The Samford University Alumni Association has unveiled a plan for a new alumni directory as a part of their new data project. The purpose of the project is to improve communication with alumni and update the alumni database, and this will help alumni take full advantage of the resources that are available to them.
The executive director of Samford University Alumni Association Casey Ramey stated this, “The purpose of the alumni data project is we are working with alumni to update their contact information so they can hear more about alumni activities, university news, ways to be further involved in their alma mater, and so through that, alumni are also able to participate in an alumni directory.”
“The directory is a piece of the project” she added.
Previous versions of the directory were simply outdated. “They do have to take place periodically, as graduates join the alumni association,” Ramey said. “From my understanding, the last directory that was created was over 20 years ago.”
This project is about a year in the making. “The question that the Alumni Association always asks is, ‘Does this serve alumni well?’” Ramey said, in reference to the Association’s determination to move forward with the data project. Ramey also added that the Association has gotten requests from alumni about updated contact information, and this is part of what inspired the Association to begin the new directory.
After determining that the project would be beneficial, the Association gathered recommendations from other similar schools about good companies to use to gather the data. Publishing Concepts, Inc. was the company decided upon.
“One special part of the alumni data project and directory that Samford is participating through, is that it is an opt-in project. And that means that alumni will be giving permission for their contact information to be included,” Ramey added. If they don’t wish to include any of their contact information, the directory will only include their name, year of graduation, and degree obtained.
Alumni will be able to purchase a print or digital copy of the directory but purchase of the directory is not required for participation in the alumni data project.
Ramey says, “Alumni can just update their contact information with alumni so we have the most up to date contact information for them on file and they can receive university and alumni association news.”
This project lasts from September of 2023 through March of 2024. “We will stay in periodic communication with alumni throughout September to March,” she said. The completed directory is estimated to be available in September of 2024. While it is still early in the process, communication has just begun going out to alumni.
Ramey’s only concern for the project is alumni not being aware of the project and therefore not able to participate in and benefit from it.
She explained, “Our main goal is that we want alumni to be aware that the project is taking place, so that way they know when they begin to receive the communication that it is a project with the alumni association,” she explained. “We really want alumni to know about the project and how it will benefit them as members of the association.”