College doesn’t last forever, but there are still plenty of ways to benefit from being a part of the university community, even after graduation.
Temple’s Young Alumni Association is a program designed for recent graduates who want to remain connected with the university. The program features a number of events to help new alumni stay in touch and meet other Temple graduates.
As a branch of the General Alumni Association at Temple, the Young Alumni Association invites participation of alumni who have graduated in the last 10 years. Events are scheduled throughout the year to keep Temple alumni in touch with each other. Associate Director of Alumni Relations Debbie Cornell Naughton said that this is the organization’s main purpose.
“The most important aspect of the Young Alumni Association is to bring alumni together,” Naughton said.
“When these people meet each other at an event, the fact that they all graduated from Temple gives them an instant bond.”
The events include community service projects, a business card exchange and happy hours at local bars and restaurants.
Brian Torrence, vice president of the Young Alumni Association, said that these events give graduates an environment where they can develop social and professional relationships that will help them work toward stability after graduation.
“The events are a great way to regroup with friends you haven’t seen in a while or get to know the people that you never got a chance to meet,” Torrence said. “If someone happens to make a business connection, that’s great. That’s the ultimate goal.”
Other benefits include special insurance offers, loan consolidation programs and a permanent alumni e-mail address, which are available to all alumni members. Young Alumni Association President Mike Noll said, however, that the main benefit to young graduates is the connections.
“Everyone needs a network to be successful,” Noll said. “[Volunteers] get to meet alumni from every college and school within Temple. They learn what’s going on at every level at the university and can gain experience in skills like leadership, event planning and project management.”
Noll said he uses his position as president to keep the program casual and to further its original mission.
“As president I get to help new leaders into board positions and ensure that all our passionate board members get to do what they volunteered to do – create fun and exciting events for all young alumni to attend,” Noll said.
Graduating seniors can also use the organization to find other young alumni who are having the same experiences.
“It’s nice for seniors who just graduated to be able to meet with people who are about their age but have already experienced what the new graduates are going through,” Torrence said.
The Temple Alumni Web site features an online community and many other tools graduates can use, including an online directory, an area for announcements and a career center for posting and viewing resumes, job opportunities and a mentor program.
“It’s great to be able to give back to a university that gave me so much,” Noll said.
“Temple put me on my life’s path and gave me a solid and well-rounded education. Even if I don’t give a lot of money to Temple, I can still give my time, experience and talents.”
Alex Irwin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.