Earlier this year, Lafayette completed the Alumni Attitudes Survey, which offered alumni an opportunity to provide comprehensive feedback on perceptions of the College and general engagement. This survey was last conducted six years ago, and the feedback received from the current poll is helping to shape the strategic plan for alumni interactions and support over the coming five years. A big thank you to the nearly 2,000 alumni who took time to provide thoughtful responses.
The survey results were compared to the feedback from five years ago and peer institutions, so we were able to benchmark historically and competitively. So what did we learn? Most notable is that 92% of respondents have a good-to-excellent opinion of Lafayette, which marks a meaningful improvement from five years ago. However, what came through loud and clear is that alumni want to know what the College is doing to enhance the value of their degrees in order to ensure that Lafayette’s external reputation is as constructive as the perceptions of alumni. The College’s strategic plan to expand the student population while migrating to a need-blind admissions process that accepts based on merit regardless of financial resources will ultimately elevate the profile of Lafayette among elite liberal arts institutions in this country. This roadmap is intended to have benefits for alumni in terms of enhancing the perceived value of a Lafayette degree.
Another key takeaway from the survey is that alumni want more opportunities to leverage the career development resources of Lafayette both in terms of their own professional advancement and in support of students. More specifically, alumni are seeking networking and potential employment opportunities as well as mentorship engagement with students. Gateway Career Center recently launched GatewayLink, an online platform that allows connections among alumni as well as students to enable professional development. I encourage all of you to join GatewayLink and be an active participant to maximize the benefits of this network.
Finally, alumni want to hear more stories of fellow alumni and the student experience as a way to affirm their pride in the College. A communications strategy is being developed that is intended to address this desire for more updates on peers and current student profiles. We are very excited to embark on the next five years with your survey responses as a framework for formulating an effective strategic plan. On behalf of the Alumni Association, thank you for all you have done and continue to do in support of our alma mater.
With Pard Pride,
Jon Ellis ’98