STEPPING INTO CYBERSPACE
Syracuse University’s Office of Alumni Relations took a big step into cyberspace. In the Spring 1999 issue of Syracuse University Magazineü we announced the launching of a new online community. This community provides you, our alumni, access to a password-protected directory of alumni, as well as an e-mail forwarding service. Alumni response to this new service has been outstanding. Thousands of you are finding old friends and staying in touch through the online community. If you have not yet joined the community, I encourage you to do so. There’s no charge, and it’s a great way to stay connected to your friends from college days.
Now we’re stepping even further into cyberspace by launching an SU portal for alumni. This portal can be your doorway to the Internet with an SU theme. You can personalize your opening page with local weather and stock quotes, and enjoy reading current campus news and viewing easy links to SU sites in the alumni community.
Though communication can be difficult with more than 200,000 alumni around the world, it’s key to a long-term, healthy relationship between alumni and SU.
Lil Breul O'Rourke '77
Associate Vice President for Alumni Relations
ORANGE WRITERS NETWORK ESTABLISHED
Cara Dolan ’89 recently created the Orange Writers Network (OWN) as a way to help open doors for SU alumni trying to break into the entertainment field as writers or other industry professionals. Dolan, a Newhouse journalism graduate, moved to Los Angeles to become a writer. After a few years she realized that most SU grads relocate to Southern California to work in the entertainment industry, yet there was no organized way for them to learn from the more experienced industry professionals. “Dick Clark, Suzanne de Passe, and Aaron Sorkin are among many SU grads who’ve achieved success,” Dolan says. “I thought there should be a way for the rest of us to tap into that influential network.”
OWN, a standing committee of the Alumni Club of Southern California, set up a “three-act” process by which SU alumni can submit scripts to be read by other SU alumni already established in the entertainment industry. In Act I, two alumni volunteers evaluate a script, provide constructive notes, and either “pass,” or refer it on to Act II. At this stage the script is read again by an appropriate volunteer-agent, working writer, producer, etc.—then sent to other interested colleagues. If the script survives this round of scrutiny, it’s moved up to Act III to be reviewed by one of an elite group of alumni volunteers who are in a position to buy or option the script or hire The writer. Alumni volunteers include such professional writers as Rob Edwards (Fresh Prince of Bel-Air), Irma Kalish (Facts of Life), Matthew Berry (Married With Children), and John Beck (The Hughleys). “OWN also has more than 50 committed alumni volunteers representing major studios, talent agencies, and independent production companies,” Dolan says.
OWN began accepting submissions in July and received five scripts within the first two weeks. “I never dreamed OWN would enjoy so much success so soon,” Dolan says.
If you’re an SU alumnus living in Southern California and would like to become involved in OWN as a member or alumni volunteer, leave a message on the hotline at 310-358-6947, or send an e-mail to Su_own@hotmail.com.
ALUMNI JOIN RECRUITING EFFORTS
Students get ready to leave for SU at a Houston Alumni Club send-off.
Under the council concept of the Alumni Association, many of SU’s regional alumni clubs focus on student recruitment as a main activity. Alumni clubs in Western New York and Houston already made this their primary focus, working through the admissions office with the Alumni Representative Program. They attend many college fairs during the course of the year, sharing information about Syracuse University with prospective students and their parents. They also assist with student interviews when admissions staff members visit these areas.
Currently, the Office of Alumni Relations is working with the admissions office to identify areas across the country where alumni clubs could help with recruiting. Arizona, Florida, and Illinois are three targeted areas, but all of the clubs are encouraged to look at the Alumni Representative Program. The goal is to help clubs assist with student recruitment and also give something back to the University. Admissions office staff work with interested club members to familiarize them with the kinds of questions prospective students and parents will ask, as well as general information about the University.
Fall is the busiest time of year for alumni representatives because current high school seniors are in the midst of college searches. But there are also college fairs in the spring for high school juniors who are just beginning the college search process.
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