Tuesday, January 19, 2010
What is PCUAD?
Yes, it's the name of Captain Ahab's ship ... but that's spelled "Pequod." The PCUAD we're talking about is the acronym for the Association of Private College and University Alumni Directors, some 31 of whom were in Atlanta for their annual winter conference, January 14-17.
Emory, a member of PCUAD, served as host this year through the Emory Alumni Association.
From the photos I've seen--like the one above from Friday night's bowling party at the Emory Conference Center Hotel's Wisteria Lanes ... best name ever, BTW ... it looks like it was a pretty good time. But there was a lot of work involved, too. It must have paid off since we've noticed ... that people have noticed.
Topics of discussion included the importance of alumni online communities, awards programs and volunteer recognition, young alumni, and trends in the profession. It was all pretty Inside Baseball stuff, but the implications are pretty big for our alumni audience. A lot of the best practices discussed (many of them being practiced right here at Emory) will eventually show up in alumni programming--if they aren't there already.
And that's where professional conferences like these come in handy.
Most every flat surface in the EAA's copy room is covered with examples of PCUAD schools' printed pieces. From a professional communicator's standpoint, it's fascinating to see how USC promotes its faculty speaker series, or to read alumni magazines from Loyola Chicago and George Washington, or to compare WashU and MIT's travel program to ours ... and those are just a few. (Oh, and thanks Wake Forest for the Homecoming koozy. You can never have too many of those.)
The PCUAD conference was an ideal way for alumni relations professionals to learn from each other. It's true that we are competitors in one sense, but for the most part, we're not. For one school to have a successful program, it doesn't mean all the other schools have to fail. We can all succeed and we can all learn from each other.
And that's one of the cool things about working in alumni relations.
-- Eric Rangus, director of communications, EAA