We have literally thousands of Hills Grammar former students, who are our alumni. While the School has always sought to maintain an ongoing relationship with them, there is so much more we can and should do in alumni relations. Our alumni enable us to take community engagement to a whole new level which will directly benefit student learning.
We involve and celebrate alumni in school life through class reunions and engagement in student learning as guest speakers, Year 10 ABW mentors, as sporting coaches and as student tutors. These and other current alumni activities are discussed on the School’s website. Alumni have reached an age where their own children are now being enrolled, and we have an alumnus on School Council.
Hills Grammar is a community and alumni are a vital component of it. We need to do more to make alumni part of our school’s future, not just its past. Creating an engaged, supportive alumni network is crucial to future success in many ways, among them:
- Alumni are Hills Grammar’s most loyal supporters and we need them to be strong ambassadors and advocates for the school in the broader community. Through invaluable word-of-mouth, alumni take their knowledge of the school to their personal and professional networks. Maintaining a positive relationship with our alumni means that the messages they share will be positive and current. If communication and engagement stops once graduates leave, their understanding of Hills Grammar will no longer evolve.
- Talented alumni have a wealth of experience and skills to share with current students through talks and presentations, mentoring and newsletter articles. In other words, alumni can and should be ‘partners in learning’. Students need real-life application for the principles they’re learning in class. Alumni can provide that illustration. Alumni are great role models for current students so this could go even further with alumni offering personal direction, guidance, mentorship and to practically support students in work placements and to help them launch their careers.
- Alumni have a special connection with Hills Grammar and can assist with fundraising. This will be important for instance when we seek to raise money for significant Masterplan projects. Engaged graduates are much more likely to want to ‘give back’. As some of the school’s most loyal supporters, alumni generally have a sense of gratitude and want it to succeed.
- Helping Hills Grammar to become stronger and more successful benefits all alumni because it enhances the value of their own post graduate qualifications.
As is the case with other community engagement initiatives, building on our current approach to alumni relations will take time and resources. Michael Smith has made a great start with the ‘crimson thread’ sessions and there will be many more opportunities as we seek to build an even stronger school community.
As always, I welcome your feedback and questions and you can get in touch with me here.
Charles Denes | Chair, School Council