College connects with alums through extensive online archive

Colleges have found myriad ways to connect with alums through technology.

Colleges and universities are constantly looking for ways to stay connected with alumni and keep them engaged in their alma mater in hopes of boosting enrollment and maximizing donations. Meredith College in Raleigh, N.C., has found a fairly inexpensive way to engage with its former students—by putting nearly all of its printed archives online.

Not all that long ago, digitizing college archives such as school newspapers and yearbooks was prohibitively expensive for most colleges and universities.

But prices have come down significantly in recent years, and now even school libraries with the most limited budgets can afford the process, said Ted Waller, head of archives at Meredith College, the largest private women’s college in the Southeast.…Read More

Facebook app digitizes ‘nostalgic content’ for college alumni

Colleges are tapping into alumni information posted on Facebook profiles.

A single class picture can connect hundreds of alums with each other and their alma maters. U For Life, a Facebook application launched in December and used at 10 colleges and universities, lets schools digitize sentimental material not often accessible online, including yearbooks, sports guides, and newsletters.

Alumni relations officials said the viral effect of tagging old class photos on Facebook alerts former classmates that they’ve been identified on the social media site and draws them to the university’s Facebook page.

From there, if they’re willing to let their alma mater access information listed on Facebook—such as eMail and home addresses, phone numbers, and places of employment—the alum can access the U For Life application and connect with friends from back in the dormitory and student union.…Read More

Social media: Colleges’ newest battlefield for students, alumni donations

Seventy percent of higher-ed officials say colleges should engage students using social media.
Seventy percent of higher-ed officials say colleges should engage students using social media.

Colleges’ unending campaign to attract more students and alumni donations has higher-education officials looking to two technologies that consume a growing chunk of people’s free time: social media and video games.

University admissions officers are fielding prospective students’ application questions on Facebook and keeping alumni up to date with multiple daily tweets that could grow campus coffers if graduates feel more connected to their alma maters.

Some colleges lure potential students with walking, talking digital characters, or avatars, that guide visitors through an application process that sometimes frustrates prospective students and results in hundreds of unfinished online applications.…Read More