“A founder can carry an institution only so far, and then others have to step in, even the alumni. That’s how an institution becomes one.” – Shiv Nadar.
One of the most important parts of life is to be with people who share the same ideologies as you. That’s your comfort zone. But in reality, when one learns to be with people of different mentalities, different interests, and different opinions, the person has a broader perspective towards the things they see. They are introduced to view the same things from a variety of angles through other people’s eyes. And that might change your opinions and beliefs about certain things. As long as you accept that you can be wrong and you will get better each coming day, that is all that really matters. This brings me to my point. Students studying in the same college and university as you become a vital part of life. We meet them at an age where everyone is still trying to figure things out about their life, and most of the time we grow together helping each other in addition to the help that is provided by the university. You graduate as the ‘Alumnus’ of the University.
The funniest part is that once you get admitted to the university and start your program, you already become the alumnus of the organization. You don’t even need to be done with your graduation! But once when you finally complete it, it is an overwhelmingly nostalgic feeling to look back and see the memories you had of the place and what would you give to live them again. And then the idea strikes you! Get into an existing Alumni Network or make your own. Every University has its own Alumni network which enables the people who have already passed out of the college to stay in touch with the university and the people in it. Students that are passionate about the working of their college and the people in it, who want to constantly stay in touch with their peers are the most likely to be in or start an Alumni network.
Alumni network is kind of a social network which helps the university grow by increasing contacts with other places, connect people from various parts of the university, organizing fun stuff for the freshers to just settle their nerves, and to help absolutely anyone and everyone related to the university. But the selfish motive is that they just don’t want to go away from a place that made them feel like home! Being a part of the Alumni network brings benefits with it as well. Some of the benefits are: –
- Skill Development
- Grading and Giving back
- Financial Benefits
- Lifelong Friends
- Career Assistance
Let us have a look at few of the best and the strongest alumni networks: –
Princeton University (Princeton, New Jersey)
The fourth-oldest college in the United States is an independent and coeducational institution and is also a world-renowned research university. The Princeton Alumni circle is considered to be one of the strongest and most supportive alumni networks. It has more than 94,000 people that are a part of the Alumni network with almost 26,000 people attending their annual reunions. Alumni Day and Alumni Conference are just 2 of the many things that are organized by the network every year for the people. Would you be surprised if I tell you that 2 U.S presidents were the Alumni of Princeton? James Maddison and Woodrow Wilson were the former US presidents that attended the Princeton University. Here are a few of the notable Princeton Alumni:
- Jeff Bezos – The founder of Amazon was once a part of Princeton University, who graduated with a B.Sc. in electrical engineering and Computer Science.
- Michelle Obama – The former first lady of the United states majored in Sociology and African American studies. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts.
Harvard university (Cambridge, Massachusetts)
Pretty sure the first University that pops up into someone’s mind when the words ‘Ivy League’ are uttered is the Harvard University. A college that has a faculty of roughly around 2,400 members has an Alumni network that resembles the college, rich and full of pride. The Harvard Alumni Association (HAA) is the place where one can register to be a Harvard Alumni. They present you with a HarvardKey, which is essentially a confirmation of you being a part of the group. By claiming that, one can have lifetime access to Harvard websites. Online resources, Services and discount and Lifelong Learning are a few of the perks which are provided. Here are a few notable Harvard Alumni:
- Mark Zuckerberg – The founder of Facebook literally made Facebook in the walls of Harvard and then expanded it.
- Natalie Portman – The 3-time Oscar-winning actress graduated from Harvard with an A.B degree in Psychology.
St. Lawrence University (Canton, New York)
St. Lawrence University spreads around a 1000-acre campus with 94 buildings situated in it. With 98% of students living on campus, it is kind of a sealed off land just for students. And that makes the Alumni reunions much more fun as a lot of people from the past and the present get to interact with each other and get to know stuff in-person. Few of the events organized by the Alumni network are Laurentian Weekend, Legacy days and Reunion day. Not only that but all the suggestions regarding a variety of events are heard too. One can host their own event as well! One can always volunteer to help with the Alumni events in co-ordination with the Alumni Executive Council. Few of the notable Alumni from the university are:
- Kirk Douglas – The famous American actor could not afford the tuition fees for the university but he managed to enter by demonstrating his high school honors to the dean. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree.
