All affinity programs begin with an affinity group. An affinity group is any set of alumni who are joined by a common interest, identity or purpose. More specifically, an affinity group is interested in coming together, whether in person via events or online via social media networking, to engage.
Affinity programs can be based on Greek affiliation, scholarships, club and organization participation, sports teams, student government, the arts, academic majors and minors, current professions and interests, personal identities and other ideas from alumni.
As with W&L's chapter programs, all affinity groups will be alumni-run with employee support. To ensure the quality and longevity of the programs, the office has created criteria for all affinity groups.
To ensure every affinity group is successful, Alumni Engagement requires the following information about the proposed affinity group:
- 2-3 alumni leaders who will act as the main points of contact between the affinity group and Alumni Engagement.
- A summary of the affinity and its proposed purpose and events, whether they be on-campus, through a chapter or online.
- An estimated number of members of the proposed affinity group.
- An agreement from the affinity group leaders to meet with Alumni Engagement's designated Affinity Officer on a regular basis (via phone or in-person) to ensure real action is being taken to increase affinity and engagement among these alumni.
Alumni affinity groups are encouraged to plan and implement authentic events as part of the engagement process. All affinity events will follow certain protocol to help ensure their success. This protocol includes:
- An alumnus steering committee to plan the event. Based on the size and location of the event, Alumni Engagement may assist with brainstorming and/or logistics, as appropriate.
- A summary of the purpose and plan for the event, submitted to Alumni Engagement in advance of the event. Deadline for on-campus events during pre-existing alumni weekends is 9-12 months for initial plans. Deadline for stand-alone affinity weekends is 12-24 months. Deadline for chapter and other off-campus events will vary.
- An invitation list, with names, class years, other affinity information, etc.
- Multiple dates for the proposed event.
- An agreement from the affinity group leaders to meet with Alumni Engagement's designated Affinity Officer on a monthly and/or weekly basis (via phone or in-person) to ensure the success of the event.
- For all on-campus events, affinity groups will comply with all campus regulations on alcohol and security.
- Event registration must be sufficient to ensure the event is financially stable (breaks even) with no direct support from Alumni Engagement.
- The Executive Director of Alumni Engagement has sole authority to approve affinity events and their scope.