Editorial: Stressing a mutually beneficial alumni network

In light of Homecoming Weekend at the University, in which hundreds of alumni and their families are expected to return to campus, The Bucknellian reflects on the impact of student-alumni relationships. The student-alumni relationship at the University seems unrivaled. Being the rural liberal arts school that the University is, connections with any and all alumni outside of Lewisburg are incredibly important.

From our staff’s experiences in roles from alumni ambassador to student caller and Alumni Association student member, we are able to see firsthand how special the University bond is. Particularly, we appreciate how sincerely alums enjoy meeting not only current students, but each other. 

Our senior staffers have especially seen the importance of alumni connections through networking connections. They expressed being more comfortable reaching out, taking phone calls, and scheduling informational interviews with prospective employers and mentees knowing that they already share the experience of having attended the University. It is important for underclassmen to become more comfortable with reaching out to alumni, whether it’s to share a casual conversation, talk about job opportunities, or to ask for advice or a reference.

Even underclassmen who haven’t yet experienced highlights of the student-alumni relationship find confidence in the perceived strength of this connection. Members of our editorial board expressed the sense of importance that is bestowed on connecting students and alumni, which gives current students assurance that alums in the real world are always willing to help out.

Similar-sized liberal arts schools don’t necessarily have the same type of “looking out for each other” that our University prides itself on. Knowing how proud University students are of their school adds to the prestige of attending the University itself. We attribute this bond in part to University students maintaining many of the same campus traditions, from New Student Orientation and Matriculation to First Night, which will be celebrated on Nov. 3 with members of the Class of 2021 and the Alumni Association Board of Directors.

Our staff also acknowledges the relationships we continue to build with our network of former Bucknellian staffers and alums. Last year during Homecoming and Reunion, we celebrated The Bucknellian’s 120th year on campus with receptions for former staffers. This fall, we began training workshops with The Bucknellian editors, most recently Matthew Karanian ’82.

We hope that the relationships students enjoy with the support of the University’s alumni network are mutually beneficial. To see this in action, check out B6 for a special feature on Nadeem Nasimi ’17, the creator of the no8am website, which helps students navigate course registration through a visual and easy-to-use course scheduling platform. As Nasimi explains, he still relies on student feedback for updates to his site.

We hope to further showcase stories and relationships that highlight not only how students connect with alums, but also how alumni relationships with students remain impactful and insightful. 

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