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Best Practices Library

Alumni Development

Alumni Relations and Engagement

AD1 - The chapter's alumni relations efforts are divided up between several collegiate members rather than falling on the shoulders of a single member. One member serves as the Alumni Relations Chairman, one member serves as the alumni newsletter editor and alumni database manager, one member serves as the Chicago area alumni chairman, and one member serves as the Central Iowa alumni chairman.

AD2 - The chapter invites alumni to participate in events such as candidate and initiate ceremonies, philanthropy, and community service projects. Alumni are regularly invited to attend chapter meetings, recruitment events, and brotherhood activities.

AD3 - Our alumni are involved in formal recruitment. The chapter has an alumni night where about forty of our established alumni come and meet potential candidates during formal recruitment week. The event features time for a keynote speaker and then time for the alumni to speak individually with the potential new members.

AD4 - Our third week of every month is our alumni week, as we regularly have an alum come and talk to our chapter during our chapter meetings to discuss the impact Sigma Nu has had on his life and his experiences within the chapter. Afterward, the chapter members and alum go to a local restaurant our chapter has frequented for decades.

AD5 - The chapter involves alumni in bid extension activities through an interactive 'snake path' in which prospective candidates are led along a pathway. The prospective members hear experiences and testimonials from various alumni along the route.

AD6 - The chapter has its own Walk of Honor on the chapter house property. Alumni can purchase commemorative bricks, like the Pathway of Honor, on the Headquarters grounds, and all proceeds benefit the chapter.

AD7 - The chapter has a computer in their chapter house office which consists entirely of a database for alumni contact information, including e-mail addresses, phone numbers, physical mailing addresses, professions, badge numbers, and years in school. This information is made available to members and is supplemented by the House Corporation.

AD8 - The chapter holds weekly lunch meetings with their Chapter Advisor to review chapter operations and improve alumni relations. This provides an informal setting that allows for more open conversation with the Chapter Advisor.

AD9 - The chapter has an alumni pen pal program where candidates are paired with alumni. Alumni act as mentors and offer advice while the candidates keep alumni apprised of their progression through candidate education.

AD10 - Many alumni also participate in a mentoring network that pairs them with active brothers pursuing similar careers or fields of study. We continue to increase participation in this program, both from a brotherhood and alumni standpoint, as it has and will continue to serve as a vital resource for our chapter.

AD11 - The chapter created a local Hall of Honor. This recognition is usually reserved for alumni who have been out of school for a designated period, typically 15 years. One or two alumni are selected annually at the end of the year banquet and presented with a plaque or certificate. A special committee of collegiate and alumni members determine inductees. The chapter also created a wall at the chapter house where inductees into the Hall of Honor are memorialized.

AD12 - The chapter uploads old chapter composites to an alumni Facebook group so that alumni can tag other alumni that they know and help unite older generations throughout the chapter's history.

AD14 - Each month, a meeting is held between the chapter's Executive Committee members and the Alumni Advisory Board. Each officer reports on what they have done in the previous month, and the Advisory Board and other members of the Executive Committee give feedback and new ideas to build upon the tasks at hand. The Advisory Board helps make sure that each officer fulfills the duties entailed by his position.

AD15 - The Alumni Advisory Board facilitates an annual officer training lasting about half a day. In this training, all officers are expected to present what they understand their role to be and how they intend to improve upon that role over the next year. Each officer is also provided with information on which alumni advisor is the most appropriate to rely on for advice in his office.

AD16 - The chapter has candidates write letters during their candidate education experience to alumni of the chapter to ask them about their experience and any meaningful advice they can share on making the most of their years in the chapter.

AD17 - The chapter is starting an Alumni Mentorship program to help with chapter academics and the implementation of LEAD Phase III.

AD18 - The chapter currently works with an outside company to create the format of its alumni newsletter. Using a professional company for an alumni newsletter is a great way to create a quality newsletter.

AD19 - The chapter utilizes an alumni recruitment board that features help from alumni from the biggest cities in our state where freshmen come from. The alumni on the board are from the first, second, and third-largest cities and help set up summer recruitment events for the chapter.

AD20 - The chapter created an award called the Alumni Award of Merit. The recognition is reserved for alumni who have volunteered or contributed to the chapter in a major way. For instance, this award has recognized our Chapter Advisor, Alumni Advisory Board Chairman, and alumni who constantly volunteer their time to plan chapter events.

