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CSU-Pueblo earns CASE VI Grand Gold for Alumni Stipend Program

Release Date: December 19, 2016

Cora Zaletel

Executive Director, External Affairs

Colorado State University-Pueblo


Press Release

PUEBLO – The Colorado State University-Pueblo Alumni Office earned a Grand Gold award from the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) District VI for its Alumni Development Stipend Award Program, which provides funding to academic departments to re-engage alumni with their alma mater. CSU-Pueblo Director of Alumni Relations Tracy Samora accepted the award at the CASE V and VI joint conference held Dec. 11-13 in Chicago, Ill.

The award was one of 167 winners chosen from 442 entries submitted by CASE VI member institutions. The Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) supports alumni relations, communications, development, and marketing professionals at educational institutions worldwide. The association provides networking, recognition, and continuing education for more than 64,000 advancement professionals at more than 3,400 colleges, universities, and independent elementary and secondary schools in more than 70 countries. CASE District VI represents professionals and institutions in the Midwest region of the United States (Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming).

The Alumni Development Stipend Award Program began in 2013 as a partnership between the CSU-Pueblo Alumni Association and the CSU-Pueblo Foundation to provide stipends to academic departments within the University’s four colleges for alumni outreach programs. Since the program’s inception, nearly $30,000 in stipends have been awarded through the program, resulting in the direct re-engagement of 500-600 alumni with their alma mater.

Campus academic departments submit an RFP providing a description of an innovative program, strategy, or event that will strengthen the bond between the specific department and its respective alumni to increase awareness, engagement, involvement or commitment. RFPs are then reviewed by a committee of CSU-Pueblo Foundation representatives, board members, and the Director of Alumni Relations.

Once the awards are selected, the director of alumni relations meets with the department representative to coordinate all aspects of implementation for the program/initiative including, but not limited to:

  • Direct mail pieces
  • E-mail correspondence to targeted alumni groups
  • Social media promotion
  • Campus promotion
  • Day of event coordination/organization (if appropriate)

The request for RFPs opens in March, closes the end of April, and awards are made in May so the award corresponds with the fiscal year beginning July 1.

Samora noted that the Stipend Program provided the impetus to grow alumni engagement at a grass roots level, the departments, where the alumni have their strongest connections by providing incentives for departments to develop their own alumni outreach events, programs, and organizations.

“This program has allowed departments to help grow alumni engagement, communication, and involvement through new programs that would not have been possible given the limited staffing in the Alumni Office,” said Samora. “The partnership with the Foundation made this a win-win situation because ultimately happy alumni become loyal donors.”

Most departments choose not to see the stipend as a one-time benefit.

“They have established alumni chapters, annual Homecoming events, and annual fundraising campaigns as a result,” she said. “Homecoming Weekend has become bigger and better, and the departments are thrilled with their newfound alumni connections.”

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