For the second year in a row, the Alma Ambassador Program™, Alma College’s comprehensive volunteer engagement initiative, has won a gold award in a competition sponsored by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE).
Alma College, which received three other awards for outreach programs designed to engage alumni and friends in the life of the college, was one of only two private liberal arts institutions to receive four awards.
The Pride of CASE District V Awards Program honors colleges and universities that demonstrate “outstanding achievement in the concept and execution of advancement programs.”
“It is an extraordinary honor for Alma College to be recognized by CASE and our higher education peers,” says Jeff Abernathy, president. “These awards acknowledge the creativity, hard work and collective efforts of many people who make Alma College a special place. I would like to thank our ambassadors, in particular, because our gold award is truly for them.”
The District V region encompasses colleges and universities in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin. Advancement professionals from outside of District V judged the award entries.
The Alma Ambassador Program™ promotes, organizes and supports all types of volunteerism by Alma College alumni, parents and friends. It earned gold in the “Best Collaborative Program” category — an award also bestowed to the program in 2016.
Since the program’s launch in 2015, more than 2,900 volunteers have registered as ambassadors, and ambassadors have referred more than 3,100 prospective students. Other higher education institutions are taking notice, seeking the college’s advice on how to launch similar programs on their own campuses.
“Ambassadors are changing the world for Alma College, one Scot at a time,” says Matt vandenBerg, vice president for advancement. “Their invaluable efforts include participating alongside students on service projects, creating internships, sharing job opportunities and facilitating philanthropic support. Their energy, passion and leadership have helped to establish a tremendous – and still growing – culture of engagement and philanthropy at Alma College.”
Alma College received three additional awards.
The “Sponsor an Alma Venture” program won a bronze award in the “Best Program in Donor Recognition/Stewardship” category. The program matches donors of significant unrestricted gifts with students who are about to embark on their Alma Venture — a personal experience consistent with their academic plan, such as study abroad, internship or hands-on research, or service opportunities.
The “Discover Alma Dinner Series” program received a bronze award in the “Excellence in Special Events/Series of Events” category and an honorable mention in the “Best Collaborative Programs” category. The program invites prospective students and families to network with faculty, coaches and others with shared interests to explore the career possibilities of their intended major.
The annual Pride of CASE V awards showcase best practices in alumni relations, fundraising, advancement services, special events and outstanding communications. Alma College representatives will accept the awards at the annual CASE V conference, which took place Dec. 10-12 in Chicago.