By Jada Butler
The office of Employer Relations and the office of Alumni Relations merged in July to become the newly created office of Alumni and Employer Engagement.
The decision to intertwine the two offices seemed to come naturally. Employer Relations was tasked with building relationships with employers for students, and through Alumni Relations, they found that many employers of LIU Post students are alumni. “There was a natural synergy to it,” Moreen Mitchell, the university director of the new department, said. “It was clear that this was the direction higher education was going in,” she said.
Ryan Attard Reilly, a 2003 LIU Post alumna who was the university director of alumni relations and annual fund, left the university over the summer. Mitchell now oversees her former department of Employer Relations as well as the added responsibilities of alumni engagement. Mitchell and her team now manage services and events for a network of over 200,000 alumni. They report to Bill Martinov, head of admissions. Most alumni are already connected to the university through alumni cards, which give discounted access to the Pratt Recreation Center and the Tilles Performing Arts Center, among other services.
The largest window for alumni engagement is through Homecoming in the fall. This year’s Homecoming will include performances by The Bleachers on Thursday, Oct. 12 and Blondie Friday, Oct. 13, wine tasting, athletic games for the alumni, a WCWP radio alumni barbeque, a “So You Think You Can Dance” contest, and a historical tour and breakfast Sunday, Oct. 15. Last year, the Pioneer hosted an alumni event at Homecoming to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the student newspaper on campus.
This semester is a fresh start for the office of alumni and employer engagement. Mitchell and Joan Yonke, campus director of alumni and employer engagement, are going out to the students. They are starting the future alumni committee, and hope to cultivate the interest of current students in philanthropy. “We want a group of people in the planning stages,” Mitchell said. Students who plan to join the future alumni committee will act as a student advisory board to alumni and employer engagement, investing ideas into what they will leave behind. “We want to know what they want their history to look like,” Mitchell said.
An alumni board with several sub-committees is already in place. Mitchell plans to initiate a GOLD committee for “Graduates of the Last Decade,” to connect with recent graduates and promote school spirit for future alumni. When asked to speak with the current alumni committee, Mitchell said she would not be able to give that access to the Pioneer.
Students can join the Future Alumni Committee and learn more about philanthropy, by contacting the office of Alumni and Employer Engagement at firstname.lastname@example.org, or stepping into their o ce located in the old bookstore building next to Pell Hall.