The Class Agent Program deepens and expands alumni engagement by strengthening the bond between the college and its alumni. This program is a signature effort in the Alumni Association’s collaboration with the college to sustain the Program.
The nature of a class agent is as a communicator and liaison. Participation need not be all that time consuming—it’s meant to be a simple, flexible program that you can design to suit your schedule and comfort level. Most tasks can be done from your home, office, or even while traveling, from a smart phone, tablet, or laptop computer.
Class agents keep classmates connected to the college by informing them of current issues at St. John’s, and providing feedback to the college regarding classmates’ interests and concerns, through a variety of media, the choice of which depends upon individual comfort level with Facebook, LinkedIn, phone, email, personal notes, etc. Class agents also serve as reunion chairs during reunion years, working closely with classmates to assist the Alumni Office with the planning of reunion seminar and any celebratory events. Class agents also:
> Encourage classmates to submit alumni notes via the SJC Online Community. (College staff will share in the celebration of alumni successes through various communications such as alumni profiles and expanded stories.)
> Try to attend at least one college-sponsored event per year, e.g. Alumni Leadership Forum, Admissions Reception, Career Services Forum, Homecoming, Croquet, or Bocce.
> Participate in annual class agent training during Alumni Leadership Forum, as well as periodic conference calls for more in-depth training on new projects.
> Promote the importance of alumni giving by understanding and communicating the purpose of The Fund for St. John’s, making a gift each year that is personally significant, and encouraging general financial support for St. John’s among peers.
> Thank classmates for their volunteer service to and/or financial support of St. John’s through handwritten notes, personal emails, Facebook messages, or phone calls.
> Work with college staff to identify classmates as reunion volunteers, future or replacement class agents, major gift prospects, or other alumni leadership roles.
The college’s Alumni and Annual Giving offices assist and support class agents by providing classmates’ contact information and a list of class members who have made gifts to the college in the current fiscal year (excluding anonymous donors). College staff provide monthly updates and advanced notice of college events and news, and administer a “class updates” email address for alumni to send in biographical information and other alumni feedback. College staff will assist with special projects, such as videos, archival photo retrieval, event planning, reunion planning, etc., and provide periodic training via conference calls and at ALF to assist class agents with communications strategies. They can also assist in the printing and mailing—and writing, if requested— of solicitation letters written by class agents.
Most tasks are quickly accomplished by class agents. For instance, a class Facebook page and email distribution list can be created in 30 minutes—and if you’re not fluent with Facebook, college staff will assist you. It takes just 10 minutes a month to read and forward a specialized email from the college that gives advanced notice of events and on-going initiatives. For the really ambitious class agent, personal calls can be made to relay information to peers, or you can send personalized notes.
To find out more about the Class Agent Program, contact Sarah Palacios, director of Alumni Relations in Santa Fe, 505-984-6103, or Leo Pickens, director of Alumni Relations in Annapolis, 410-295-6926.