Strategic plan 2022-2025
Creating a lifelong connection
The VCU Office of Alumni Relations nurtures lifelong relationships with and among current and future VCU graduates, offering valuable benefits and programs for alumni and building support for VCU.
Alumni of Virginia Commonwealth University and its two predecessor institutions, the Medical College of Virginia and Richmond Professional Institute, have access to networking and career services, useful resources and engaging social and volunteer opportunities. We provide graduates with programs and events that connect them to one another and to their alma mater, wherever life takes them.
211,000+ alumni around the world
around the world
Alumni life stages
- 40%: Early career
- 30%: Midlife
- 30%: Senior
- Mission, vision, values
The Office of Alumni Relations leads the university’s efforts to strengthen and promote alumni engagement and to inspire lifelong loyalty that advances the university.
The Office of Alumni Relations supports a proud, inspired and motivated community of alumni and students engaged in the life and success of VCU, which reflects the diversity and innovation of the university’s campuses.
The Office of Alumni Relations upholds these core values that inform our programs and practices:
- Act with integrity
- Champion inclusivity
- Demonstrate tenacity
- Recognize success
- Pursue excellence
Our goal, in partnership with the VCU Alumni Council and the schools, colleges and units across all of VCU’s campuses, is to maintain consistent, meaningful engagement touchpoints annually with at least 25% of the VCU alumni community worldwide. These engagement opportunities include ways for alumni to strengthen the university, celebrate their VCU experience and create rewarding and purposeful peer-to-peer connections.
- Office of Alumni Relations
The Office of Alumni Relations, centrally located in the Office of Development and Alumni Relations, operates through a team of alumni engagement professionals who create and implement programs and events for alumni. Curated based on alumni affinities, locations, interests and needs, the programs reach different segments and stages of the alumni population.
These opportunities are developed uniquely for VCU graduates to pique their curiosity and reflect their experiences. To keep a finger on the pulse of alumni interests and ensure we remain relevant in the lives of our alumni, we collect feedback, survey participants and use net promoter scores, and test programs and initiatives.
- VCU Alumni Council
The VCU Alumni Council, composed of alumni leaders from both the MCV and Monroe Park campuses, works in partnership with the Office of Alumni Relations to engage fellow graduates and to represent the voice of alumni. The mission of the VCU Alumni Council is to enhance, unite and support the VCU Alumni community worldwide. The council’s mission is to:
- Engage alumni based on their affinities and interests.
- Amplify alumni voices and share their accomplishments.
- Build community and connection among all alumni.
- Support the student-to-graduate transition by developing relationships and networks.
- Embrace the diversity and legacy of the university.
- Contribute to the culture of philanthropy among alumni by investing in the future of the university.
The VCU Alumni Council is organized into six committees, aligned with the staffing areas of the office. Each committee has at least one staff liaison, who shares updates and provides insight into the daily operations of the office and offers opportunities for council members to get involved and champion alumni programs and initiatives.
VCU Alumni Council committees
- Vice Chair
- Assistant vice president of alumni relations (secretary)
- Representative/chair from each standing committee
- Constituent Organization/Chapter Support
- Alumni Connections and Networking
- Recent Graduates and Student Engagement
- Campus Engagement
- Culture, Values and Diversity
- Grants and Awards
- Campus partners
In all university schools and units, alumni engagement occurs independently and in partnership with the Office of Alumni Relations. As we collectively work toward engaging 25% of our alumni population, we strive to track and record all alumni efforts occurring with our campus partners. This ensures that we have a comprehensive understanding of alumni activities across the university as a whole as well as help us identify gaps and opportunities.
- Constituent organizations
Constituent organizations are organized groups of alumni that support our mission to increase alumni participation by supporting university initiatives and creating opportunities for alumni engagement. Constituent organizations, from regional chapters to identity- or affinity-based groups and councils, provide breadth and depth of programming and connect alumni with one another based on their locations and interests. The activities of the constituent organizations are volunteer-led, staff-supported and are integral to the VCU Alumni community.
- Strategic priorities
Priority #1: Engagement
We will create meaningful connections and opportunities for our alumni to advance a lifelong relationship with VCU. We will educate, engage and mobilize alumni and friends to be advocates and ambassadors.
- Create opportunities for early engagement, such as involving alumni in the student recruitment process through an enhanced partnership with the Office of Admissions.
- Support the student-to-alumni transition by developing opportunities to bring recent graduates back to campus with new programming, such as an annual leadership conference.
- Increase regional impact by supporting local chapters and strengthening our partnership with VCU Athletics by offering co-sponsored programming in and out of the Richmond region.
- Promote mentoring, internships and career networking for students and alumni by connecting them with mentoring programs around the university and digitally through VCU Link.
- Build lifelong learning affinities by marketing VCU to alumni as a place for continuing education, specifically building on our partnerships with the continuing and professional education opportunities.
Priority #2: Inclusive excellence
Diversity, equity and inclusion will be the cornerstone of all programs, initiatives and events. We aim to reflect and empower the voices of VCU’s distinctive alumni community.
- Leverage our constituent organizations to promote and co-sponsor staff-led DEI programs.
- Develop opportunities for international alumni to participate in virtual programs.
- Partner with New Student and Family Programs to offer parents and families of VCU students opportunities to engage and volunteer at alumni and chapter programs.
- Educate staff, students and volunteers on DEI and its importance to the university and the alumni program.
Priority #3: Volunteerism and giving
Through the creation of the VCU Alumni Council and other innovative volunteer programs, we will continually strive to create meaningful volunteer opportunities and a comprehensive alumni experience. Together, we will work to establish a culture of philanthropy that enhances the student experience and focuses on accessibility for future VCU alumni.
- Create a strategy to allow alumni to volunteer in meaningful ways regardless of traditional hurdles such as time, proximity to campus and life stage.
- Manage the volunteer life cycle by developing a strategy for target markets to recruit, onboard, develop and debrief departing chapter leaders.
- Increase student giving by creating more awareness and participation in Students Today Alumni Tomorrow.
- Reach 100% giving by VCU Alumni Council members.
- Develop talking points about the importance of supporting VCU, to be shared at alumni events.
Priority #4: Communications and outreach
We will strive to work collaboratively and strategically with all university partners and stakeholders, and purposefully communicate through all channels and media. Together, we will enhance the lives and careers of our alumni community and promote their stories and experiences.
- Launch a combined website for alumni and donors that offers greater engagement opportunities to increase brand awareness and visits.
- Launch VCU Magazine, a university flagship publication for alumni and donors, and a companion microsite and increase household distribution of the print magazine by 70%, from 85,000 to 150,000.
- Develop integrated strategic marketing communications that elevate the awareness and importance of alumni engagement.
- Grow our social media presence by annually increasing the number of followers on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
- Segment emails to reach targeted audiences and provide them with constituent-centric content that enhances their connection to the university.