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“Celebrating the Graduates”

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CONTRIBUTOR

Florida Gator Alumni Band

Name of Contributor: Robin Oegerle

Member Organization: Gator Band Alumni Association (GBAA)

Email: robinoegerle@gmail.com

Background: Current Treasurer of NAoAB and Past President of the Gator Band Alumni Association

INTRODUCTION TO ISSUE

Maximizing the recruitment of recent graduates

THE CHALLENGES

How do you keep the young alumni connected to the University Band after the graduate?

How do you interest them in coming to Alumni Band weekend?

THE OPTIONS CONSIDERED

  • Provide assistance for the alumni uniform
  • Get their personal emails
  • Communicate
  • Provide financial assistance if possible

THE OPTION TAKEN AND REASONS WHY

  • Several of the GBAA board members attended an NAoAB symposium.  In one of the presentations, the University of Georgia and University of Tennessee alumni band officers participated in a panel discussion on recruiting.  It was their policy to provide the senior with “no charge” registration or an alumni band shirt and other “uniform” equipment upon graduation. At the University of Florida, we turned it into part of the celebration of graduation at the annual Band Banquet.  Each graduating senior is called up to the podium and an alumni band board member presents them with their personalized alumni band shirt.  This enables them to return at any  time and play with the alumni band.
Alumni shirts for graduating seniors – exchanged for their emails

THE RESULTS

Alumni Band weekend can be expensive  for a new graduate (ticket, travel, hotel etc. etc.), at least they do not have to purchase an alumni band shirt to attend.

They were recognized for their achievement and welcomed each and every one of them to the alumni band.

THE COST INVOLVED

In 2020, for example at the UF, there were 65 graduates and customized shirts are about $45 each.

WOULD YOU RECOMMEND THIS OPTION TO OTHERS

Absolutely! We have been recognizing seniors for approximately 4 years and have seen a substantial increase in the return of  young alumni to events.

The only downside is that it can be a substantial alumni band expense item in their budget.  In 2020, for example at the UF, there were 65 graduates and customized shirts are about $45 each.

LESSONS LEARNED

  • The plan worked!

WHY THIS TOPIC IS OF INTEREST FOR A VIRTUAL ROUNDTABLE

  •  A universal issue and successful recruiting, each year, brings potential new blood into every alumni band organization.
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