In my interactions with Vanderbilt faculty, students and staff, I always emphasize that alumni are the university’s largest, most diverse, and potentially most powerful resource. With 130,000 individuals in 143 countries, we’re the living brand of Vanderbilt, with the potential to be strategic partners in Vanderbilt’s pursuit of excellence.
In the 2009 alumni survey, respondents rated their experience at Vanderbilt very highly—8.8 on a scale of 10—and 75 percent agreed that Vanderbilt is a lifelong experience. Yet only a minority felt “well connected” to the university, and fewer than half felt strongly that Vanderbilt benefits greatly from the involvement of its alumni.
Helping alumni feel and be more connected is the fundamental purpose of the Vanderbilt Alumni Association, as defined by our mission: “To engage alumni in the life of Vanderbilt University and its students, and to encourage lifelong connections among alumni and support of the university’s goals.”
The mission, in turn, shapes our strategic plan, which is focused on developing more meaningful, frequent and diverse opportunities for alumni to engage directly with each other and with all members of the university family—students, faculty and staff—both on campus and in the communities where you live and work.
We’re making greater use of technology to augment face-to-face events, and developing new programs tailored to alumni at every stage of their personal lives and careers. The 2011 revamp of our alumni travel program is an example, as is the new Career Moves program.
Underlying the plan is our belief that engagement is a two-way street that will enable alumni to benefit from their continuing connection with Vanderbilt and, in turn, become a sustaining source of support, realizing the spirit and promise of “Vanderbilt for Life.”
JOHN HINDLE, BA’68, PhD’81
President, Vanderbilt University Alumni Association
John Hindle, BA’68, PhD’81
Carroll Kimball, BA’84
Billy Ray Caldwell, BA’85
Immediate past president
Nelson Andrews III, BA’89, EMBA’95
Elizabeth Gerken, BE’90, MBA’92
Bond Payne, BA’92
Patricia White, BA’76
Associate vice chancellor for alumni relations
© 2014 Vanderbilt University
Conversation guidelines: Vanderbilt Magazine welcomes your thoughts, stories and information related to this article. Please stay on topic and be respectful of others. Keep the conversation appropriate for interested readers across the map.