Enduring Relationships with Alumni

Swarthmore alumni put the liberal arts into practice. In their work, their service, and their solid sense of community lie nearly 20,000 examples of why Swarthmore matters in American society—and, increasingly, around the world.

For Swarthmore to realize its full potential requires active participation of alumni in the life of the College. Our alumni instruct, inspire, and improve the College, supporting it with their time, energy, passion, and financial contributions. For alumni to deepen and enhance their connections to the College requires engagement opportunities that can best suit alumni interests and also recognizes where they are along life’s continuum.

Swarthmore seeks to cultivate a full range of lifelong relationships with its alumni, making the campus the heart of a worldwide network of people who are connected to each other and to the College. These relationships must be both meaningful and useful to alumni—and beneficial to each new generation of students. Students understand the value of gaining access to professional networks and receiving career advice from those who have gone before them.

As we think about the distinct nature of our community, we recognize how vital our alumni are in their enduring connections with students, faculty, staff, and one another. In the 21st century, Swarthmore, as a global liberal arts college, will enact the greatest and most positive change towards the common good through those whose lives have been transformed by the power of a great liberal arts education.

In addition to finding greater opportunities for alumni to connect meaningfully to
students, and through a proposed “Lives in the Liberal Arts” Fellows program, Strategic Directions recommends that Swarthmore:

• Create more opportunities to engage alumni as volunteers, providing expertise
and leadership in areas such as admissions, career services, development, and
other areas that benefit greatly from alumni support.
• Create a “virtual hub” where alumni can engage with Swarthmore online.
• Implement a social media strategy to promote more effective communications and
build community.

Plan Summary [pdf]