Alma Ambassador Program™ Takes CASE Gold for Third Consecutive Year
Two golds, a silver and an honorable mention: For the third year in a row, Alma College has captured multiple awards in the annual competition sponsored by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE).
Alma College received gold awards for the Alma Ambassador Program™, the college’s comprehensive volunteer engagement initiative, and the alumni vow renewal event held on the Dunning Memorial Chapel lawn during homecoming of 2017.
In addition, Alma College received a silver award and an honorable mention for media initiatives that highlight college-community partnership and the planned renovation of the historic Opera House in downtown Alma, Mich.
The Pride of CASE District V Awards Program honors colleges and universities that demonstrate “outstanding achievement in the concept and execution of advancement programs.” 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.
With four awards, Alma College received the most awards of any private liberal arts college in the region.
“We are honored and humbled to be recognized by our peers at this high level,” says Jeff Abernathy, president. “A dedicated group of volunteers and staff have built these programs into something extraordinary; each offers meaningful ways to engage with Alma College and to build a better future together. I am especially grateful for the work of our many ambassadors, who have earned a third gold award for their incredible dedication and generosity.”
The Alma Ambassador Program™ promotes, organizes and supports meaningful engagement 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 and 2017.
Ambassadors refer prospective students, serve on advisory boards, speak in classes, identify internships and encourage others to invest in the Alma community. Since the program’s launch in 2015, more than 3,300 volunteers have registered as ambassadors, and ambassadors have referred more than 4,200 prospective students.
The alumni vow renewal event won a gold award in the “Excellence in Special Events, Individual” category. More than 60 couples spanning 60 years — most of whom met during their time as students and many of whom were married in Dunning Memorial Chapel — renewed their vows on the Chapel lawn during the 2017 homecoming festivities.
The video documentary “Alma, MI: A Microcosm of Rural College-Town America” won a silver award in the “Best Video Feature-Long” category. The video provides a carefully researched historical context for town and gown relationships and highlights Alma College and the City of Alma as a partnership on the forefront of a new trend of collaboration — exemplified by the planned renovation of the Opera House in downtown Alma.
The opinion article “Alma’s City-College Relationship Is Not Unique, But It Could Be” won honorable mention in the “Best in Writing for the Media” category. Published in newspapers throughout the state, the article by Matt vandenBerg ’02, vice president for advancement and external relations, challenged the college and City of Alma to join forces to restore the historic Alma Opera House and bring about economic and cultural revitalization.
“It is an exciting time to be a Scot,” says vandenBerg. “The CASE awards recognize and affirm the college’s deep commitment to engagement, collaboration and service for the greater good. The remarkable success of the Ambassador Program, in particular, underscores the widespread affinity of our community for Alma College and highlights the collective power of our rapidly growing base of committed volunteer leaders.”
The annual Pride of CASE V awards showcase best practices in alumni relations, fundraising, advancement services, special events, communications and marketing. Alma College representatives will accept the awards at the annual CASE V conference, which takes place Dec. 9-11 in Chicago.