- Susan Collins – The United States senator graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Government in 1975.
Dartmouth College (Hanover, New Hampshire)
With the motto ‘Vox clamantis in deserto” translating to “a voice crying out in the wilderness”, the college has a very robust relationship when it comes to the alumni and their network. The Carneige foundation classified the college as “very high researched activity” as the sponsored research attracted around $203 million. Every year, more than 4000 alumni come to the reunion in the month of June. The volunteers show their love and affection to the program through joining forces with the organizations like Alumni Council and Association of Alumni. Here are a few notable Alumni of Dartmouth:
- David Harbour – The actor who is widely known for his role in the show ‘Stranger Things’ graduated from Dartmouth in 1997.
- Torrey Peters – She is an American author who has a very famous book ‘Detransition, Baby’ graduated from Dartmouth with an MA in Comparative Literature.
Stanford University (Stanford, California)
Stanford University believes in encouraging their students to have a go at the entrepreneurship right from the beginning. Lot of companies namely Google, HP, Nike, GAP are the companies founded by the faculty and the alumni of Stanford. Most of the people working in the elite Silicon Valley are connected to the Stanford university in some or the other way. The university has a strong focus on leadership qualities. Every Alumni reunion is an opportunity for people to grow further. The Stanford Alumni Association was established in 1892 and as of now, there are more than 220,000 Stanford Alumni. Few of the notable Stanford Alumni are:
- Ellen Ochoa – The NASA astronaut graduated from Stanford university with a Master of science and a doctorate in 1981 and 1985.
- Reese Witherspoon – The famous American actress attended the Stanford University as an English literature major.
Pennsylvania State University (University Park, Pennsylvania)
Penn State University believes that the degree achieved by a student is more than education. It’s a collection of knowledge, experiences, bonds, and friendships that you make throughout the period of time. It is the way of humanity through which we give back. The success here goes beyond the classroom and the 4 walls of the university. It travels with alumni all over the globe. The Penn State Alumni Association is the one that takes the initiative to bring all the people close by organizing various events. They even have an Alumni shop consisting of merchandise related to the university. A few of the notable alumni of the university are:
- Mark Parker – The American businessman who is currently the executive chairman of Nike, got his Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Penn State University.
- Adam McKay – The American film director went to the Penn state university for a year before switching to Temple university.
Amherst College (Amherst, Massachusetts)
Amherst is one of the most premier private colleges in Massachusetts. A distinct feature of Amherst college is that it has an open curriculum. With that comes a large number of people under the Alumni Network. Almost 23,000 people are part of the Amherst Alumni network. The Amherst college has over 5,000 members active on LinkedIn so that it is easy for the students or the other Alumni to connect with them. There are a lot of career advisors that are readily available to help you at any given moment of time if you reach out to them. ‘The Amherst Student is the newspaper for the Amherst college students while they can check out about the alumni conversations online through the alumni blogroll. A number of website and library benefits are handed to the Amherst College Alumni. Here are a few notable Amherst alumni:
- Chelsea Cutler – The famous pop singer attended Amherst college while her career took off in music. She played soccer too.
- Dan Brown – The famous author who wrote books like ‘Angels and Demons’ and ‘the Da Vinci code’, graduated from Amherst in 1986.
Clemson University (Clemson, South Carolina)
Clemson University is home to about more than 20,000 undergraduate students and over 5,000 graduate students. The ‘Tigers’ are eager to help their fellow students and alumni in all the ways possible. You instantly become a part of the network when you start pursuing a course in the university. The Clemson Alumni Association is a non-profit open-membership association. A lot of Clemson alumni are people who have chosen athletics as their profession. A number of donations and events are organized to give the community back the love and support they have showed throughout the years. Bringing together all the alumni is done by organizing get-togethers once a year. Here are a few Clemson University alumni:
- Deshaun Watson – The American football quarterback played for the Clemson tigers in his time at the Clemson university.
- Nikki Haley – The former Governor of South Carolina graduated from Clemson university with a bachelor’s degree in Accounting.
These were a few colleges and universities which have the strongest alumni networks.