leadership conferences, support directors of alumni relations employed at various University campuses and colleges, and generally serve as the primary liaison with all alumni volunteers.
The Penn State Grassroots Network—the Alumni Association’s legislative education and advocacy arm—works closely with Penn State’s Office of Governmental and Community Relations, the University administration, and other University offices to shape strategies, messages, and tactics that help the 30,000 Grassroots Network volunteer members (alumni, students, parents, and friends) advocate for Penn State among community leaders, policy makers, legislators, and government officials about issues important to Penn State.
The executive administration unit assists the chief executive officer with managing Alumni Association day-to-day operations. Other responsibilities include handling Alumni Association human resources activity, facilities management, and oversight of the receptionist staff, who act as front-line customer service representatives at the Hintz Family Alumni Center.
This unit provides many services to the Alumni Association staff, which include application development, data integration, reporting, security and access account administration, network infrastructure and domain administration, and information systems training. Information Systems also provides database services for the Division of Development and Alumni Relations (DDAR) and maintains the official database of record that is used to keep in contact with all alumni. This also enables the Alumni Association to track philanthropic interests and match them with DDAR’s fundraising opportunities.
This office strives to maintain and foster a committed and productive workforce. The team provides accurate, timely, and equitable support, advice, and management for a variety of human resource functions for the division. The group’s goal is to deliver quality service in a courteous, dependable, and timely manner. The team works with DDAR administration to hire and retain a diverse and talented staff. This office also serves as a central resource to unit employees by providing services such as job reviews, job postings, candidate selection and hiring, salary administration, benefits advice, resolving employee relations matters, workforce diversity, ethics compliance, and promotion administration. The office also is tasked with ensuring compliance with state and federal regulations and laws, and maintaining Penn State employment policies, procedures, and practices.
The Alumni Operations unit works to ensure that all other business units have the information necessary in order for the Alumni Association to run efficiently and effectively. This unit’s primary areas of responsibility include business intelligence, market research, project management, evaluation and assessment, and management.
Published six times a year as a member benefit, The Penn Stater magazine is Penn State's most visible publication. It seeks to keep alumni informed about, connected to, and involved with their alma mater. In addition to the print publication, magazine staff also produce an online blog and maintain a Facebook site and Twitter feed. A hallmark of the magazine is to compete for readers’ attention using high standards in story selection, writing, and design. The magazine also has a longstanding tradition of objective reporting on difficult or controversial topics. In 2007, The Penn Stater was named the Robert Sibley Magazine of the Year by Newsweek and the Council for Advancement and Support of Education; more recently, it received more than two dozen awards for its unflinching coverage of the Sandusky scandal.
This unit is responsible for the resource development activities that occur through membership and business development. A cross-functional membership team oversees a comprehensive membership program to engage current and future alumni, parents, and friends of Penn State. In addition, our business development staff oversees selected revenue-generating products/services and secures and fosters partnerships with sponsoring corporations and businesses to develop benefits such as credit card/financial services programs, alumni insurance programs, and similar efforts.
This team focuses on strengthening the Alumni Association’s reach, image, and impact by producing and delivering innovative, high-quality, consistent communications, both online and in print. The team also is charged with creating, raising, and sustaining awareness of and interest in the Alumni Association’s programs, services, and activities and also serves as the organization’s brand steward. Specific responsibilities include strategy, content, design, and delivery of two of the organization’s key member-benefit publications—AlumnInsider and The Football Letter. Additionally, the group develops and implements digital communications strategies—including websites, email marketing, and engagement platforms—and manages the Alumni Association’s Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn (with Alumni Career Services staff) and other social media sites..