It has long been clear to me, as one who has been vitally involved with alumni relations for 15 years, that Baylor as an institution has been less responsive to the needs of alumni than we would like. As our alumni body has grown, it has become apparent that University programming for alumni has failed to keep pace with the growing expectations of our graduates. It is interesting to note that this seems to be a situation being faced by many colleges and universities nationwide.
In the past year, President Sloan and I have presented "Baylor 2012 -- The 10-Year Vision" to more than 5,000 individuals in 22 cities in 11 states. These town hall meetings provided alumni an opportunity to ask questions and address issues. It is largely in response to this direct input from you, our alumni, that we are commencing a comprehensive new program of alumni services, built upon the University's renewed commitment to our alumni.
Our goal is ambitious: To involve the entire range of groups with ties to the University in meaningful relationships with Baylor. Soon, you may expect to see:
Social and career networking programs -- online and in person -- designed to be generation- and need-specific.
A comprehensive orientation process for current students and new graduates to provide better articulation between student status and being "just out of the nest."
Programs that address career, social and family needs of young graduates to age 35.
Programs designed to build alumni communities -- both geographical and online -- based on current common interests and needs.
A thoroughly effective and powerful Web site for alumni services allowing for greater connectivity among alumni and to the University.
Programs recognizing the contribution of alumni as volunteers for the University.
Efforts designed to create greater affinity between alumni and the academic school, college or department from which they graduated.
Efforts to engage the eldest of our alumni in meaningful events and services.
Efforts to enhance relationships among the campus community and the city of Waco.
The administration of our University is investing in providing a new level of service to our graduates. I am committed to being responsive to your input. Together, we will become a great asset to each other as we share our mutual interests and fully recognize the power of being part of the Baylor family.
Lofgren is associate vice president, Alumni Services