The Office for Alumni Engagement has worked for over 100 years to keep Slippery Rock University alumni connected through networks, programs, homecoming, ceremonies, reunions and more. The Office for Alumni Engagement provides opportunities, events and activities at the university to guarantee that students return to SRU again after walking across the graduation stage.
There are over 70,000 SRU alumni who are offered a variety of networks to stay connected. These networks include: Black Alumni network, LGBTQ+ network, a regional network, an international SRU alumni network and the soon to come Marching Band network. There are four main purposes for these alumni networks; connection to other alumni, connection to current students, career and mentoring advice as well as philanthropy opportunities.
Director of Alumni Engagement, Kelly Bailey spoke on the networks provided to SRU alumni.
“History and tradition,” Bailey said. “It is meant to make sure that the next generation of students understand that the alumni association is their helper. Also, that everyone is there to help teach tradition on campus.”
One of the traditions of the Office for Alumni Engagement is the fiftieth reunions. The next Alumni Weekend is scheduled for June 10-12, 2022.
During the 2022 Alumni Weekend, participants will celebrate the Fiftieth Reunion of the Classes of 1970, 1971 and 1972. This reunion had been rescheduled to keep alumni safe and healthy.
Since COVID-19, the Office for Alumni Engagement has planned and improvised other ceremonies and events for when the university would open again to in-person events. During Homecoming this semester, many events are occurring that were canceled due to the pandemic. Because of this, the 2021 Homecoming weekend has more events planned than in past years.
The Alumni Homecoming theme for 2021 is “Out of This World”. Students contributed to the idea of the 2021 theme. The outer space theme relates to the COVID-19 guidelines of keeping “space” from each other and staying 6-feet apart.
On Friday, Oct. 15 at noon, the Class of 2020 Commencement will be held at the Robert N. Aebersold Student Rec Center. This is a unique event to the list of Homecoming activities due to COVID-19. It is expected that 100 students who graduated in 2020 will be participating in the commencement. Other events happening that day will be the SRU Communication and Media Hall of Fame Ceremony, Distinguished Alumni Awards Dinner, SRSGA Alumni Open House, the Pep Rally and Fireworks and Movie “Guardians of the Galaxy.”
On Saturday, Oct. 16 at 8:30 a.m., alumni are invited to attend Muffins and Mimosas at the Alumni House. The Homecoming Parade will follow, then the SRU Alumni Association Tailgate Tent, the Alumni Band performance during halftime of the football game, and the Music Alumni Tailgate. Saturday will end with the Rock Solid 10 Under 10 Ceremony. This ceremony will recognize ten alumni who graduated within ten years for their professional and personal achievements. The Rock Solid 10 Under 10 Ceremony usually occurs in April, but due to COVID-19, the ceremony has been rescheduled several times.
Although the Office for Alumni Engagement is hosting many events and activities during the 2021 Homecoming weekend, COVID-19 protocols are taken into consideration.
Express registration for the SRU Alumni Association Tailgate Tent is available for participants. This is meant to collect data in advance as a COVID-19 precaution. Alumni do not have to register in advance to attend the event, but it is encouraged by the office.
“This will be a great weekend celebrating who our alumni have become and the great accomplishments they have made in our community,” Bailey said. “Including all the fun stuff like the tailgate tents, the parade and the pep rally.”
To stay connected with the Office for Alumni Engagement, follow @RockAlumni on Twitter, Slippery Rock University Alumni Association on Facebook and connect with Slippery Rock University Alumni Networking Group on LinkedIn. Alumni can check out www.rockalumni.com to read more information about events, activities and opportunities within the Office for Alumni Engagement.