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Alumni and Parent Programs
A. Elizabeth Anema, Executive Director of Alumni and Parent Programs and Annual Giving
Pontypool, 22 Snell Street
As part of Advancement, Alumni and Parent Programs (APP) works to build community and create connections between the College and its alumni, parents, students and friends.APP supports alumni and family programming and works closely with departments across the College, including the Career Center, Admission, Athletics, the Center for Community Engagement, academic departments and others to foster alumni engagement with the College, its faculty and its students. The Executive Committee, Amherst’s alumni advisory board, partners with APP to promote and facilitate the engagement of alumni and their meaningful participation in the life and future of the College; to inspire alumni to support the College through contributions of service and philanthropy; and to support the College’s mission of advancing the liberal arts and teaching and advising undergraduates. Nearly 70 percent of alumni engage with the College each year by making a gift, attending events, volunteering, logging in online or by offering feedback.
APP sponsors many opportunities that support and educate students in their future role as alumni, such as Pathways mentoring; Love My Alumni Week in February (to thank and connect with alumni); several 100 Days to Graduation programs and the Senior Class Gift (in support of the Alumni Fund); and in partnership with the Career Center, alumni-student networking receptions and field/industry specific treks held in major cities.
Alumni Mentoring and Career Networking
Pathways, Amherst College’s mentoring program, provides an opportunity for students and alumni to engage in productive conversations around academic, professional and life goals. The mission of the program is to foster a culture of mentoring at Amherst that connects students with alumni mentors through a structured framework. Students are encouraged to sign up for Pathways and match with an alumni mentor who can help them:
- Choose a major
- Learn about a specific industry or career field
- Gain perspective and support on academic pursuits and challenges
- Develop insight on how to make the most of one’s time at Amherst
- Practice cultivating a relationship over time
Pathways offers short- to long-term mentoring engagements that are initiated on a cyclical, term basis in the fall (September – January) and in the spring (January – June). Mentors and mentees are encouraged to be in contact at least twice a month during the mentoring term. Additionally, students can access and connect with more than 23,000 alumni using the online Alumni Directory. For tips on using the directory, see the Career Center’s resource page.
APP sponsors a number of on-campus programs for alumni and families. Reunion, Homecoming, Family Weekend, Amherst Today and various affinity/interest gatherings are just a few of the events that give families and alumni opportunities to visit campus and attend special programs. One of the largest programs is Reunion, which takes place each year on the weekend following Commencement. Each class elects a Reunion Chair who plans activities with support from APP, the class officers and other classmates. Planning begins two years prior to Reunion and focuses on class gatherings, programs and panels organized and presented by classmates on a wide range of topics, as well as many other activities. Reunion programs are sponsored by the College and feature talks by faculty and alumni. View schedules and programs online.
More than 50 regional Amherst Associations, located in cities across the United States and around the world, sponsor approximately 200 Amherst-related events each year. Activities include a wide range of cultural, educational and social events organized by the Associations in coordination with APP. The primary function of the Associations is to provide alumni, families, students and friends with opportunities to keep informed about the College and to connect with other members of the Amherst community.
In conjunction with the Office of Communications, APP sponsors publication of the College magazine four times a year. A major portion of each magazine is devoted to Class Notes written by each Class Secretary about the activities of his or her classmates. Class Secretaries strive to report on each member of the class at least once before every Reunion and to encourage classmates to write with their latest news. View the magazine online.
Senior Class Elections
Before Commencement, APP works with the Senior Class to hold elections for officers who will serve the class until its five-year Reunion. The class officers include President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, Reunion Chair and Web Editor.
Those who are interested in the activities listed above are encouraged to visit the Alumni and Parent Programs office or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Join Us Online!
APP has several online programs for alumni and students, including Pathways (alumni-student mentoring), Amherst Reads, and Well-Mixed (a collection of guest posts from Amherst writers, artists, scholars, professionals, teachers, parents and students). Students can also join Amherst alumni on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.