AD21 - Each semester, the Alumni Advisory Board conducts a membership survey with buy-in and chapter operations questions. The chapter uses the results of this survey to set goals and strategic plans.

AD22 - Sample Alumni Development Plan 1

AD23 - Sample Alumni Development Plan 2

AD24 - Sample Alumni Relations Introduction Letter

AD25 - Sample Alumni Newsletter 1

AD26 - Sample Alumni Newsletter 2

AD27 - Sample Alumni Newsletter 3

AD28 - Sample Alumni Newsletter 4

AD29 - Sample Alumni Newsletter 5

AD30 - Sample Alumni Newsletter 6

AD31 - Alumni Relations Guide


AD32 - The chapter, on the eve of Thanksgiving every year, invites alumni to the chapter house for a reunion and a Thanksgiving dinner sponsored by the chapter.

AD33 - We have candidate class reunions every fall at one of the home football games. For example, an upcoming reunion might feature alumni from the call of 1959.

AD34 - A requirement of our candidate education process is hosting an alumni event, often a dinner that serves to introduce many of our local alumni to the current candidate class.

AD35 - The chapter has sponsored an Alumni Speaker Series for five years, where we invite alumni to a chapter-wide dinner, conversation, and question-and-answer session. In the fall, we hosted four alumni who had served or are currently serving in the United States Armed Forces.

AD36 - The chapter hosted a 'legends' weekend in which alumni were invited back to celebrate the groundbreaking of a new chapter house. The 'legends' event included a Friday night mixer, Saturday groundbreaking, formal ceremonies, and a Sunday golf outing. At the formal ceremony, the chapter inducted alumni into a hall of fame. The event was publicized in the chapter's alumni newsletter.

AD37 - The chapter hosts a dinner during recruitment week for all the potential new members that have been given a bid to increase the chances of that person accepting his bid. They invite alumni in the area to speak. It is a formal dinner.

AD38 - Sample Alumni Event Invitation

AD39 - The chapter hosts an annual Commanders' Dinner. During the event, the chapter hosts a cocktail reception, dinner, and presentation of alumni recognition awards, such as "Alumni Generosity" and "Outstanding Alumni Dedication and Service." In addition to the presentation of awards, special guests and speakers are also asked to speak on recent chapter accomplishments and future goals for the next academic year. The main invitees for each year's event are the past Commanders of the chapter.

AD40 - The following resource assists chapters and volunteers with the implementation of the Affirmation of Knighthood Ceremony.

Parent Engagement

AD41- The chapter has a "parent chairman" to send updates and semester newsletters to show parents what the chapter is up to.

AD42 - The chapter hosts a senior banquet dinner. Invitations are extended to parents, local alumni, and faculty members for the banquet. This serves as an opportunity to connect with those groups and celebrate the successes of the graduating brothers.

AD43 - The chapter plans an annual Parents Dinner and House Tour every April. The event serves to engage the parents and bring them up to speed on the chapter's operations.

AD44 - The chapter contacts candidates' parents and friends to write personal letters to the candidates. The chapter then surprises the candidates by giving them these letters, which allows candidates to reflect on who they are as a person and how they have become that person.

AD45 - The chapter has established a parent's club to help the chapter plan for Game Day events.

AD46 - The chapter has a "Parents Club" for the parents of undergraduates. Parents Club has social events, keeps parents informed, etc.

AD47 - Sample Conference Call Invitation for Parents

General Fraternity Resources

GFAD1 - Alumni Development Newsletter Guide 

GFAD2 - Sigma Nu Parents Video Testimonials 

GFAD3 - Information on Alumni Advisory Boards  

GFAD4 - Information on Alumni Chapters 

GFAD5 - Information on Alumni Clubs

GFAD6 - Alumni Calendar, Events, and Planner Guide 

GFAD7 - Alumni Development Action Plan

Call for Practices

If you have a great example or resource that you think should be included in the Best Practices Library, we want to know about it. Send your examples and resources to Austin Lloyd, Director of Chapter Services, at austin.lloyd@sigmanu.org.

Additional Officer Resources

The perfect complement to the Best Practices Library is the specific chapter officer resources page. Here you can access additional resources and the chapter officer manual for each officer. Also, be sure to check out the following pages on the Fraternity's service and philanthropy related resources: 

© 2015-2022 Sigma Nu Fraternity, Inc.
9 North Lewis Street, P.O. Box 1869, Lexington, Virginia 24450
Phone: (540) 463-1869 | Fax: (540) 463-1669 | Email: headquarters@sigmanu.org

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