What is the Alumni Relations Council?

The Alumni Relations Council is a forum for professionals that engage alumni to share expertise, explore mutually beneficial partnerships, and strengthen our ability to connect alumni with each other and the university. ARC members represent 30+ schools/colleges/units and U-M’s three campuses, with expertise in a diverse set of functional areas, including alumni relations/engagement, fundraising/development, marketing, student programs, and career programs. However, we all are unified in a desire to engage more alumni in more relevant ways that strengthen and support the University of Michigan.

U-M staff can join by contacting Jeff Okala (jsokala@umich.edu) to be added to the email list and to receive notification of upcoming Alumni Relations Council sessions. ARC sessions are held quarterly to focus on emerging practices and innovations in alumni engagement.


The May 5 ARC session on The New Rules of Engagement was content-rich and left attendees buzzing with questions, ideas, and an interest in learning about innovations in alumni volunteer engagement.

Join the Strategic Next Steps session on Friday, June 16 from 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. at the Alumni Center to debrief, brainstorm, and turn new alumni engagement ideas into strategic action. Lunch will be provided.

Even if you did not attend the May meeting, you are welcome to attend this Strategic Next Steps workshop. We ask that all participants complete the following pre-work to maximize our time together:

1. Download and review the New Rules slide deck from the May ARC meeting, located in the Alumni Relations Council folder on Box at U-M, to become familiar with the five trends in engagement.

2. Be prepared to share a priority or challenge in alumni engagement that will be a focus for your team or unit in 2017-18.

New Rules of Engagement – Strategic Next Steps
Friday, June 16
11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. (lunch provided)
Alumni Center

Please RSVP by Wednesday, June 14.

Thanks to support from OUD, U-M staff can access the Education Advisory Board’s digital offerings:

  • Advancement Forum – The Advancement Forum provides advancement leaders with best-practice research and analytics to retain top fundraising talent, engage alumni, and increase philanthropic revenue.
  • Alumni Volunteerism and Leadership Resource Center – This resource center is a repository of implementation guidance and insights from our 2015 research initiative, The New Rules of Engagement. It is focused on the activation of millennial and Generation X segments: those elusive mid-career alumni who will constitute tomorrow’s key donor and leader pipeline. See The New Rules of Engagement infographic for five strategies for building the next generation of alumni leaders and volunteers.

Additional EAB resources are available to U-M staff who create a profile via U-M’s membership, or in the Alumni Relations Council folder in Box at U-M.

Fall Session

ARC Dean’s Panel – The Future of Alumni Engagement
Thursday, Sept. 7
12 – 1:30 p.m.
Alumni Center

Previous Sessions

Did you miss an Alumni Relations Council event? Or are you curious about the type of information we provide? You can download a PDF of any of the files from our meetings.

May 2017: New Rules of Engagement

November 2016: Deeper Dive into Data for Alumni Relations

Meeting Recap

Professor Melville led participants in activities designed to provide a “deeper dive” into learning how data and metrics can support and amplify alumni relations. Attendees received a complimentary copy of Data Driven Nonprofits.

September 2016: How Data Can Optimize Alumni Engagement

Meeting Recap

Ross alum Peter Faricy, ’95, shared his Amazon insight at the September meeting to help attendees understand how data can optimize customer (or alumni) engagement. Professor Nigel Melville shed light on how AR teams can become more data-informed organizations. The School of Information previewed a Bicentennial App that will launch in January 2017.

April 2016: Storytelling and Creating Joy in Alumni Relations