Brand new alumni programming

Oct 1st, 2020

Heidi Wicks

Brand new alumni programming

The face of the world has changed, and with change comes adaptability and reimagined ways to connect.

As such, alumni programming and events have shifted from in-person events, programs and celebrations, amplifying opportunities for alumni to embark on new, exciting, blended ways to build relationships with each other.

The Office of Alumni Engagement has reinvented its website to reflect the suite of new, virtual programming and services being offered to Memorial’s alumni family, which spans 100,000 across the globe. While the world remains physically distanced due to COVID-19, virtual and hybrid programming and events are keeping alumni connected.

Recently, the Office of Alumni Engagement aligned with the Office of Public Engagement, merging the concept of public engagement as a principle for fostering connections with alumni and friends in order to realize the potential for relationships of mutual benefit and contribution between Memorial and its alumni.

The alumni body is interspersed within the fabric of the culture and diverse skillsets and industries of the people of Newfoundland and Labrador and the world.

“We are so excited to be at the point where we can start rolling out these programs for our alumni,” said Lynn Squires (BA, BBA ’96), assistant director. “Our vision was to create new opportunities to connect and unite our alumni through learning and mentorship programming, book clubs and virtual events. We’ve offered webinars in collaboration with Gardiner Centre, Student Life and Career Development. We are always open to working with other academic units within Memorial, as well as groups outside of Memorial who can collaborate with us and provide programming that engages and supports our alumni and friends. We encourage people to look for new programming opportunities being launched throughout the fall and winter semesters.”

Coast Lines: Alumni Book Club

Coast Lines will encourage alumni to connect through a common love of reading and literature from Newfoundland and Labrador, featuring authors from this province, many of whom are also Memorial alumni.

“The first featured selection will be Michael Crummey’s The Innocents,” said Ms. Squires, “and following that will be three selections that members will vote on. We plan to host a virtual event featuring a conversation with each author later this fall.”

“We will include graduates of Memorial’s hugely successful creative writing program, which has produced some of the province’s brightest literary voices,” said Ms. Squires.

MUNalum Chapters

The MUNalum chapters program provides alumni with resources and tools to help create regional and themed communities across the province, country and globe. While Memorial currently has chapters in Halifax, Ottawa, Toronto, Calgary, Houston and London, the office encourages pockets of people to connect wherever they are. Alumni can also gather global groups around topics of interest.

With a chapters Rules and Tools Handbook, as well as support with promotional items and more, MUNalum is all about making the process of self-organizing as easy and fun as possible, whether the goal is to connect with an existing chapter, or create a brand new one.

MUNalum Days

Each October, Memorial hosts a series of events to create opportunities to reconnect with alumni and friends. While 2020 will be unique, the Office of Alumni Engagement is in the process of planning a virtual alumni week with events from faculties, schools, departments and administrative units across all campuses.

Stay tuned to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for details on 2020’s MUNalum Days, which runs from Oct. 26 – 30. An event celebrating the 2020 Alumni Tribute Award recipients will take place on Oct. 26 (details to come).

Other programs such as GlobalNL and Ten Thousand Coffees offer platforms for alumni and friends to connect, mentor and learn from each other.

No matter where in the world alumni are, and despite the restrictions imposed by a global pandemic, distance doesn’t need to keep connections from happening.