One of the fondest memories of any alumni’s high school career is homecoming week. It’s typically filled with school spirit days, pep rallies and, of course, a charged-up homecoming football game. All the festivities lead up to the main event: the homecoming dance.
Although their pep rally days are behind them, alumni still enjoy the experiences they had during their own high school years. That’s why this year’s festivities are a great opportunity to reach out and connect with them.
Make a special invitation
A common misconception among alumni is that homecoming week is just for current students. However, it’s actually the ideal time for graduates to revisit their old school and take part in celebrations with old classmates.
The best way to welcome back your alumni and involve them in homecoming week is to extend an invitation. Send an email blast to active alumni inviting them to the homecoming game, set aside an alumni float in the parade or engage local alumni as speakers at pep rallies. Many will be delighted to take part.
If you do formally invite alumni to events, make sure they’re recognized. From a general shout-out at halftime during the football game to thanking them in the homecoming newsletter, a little recognition goes a long way.
Acknowledge the value of alumni
Alumni are more than just past graduates—they can also be great resources for your current students. These are individuals who received their formative education at your school or district, and most have gone on to become successful professionals. They may have a lot to share with your current students.
Consider setting up booths at homecoming events and inviting alumni to come and connect with students. Many juniors and senior looking into colleges will relish the opportunity to speak with a mentor who, not so long ago, was in their same situation.
Make the most of homecoming
Homecoming week is one of the very few times so many alumni can be gathered in the same place. It’s important to make the most of this opportunity. These are individuals who often volunteer time toward mentoring and tutoring, make financial contributions, support referenda and ballot measures and share the district's story in the community and through social media.
This homecoming, be sure to think about how you can incorporate alumni into your festivities and events. It can be a great opportunity to engage one of your key stakeholder groups.