Alumni Engagement 101

Resource and support guide for Faculty, Staff and student groups

Alumni Engagement 101 is a quick lesson in the process and procedures to partner with Alumni Engagement, the SUNY Cortland Alumni Association and the Lynne Parks '68 SUNY Cortland Alumni House. If you need further information don't hesitate to call our team at 607-753-2516 or email us at Please note that all requests sent are not confirmation of assistance. We will get back to your request with 48 hours of the business week.

Alumni Information and Updates

All departments are encouraged to share positive news or alumni updates with Alumni Engagement. All public alumni news is shared with the Alumni Association through the Class Notes feature in the Red Dragon Network. All of the alumni accomplishments and milestones are acknowledged by letter and most are included in Columns.

The SUNY Cortland Alumni Association maintains the database of graduates of SUNY Cortland. (Consider us the Registrars' Office for alumni) Our Advancement Services professionals manage the data and the Alumni Engagement team coordinates all aspects of communications and outreach. The overall communication strategy is set by the Executive Director of the Alumni Association. Mass engagement efforts of our graduates are also coordinated with the partnership of the Director of the Cortland Fund and Director of Public Relations.

In addition, student clubs, departments, Greeks and sport clubs should send their graduating students list to Alumni Engagement via email, so we can reach out to specific groups of alumni in the future.

ALL ALUMNI CONTACT INFORMATION collected by a department, sports team, student club, Greek group should routinely be sent to Alumni Engagement.

Share your alumni news or updates here > ONLINE FORM

Events and Mini-Reunions

Alumni Engagement is a great partner in planning your alumni activities on campus and beyond. Our office is required to be aware of all alumni engagement efforts to help involve appropriate staff of the College or to promote it to the alumni directly. Please note that six to eight weeks advance notice is required for most events and mini-reunions to be successful.

Alumni Engagement can partner with your department by:

  • Promoting the event on the Red Dragon Network calendar,
  • Share best practices in alumni event planning,
  • Create online registration forms and attendee lists,
  • Manage registration fees and coordinate payments,
  • Potentially provide raffle items for alumni guests,

Your Department is asked to:

  • Work with key campus constituents to promote and plan the event,
  • Personally reach out to alumni you are in contact with to encourage attendance,
  • Provide alumni speaker gifts (consultation with alumni staff if necessary)
  • Share any alumni contact information with Alumni Engagement prior to any invitations are sent,
  • Follow the project and communications timeline optimum to secure alumni involvement,
  • Provide Alumni Engagement with final attendee list and related information.

Inform us of your opportunity ONLINE FORM

Communications and Newsletters

Departments and student clubs are encouraged to send out information, event invitations and newsletters to our graduates. These requests take at least three weeks to prepare given the volume of communications that alumni receive from the College. Please plan accordingly. Information can be shared usually sooner via the Red Dragon Network news feed, as well as, alumni social media channels but requests should all be made in advance using the online form. Be sure that department newsletters submitted follow the standard format.

Alumni Engagement can share news and events via:

  • Alumni email,
  • Alumni social media platforms,
  • The Red Dragon Network news and events feeds,
  • Alumni Adventures (monthly events digest to all alumni)
  • Moments (monthly news digest send to all alumni)
  • Columns (bi-annual print alumni magazine send to all alumni)
  • Print postcards or event registration mailers.

Our team reserves the right to determine the best way to communicate your efforts based on time and your department budget.

Create your communications request ONLINE FORM

Request for Alumni Speakers

Alumni Engagement is in touch with thousands of graduates willing to help with campus projects and activities. Departments and student clubs can request assistance in planning an event involving an alumni speaker. Alumni can serve as moderators of discussions, panelists or keynote speakers. Invitations to alumni take about four to six weeks to coordinate. 

Alumni Engagement can help with your requests by:

  • Following up with your online request with a phone call or meeting,
  • Offering advice as to which graduates could be potential speakers for your activity,
  • Coordinating invitation of specific alumni through the Presidents Office, Public Relations or the College Foundation. (when appropriate)

Request alumni speakers ONLINE FORM

Hosting Alumni on Campus

Alumni guests on campus are considered our highest priority! We thank our alumni who travel to SUNY Cortland to help with activities and programs that benefit our students. Please let us know about your alumni visitors at least a week in advance. 

Alumni Engagement can partner with your department by:

  • Confirming the alumnus/a's premarital name and class year,
  • Providing a gift for the alumnus/a to your department, prior to their arrival,
  • Advertising the visit (when appropriate),
  • Sharing the visit in the alumni Class Notes.

Your Department is asked to:

  • Include the alumnus/a's class year in advertisements to showcase a graduate is helping the College,
  • Share information collected about the graduate with Alumni Engagement (contact information, current employment, etc.)
  • Share photos from the alumni visit via email,
  • Thank the alumnus/a in person and in writing for their support.

Share your alumni guest opportunity ONLINE FORM

Using the Parks Alumni House

The SUNY Cortland Alumni Association is very proud to own and operate the Lynne Parks '68 SUNY Cortland Alumni House. We look forward to hosting your occasions and provide lodging to your distinguished visitors. Please refer to the policies guide and discounted lodging rates for campus departments before you send your inquiry or request.

Submit your inquiry for special event Via Email

NEW: Book lodging online > ONLINE REQUEST