By Maroon & White |
We recently conducted a survey through Engagement Analysis Inc. (EAi), a Canadian company that has done alumni engagement and survey work at most higher education institutions across the country and internationally. We wanted to better understand your interests, how we might provide better programs and services, and get a sense of how our alumni engagement compares with other schools in Canada.
We received a 13% response rate, which is well above the average rate of return.
The result that stood out the most for us, which we want to shout from the rooftops, is that we ranked second in alumni engagement among all other schools in the country, second only to one other Atlantic university, of which we will not speak (HINT: they have a cool ring).
The engagement score measured such indicators as personal and academic experience, involvement as volunteers and attending alumni events, awareness of the school today and supporting the university, sharing information with potential students, and having pride in SMU.
Thank you to all who provided input! We received a 13% response rate, which is well above the average rate of return. Having a supportive alumni network is key to SMU’s ongoing success; you’re our greatest ambassadors.
Some highlights from our survey responses follow.
56% of respondents said the top reason to stay connected with SMU is to reconnect with friends and classmates. What better opportunity to reconnect than attending Homecoming or an Alumni Reception? Our events page is always up to date with events happening on campus and around the world for Alumni, and our Homecoming website has a full list of events taking place from October 10-14, 2018 at SMU.
- 71% of respondents said, “The students at SMU had good school spirit.” Go Huskies!
- 76% of respondents “Feel proud when I read about SMU success in the media.”
- 75% of respondents would “Recommend SMU to others if asked.”
Staying connected to Saint Mary’s
23% of respondents indicated they thought if they stayed connected with SMU, they would only be asked for donations. While ﬁnancial support from alumni is appreciated, it’s not the only way to stay connected. Our Alumni Council and Young Alumni Committee offer a way to give back to SMU through volunteering. Committee members consult on alumni programs, plan events, and attend events in the community on behalf of SMU. We seek applications to Alumni Council annally; you can apply for the 2018-2019 term by August 10, 2018.
There are many ways for alumni to stay and feel connected. Sharing your experience and knowledge at an Alumni Panel or student mentoring event are ways to connect with current students. Assisting with our recruitment of students around the world through our Alumni Ambassador Program is extremely helpful and can be as simple as connecting with a potential student, referring a student, or as involved as attending a recruitment fair with one of our recruiters.
Attending one of our alumni receptions events around the world or supporting an Alumni-owned business with your Alumni Card are ways to beneﬁt from your alumni network. Our Alumni Awards program recognizes achievements in both career and community service. We want to celebrate your success as a SMU alumnus, so keep us up to date on your business venture, volunteer project, research discovery, or even your SMU wedding!
25% of survey respondents follow our social media feeds. Follow our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts to learn about events, alumni news, and day-by-day happenings at Saint Mary’s.
Only 19% of respondents think their ﬁnancial support will make a difference at SMU. Donor gifts have a direct impact on students. Crystal Witter received a bursary from Pomerleau at the Annual Alumni Golf Tournament and says, “I journeyed from Jamaica to pursue education at Saint Mary’s University in pursuit of my goal to become a forensic psychologist. I have no parental support and sought financial assistance. Receiving the SMU Alumni Golf Tournament Bursary will allow me to continue on the path of success to accomplish my goal of completing my academic studies and help me to make the most of my university experience.”
Many of you (41%) said one of the greatest impediments to staying connected with your alma mater was distance. We take pride in representing “the world in one block” through our international student recruitment efforts over the last decade, but it does make staying physically connected to our alumni a little more difficult. Thankfully, with the ease of travel and global communications, as well as social media, we are able to stay more connected than ever before.
Having said that, you will note from our survey results that many of our alumni are right in our backyard in Nova Scotia (60%). With this survey’s strong endorsement of one of the highest engagement results in the country, we look forward to continuing our work with our alumni, celebrating your successes, and connecting you to your alma mater and to each other.