Dr. J.D. Rottweiler is president of Cochise College. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This just in! Cochise College is looking for alumni.
I know what some of you are thinking. “Where’ve you been?” Or, “We’re right here!”
Well, we know many Cochise College alumni ARE right here in Cochise County, and that many others have moved away. We also know that we rub shoulders with some alumni on a regular basis and that many of you value Cochise College as the place where you got your start or found your way in higher education. The trouble is that if we wanted to connect with you on a more personal level than advertising to the general public, we could not do it because your name or address may have changed and we have not stayed in touch.
For some time, we have received occasional inquiries from alumni through our website. Those who have taken the time to submit information are truly interested in the institution. But this year, just one in advance of the college’s 50th anniversary, Cochise College is preparing for its next 50 by working to develop a more inclusive community of alumni contacts. Ultimately, we’d like to strengthen the institution by calling on alumni to help us with everything from outreach and marketing to student mentoring and financial support. Some 34,000 people have completed degrees and certificates at Cochise College since 1964. Imagine the impact we could make with all of these voices in our corner!
This won’t happen overnight, but the first of our alumni efforts to come to fruition is a job-search tool that’s now available not only to alumni, but also to students and employers. College Central Network is an online platform for Cochise College students and alumni to connect with off-campus jobs. Job seekers can search listings, create a resume, apply for jobs, build a career portfolio, attend career events and more. Employers, locally and beyond, register through EmployerCentral.com, a division of the College Central Network, to be able to post jobs. Managed by the college Human Resources office, the platform provides a real service to our constituents and underscores the college’s role in workforce development.
Next weekend, we’ll host our first on-campus alumni event, planned around the multitude of events taking place at the Douglas Campus. It kicks off with a book exchange hosted by the Friends of the Cochise College Library, followed by the popular Pit Fire Festival, featuring the firing of student-made ceramics, music, dance and food. Pottery is removed from the bonfire pit the next morning; in addition, campus tours will be available, and there will be an open house for the newly renovated campus gymnasium, followed by a women’s basketball game. Saturday includes a morning soccer game, an afternoon basketball game, an alumni barbecue, and the opening of an exhibit where visitors can see what was created at the pit fire a few nights earlier. It’s shaping up to be a spectacular weekend. Alumni who register online in advance are entered to win a Kindle Paperwhite. Our goal will be to bring alumni activities to other areas of the county and, potentially, beyond.
Finally, this year, we will embark on an effort to track down contact information for alumni. Reconnecting with those who have moved or changed names, and engaging them in various college activities, is the foundation for being able to establish sustainable relationships with alumni. The support of our alumni is important in strengthening both the quality and reach of the institution, and, frankly, the college’s need to do that is only anticipated to grow.
Alumni, if you don’t want to wait for us to contact you, I encourage you to visit us and update your information on our website or make your presence known at one of the many activities going on Oct. 24-26 at the Douglas Campus. I do hope to see you there!