Date of Award
The arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States prompted an unanticipated change in the fundamental ways in which alumni relations offices at higher education institutions engage their alumni populations. It necessitated a transition into virtual programming and engagement efforts. The impact of this shift into operating almost exclusively online is relatively unknown, with little scholarly research currently existing on the topic. Following a comprehensive review of the existing literature, this study compared the five-year historical trends in alumni engagement at a small, private liberal arts institution to survey feedback provided by alumni volunteers. Seeking to understand the impact of introducing a virtual alumni engagement strategy on the alumni-alma mater relationship and individual alumni decisions to continue participating virtually, the study concludes that a hybridized version of in-person and virtual alumni engagement strategies may provide alumni and their alma mater with the best of both worlds.
Downey, Leah B., "Venturing into Virtual: A Study of the Impact of Virtual Alumni Engagement on the Alumni- Alma Mater Relationship in Higher Education" (2021). School of Professional and Continuing Studies Nonprofit Studies Capstone Projects. 17.