Posted by HBCU Pride & Joy on 4/8/2017
In just a few weeks, many historically black colleges and universities will graduate another class of future leaders. Graduation is a special time for any school, but especially for our HBCUs.
If you are an alum of an HBCU, no one has to tell you about the rich history of these institutions and the contributions these schools have made for centuries. Even still today, HBCUs continue to produce quality leaders for our schools, government, churches and corporations.
This spring, thousands of HBCU students will parade across the stage with their degrees in hand, ready to take on the world. As they leave the sanctity of their institutions, how many of them will understand the responsibility they have as alums and representatives of their chosen institutions? How can we instill in our young graduates the importance of giving back financially to ensure our schools continue to thrive?
Here are a few things the institution or alumni association can do:
1. Institutions should give new graduates their alumni association membership card along with their degrees. Swear them into the alumni association immediately following graduation.
2. Give free registration to new alumni for their first national alumni convention.
3. Ask new graduates to make a pledge to give money to the institution over the next year. The amount is irrelevant, the idea is to get them in the practice of giving back to the institution.
4. Do a meet and greet with students during graduation weekend to introduce them to leaders within the alumni association.
5. Provide students with a list of employers that offer match giving programs.
Following are suggestions for things we as HBCU alumni can do to encourage young alums to give:
1. Choose to give a graduate a gift that shows pride in their alma mater. Some ideas include an alumni t-shirt, hat or bag.
2. You might also choose to make a donation to the school in the graduate’s name in lieu of a gift.
3. Locate new graduates in your area to invite them to chapter functions or meetings (if your alumni association has local chapters).
4. Get together with fellow alumni in your area to host a graduation party for all of the new graduates.
Graduates who love and have an affinity for their college or university must practice giving. Our HBCUs depend upon alumni for funds to support everything from athletics to operations. Realistically, new graduates will have many things to consider. However, with the days at their institution fresh in their minds, this is the time to instill in them the practice of alumni giving.
Congratulations to the 2017 HBCU graduates!