You’ve taken four years of college classes, you’ve donned the cap
and gown, and left your alma mater behind, now what?
“While it is a challenge to reach a lot of people with different interests, we try to engage alumni with career, spiritual, cultural and sporting events. It makes us put on our thinking caps to find what is the most meaningful for alums to participate in," said Kyra Lyons, assistant vice president for alumni relations at Catholic U.
Have you ever wondered what your school has to offer after
getting your degree?
It doesn’t matter if you graduated a few months ago or 10 years
ago, many institutions of higher learning offer benefits to alumni, including
Catholic University in Washington, Christendom College in Front Royal,
Georgetown University in Washington and Marymount University in Arlington.
Catholic Distance University also offers benefits to grads of their online
Don’t assume the alumni association only exists to head
fundraising drives — they also play an important role in managing benefits for
Alumni benefits range from special, alumni-only events to discounted
tickets for sporting events or theater productions, and offers for insurance
plans and credit cards.
One of the biggest perks is the opportunity to audit a class at a
reduced rate. Auditing is for personal and professional enrichment, and
typically doesn’t count toward a future degree. Some schools, such as
Marymount, even offer free parking passes for the semester the class is being
The savings don’t end there.
Schools may partner with local businesses and organizations to
offer travel discounts, fee waivers for graduate program applications, special
rates on real estate and insurance services, and discounted or free memberships
to campus recreational facilities such as the gym, pool or fitness center. Some
schools may also offer a special rate to rent space on campus for events.
Other practical benefits include library borrowing privileges,
access to career resources including online job postings and career coaching,
inclusion in business directories, lifetime email accounts, volunteer
opportunities, eligibility for credit union accounts, alumni association
awards, outreach to other alums, and a student ID.
For grads considering a religious vocation, there may even be a
plan to postpone loan repayments or wipe out your debt if you are entering an order
that takes a vow of poverty.
Several schools also offer programs for alums to be school
ambassadors and help recruit and mentor new students.
Being an alumni isn’t all about attending homecoming or class
reunions. Grads are part of a large network of professionals. Reminiscing about
your time on campus might just open doors to an interview, or an introduction
to an important business contact.
“Being a part of a world-wide community of like-minded
individuals who share a common ground is the biggest benefit we offer to
alumni,” said Anna Sody, director of alumni relations at Marymount.
Vince Criste, assistant director of alumni and donor relations at
Christendom College, said that “one of the most important things we offer,
besides career services and events, is the spiritual connection and rebuilding
friendships on campus. There are special bonds built at a small school, and we
offer a chance for alumni to connect through prayer requests and even daily
Many schools also keep grads informed about events on campus via
newsletters or email lists. Make sure to register with the alumni association
to stay informed. If you moved away from the city where you attended college, many
large cities have alumni clubs.
“While it is a challenge to reach a lot of people with different
interests, we try to engage alumni with career, spiritual, cultural and
sporting events. It makes us put on our thinking caps to find what is the most
meaningful for alums to participate in,” said Kyra Lyons, assistant vice president
for alumni relations at Catholic University. “If it isn’t meeting the needs of
the alumni, then it isn’t beneficial.”
Check out what your school has to offer. You never know, you
might be sitting in class elbow to elbow with freshmen once again.
Find out what benefits are available
Go to cuatoday.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Catholic Distance University
Go to cdu.edu or email email@example.com.
Go to christendom.edu/alumni/ or email
Go to Alumni.georgetown.edu or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Go to mualumni.marymount.edu or email email@example.com.