What are some ways your initiate classes can get to know your Alumni? How do you teach your Initiates about the importance of Alumni and being a Brother for life?
Alumni Sponsored Initiate Scholarships
Bay Area Alumni Association/Delta Omega
Main article: Chapter Scholarships
Alumni-Initiate Pen Pals
Alpha Rho Chapter
Alpha Rho coordinates an Alumni Buddy Program each semester. Near the beginning of each semester, a list of Alumni interested in participating that semester is compiled. Each Initiate is then paired with an Alumnus/Alumna. If possible, matchups are based on family lines. The level of communication between buddy pairings is up to those involved, but many communicate on a regular basis during the initiation period and well after the Initiate is inducted as a Brother. This program provides initiates a link to the Chapter's past, while serving as a way to keep Alumni involved and excited about the future of the Chapter.
Gamma Pi Chapter
Gamma Pi coordinated Alumni Pen Pals with their Initiate class of Spring 2014. Each Initiate was paired with an Alumnus/Alumna of the Gamma Pi Chapter. The Chapter is looking into a way to coordinate Alumni pen pals from the single letter classes to the future classes that have the same letter in them. (ie. Alpha class would be matched up with the Alpha Alpha class.)
If you require your initiates to interview members of your chapter, consider encouraging them to also interview local Alumni, even if they are not from your chapter. Providing your initiates additional viewpoints on what the fraternity and chapter means to individuals can help guide them through the process.
Have questions focused on the Alumni members Phi Sigma Pi experiences. These are more valuable as learning tools than questions like 'what is your favorite color, movie, food...'
- How did Phi Sigma Pi prepare them for life after college?
- What leadership positions did they have in the chapter?
- What did they gain most from their time as an undergrad member?
- Did they participate on the national level?
- Do they remain active now as Alumni, how so?
Alumni and your Initiate Classes
Do you invite local Alumni to attend your chapter's weekly initiate classes? Consider having a few come and lead sessions for your initiate classes when they are discussing Alumni topics. Introducing your initiates to your Alumni early on with help them understand that brotherhood is forever. The Initiate Program Curriculum Guide has several good examples on including Alumni in your chapter's Initiate Classes.
Lesson 4, Week 4; “To approach the topic of being an active Brother, consider having a group discussion where Brothers share their personal experiences in the transition from initiate to Brother. Alumni are great to have for an activity like this, because as time goes by…you gain a better perspective on what the transition was like for each of us. Sharing the benefits of active membership also will help motivate the initiates and get them excited to be Brothers.”
Lesson 5, Week 5; Your initiates were assigned reading Scholar’s Province section on Parliamentary Procedure and Alumni at the end of Week 4. Consider having your local Alumni attend if you plan on discussing the reading on Alumni. Even if you do not have a specific presentation relating to this reading they could be on hand to answer questions. Also this could be a good time to tie in a communication concept such as Alumni pen pals to incorporate Alumni who are not local and show the continuing role for Alumni in chapter development.
Alumni Big Brothers
Unless your chapter by-laws prohibit it, your Alumni might be good options for big brothers, especially if there are not enough people and brothers need to take two or three littles per rush period. Make sure you talk to the Alumni whom you want to participate ahead of time to make sure they are able to commit to it. Also make sure you invite them to events so that your initiates can become familiar with them. Don't assume your Alumni know what events they are invited to attend.
Family Line Events
Encouraging Alumni to participate in events with their family lines, especially during the rush and initiation process will both help keep your Alumni involved and also serve as a role model for newer members on how to continue to participate after graduation. Consider encouraging chapter wide family line events such as; dinners, movies, bowling etc.
A family line dinner can provide an unofficial setting that may be a more comfortable for Alumni participation. If they offer consider getting together at the Alumni’s residence instead of making them come to you. This is especially relevant if your event is on a work night for them.
The Membership Resource Guide also provides several options to involve your Alumni in family line events with Initiates.
- See “Membership Resource Guide, p 12”; Big/Little newlyweds and family game night
- See “Membership Resource Guide, p 21”; Object
The Ritual - Inductions
Invite your Alumni to participate in your chapter’s Induction ceremonies. Participating in the Ritual may help reaffirm your chapter's Alumni commitment to the chapter and renew their interest. The Membership Resource Guide discusses preparing speakers, Alumni included, for participating in the Ritual, especially if it has been a while since the last time.
- See “Membership Resource Guide, p 32”; The Ritual