Pie News

Benefits of Engaging Alumni Abroad

The shelf life of some news is long-standing. Recently, The PIE News reported that at a recent CASE conference focusing on sustainable fundraising practices, leaders stressed the other benefits of engaging alumni abroad:

“Universities should not underestimate the value of international alumni in advancing the purpose and agenda of global universities, contributing to universities’ internationalisation objectives such as corporate affiliations, partnerships and student recruitment.”

Music to my ears! A global engagement strategy must include a variety of value-add touch points that increases participation of volunteers worldwide.

EAIE_logoStaying Global: how international alumni relations advances the agenda, edited by Gretchen Dobson, Ed.D. is available for purchase!

Staying global: how international alumni relations advances the agenda provides a compelling rationale that more European institutions are committed to ‘being global’ by investing in their international alumni relations programs. The investment is part of an overall strategy for financial, academic and reputational sustainability at a time when international higher education becomes a growing priority for individual countries and the European region as a whole. Chapters summarize actionable steps and resources for engaging international alumni through thematic approaches to a particular topic (e.g. culture and alumni engagement) and/or institutional and national case studies. Click here to read more about the book. Don’t forget to purchase your copy today!

For more information, contact Gretchen (gretchen@gretchendobson.com).

Making the Case for International Alumni Relations

You’ve heard it many times: We’re in the relationship business. But how do you build and maintain relationships with your alumni when they’re scattered across the globe? Should you even try?

For educational institutions pondering whether to implement an international alumni program, or for those wishing to improve their existing programs, Being Global: Making the Case for International Alumni Relations can offer guidance and insight.

More Info

AI BookInternational Travel Handbook

Gretchen is pleased to announce the release of her new book, International Travel Handbook:  Engaging Constituents Abroad.

The publication is an invaluable resource for anyone looking to develop lasting relationships with international students, alumni, parents, and other constituents, and for those seeking to leverage their time spent working and traveling abroad. Gretchen explains her inspiration for the book and some valuable takeaways in an interview with Academic Impressions. 

Interested in hearing about Gretchen’s inspiration for the book and about some valuable takeaways provided to readers? Read Gretchen’s interview with Academic Impressions here, and don’t forget to purchase your copy today!

What Our Clients Say

When the UW Alumni Association began developing our six-year business plan for future engagement with alumni we knew we wanted to get it right the first time. That is when we decided to partner with Lee and his team of consultants at Patouillet Consulting. They took time to listen and understand the unique aspects of our culture. Gretchen Dobson served as the firm’s lead consultant onsite and did a masterful job working with our Alumni Board and Strategic Planning committee. With their personalized and customized approach for the University of Wyoming, we completed, and have begun implementing, a comprehensive strategic plan that ensures we provide critical and relevant support and services to alumni, students and the University of Wyoming for the future.

– Keener Fry, Executive Director, University of Wyoming Alumni Association

I worked closely with Gretchen on our inaugural international alumni relations program this past spring and summer. She did a remarkable job of engaging our faculty as well as our administrative leadership, including the vice chancellor for student affairs and a variety of development directors. The support Gretchen provided was top-notch and really demonstrated for my shareholders how she was able to leverage a modest budget to achieve a remarkable outcome, while building a strong foundation for our future efforts.

– Dr. JC Schnabl, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Alumni Relations & Executive Director, UMass Amherst Alumni Association, University of Massachusetts Amherst

Gretchen Dobson has a unique sense of global engagement, visible at every detailed level of her work.  Her vision and tactical approach make her a joy to work with and her execution and timeliness go a long way towards a successful end result.  We first worked with her as we strategized a method to engage our alumni in China.  She was key in orchestrating individual and group meetings, both leading to worthwhile outcomes.  Her personal touch is evident and her energy is contagious…I have strong confidence in Gretchen and her ability to help unite our alumni across the world.

– Derek Engelbart, Senior Director Alumni Relations, University of Nebraska, Lincoln

Although private education and training providers don’t typically establish strategic global alumni networks, Gretchen applied her extensive knowledge and experience in this realm to our particular context and customised her coaching sessions to suit our needs.

– Ingeborg Loon, Assistant General Manager - Partnerships, Academies Australasia Group

I always came away from our session with lots of practical, cost-effective, ideas that would greatly enhance our programs. Simply put, Gretchen is amazing and I look forward to more sessions with her in the future!

– Austin Tomlinson, Director of Alumni and Parent Relations, Franklin College Switzerland

Our rapidly growing LL.M. program requires more alumni services in more places than ever before. Gretchen has helped us start to develop our global network; provided suggestions and expertise on event and activity programming, budgeting, travel planning and relationship-building; and served as a resource for information on how institutions of all kinds are developing international alumni clubs and chapters.

– Ms. Chaney Kourouniotis Communications & Alumni Relations, LLM Program University of California, Berkeley

The University of Warwick is one of the UK’s leading new universities, with a strong international focus: of 23,000 current students, over 8,000 come from outside the UK from over 120 countries.  We asked Gretchen to help us to engage more fully with our international alumni during the Fall of 2012.  Gretchen undertook an extensive round of interviews and focus groups with existing students, alumni, academic and administrative staff, and presented us with a comprehensive set of recommendations, many of which we expect to adopt. People responded well to her approach, which enhanced the quality of the report, and gave us a flying start to begin implementation.

– James Kennedy, Director International Office, University of Warwick

After engaging Gretchen, within a matter of 4 months we had an alumni association. She was persuasive, she was clear, she was direct, she could use case studies, and deal with very tiny institution.

– Professor Michael Earley, Principal & Chief Executive, Rose Bruford College of Theatre and Performance

Gretchen’s workshop excelled in its capacity to tailor for the needs of teams with different portfolios, to render in-depth analysis to specific case studies, and to provide useful pointers that help us to land on possible solutions.

– Ada Leung, Associate Vice-President (Development), City University of Hong Kong

I think Gretchen, in her book Being Global, makes quite good points all the way through. She really makes the point about the lifecyle of alumi: from a student, into an alum, into a donor, into a major shaper of policy within an institution.

– Professor Michael Earley, Principal & Chief Executive, Rose Bruford College of Theatre and Performance

With her years of experience, Gretchen was able to look at our programme and quickly assess its strengths and weaknesses. Her input was invaluable.

– Holly Peterson, Deputy Director of Development and Alumni Relations, University of Exeter

Ultimately, Bruford Connects is looking for opportunities for the institution. This new network of alumni engagement raises the flag for us. It’s really helped now because when I go around the world people know who we are and they didn’t know that three years ago.

– Professor Michael Earley, Principal & Chief Executive, Rose Bruford College of Theatre and Performance