Making New Alumni Connections
Steve Hall named new associate vice president for alumni relations
Steve Hall thinks his new job as head of alumni relations at Boston University is a great opportunity “because,” he says, “it’s clear that the alumni do care about the University. I think there’s tremendous potential. Alumni want to be engaged with the institution, and the University needs the alumni to be engaged. Our job is to find the terms of the marriage.”
In a sign of its increased commitment to alumni, Boston University recently named Hall to the new position of associate vice president of alumni relations. Hall, who starts at BU on June 11, is former head of the University of Houston Alumni Association, a position he held for 12 years.
Hall says he’s going to “hit the ground listening,” trying to learn as much as possible about BU and its alumni before taking any major steps. He plans to talk to BU alums, including members of the Boston University Alumni Council, and to look at the 90,000 responses to a recent alumni directory survey.
A 1981 graduate of the University of Houston, Hall spent his career there, except for one year at Washington State University. Prior to becoming president and CEO of the Alumni Association, he was executive director of development operations, executive director of development program services, and director of annual support at the university.
Alumni relations isn’t a one-size-fits-all endeavor, Hall says. “We’ve got to find out how Boston University alumni feel connected to the institution and to one another,” he notes. “It may not be in the traditional ways we’ve always thought of, things like class year or colleges or schools they graduated from. Those may be strong affinities for some alumni. But for others, it may be a student organization they were involved in, or it may be a faculty member.”
Moreover, he says, “you can’t simply have one big homecoming or reunion event and feel like that’s going to appeal to everyone. You can’t communicate with baby boomer alumni the same way you communicate with more recent graduates.”
“Steve’s appointment is especially exciting given the crucial role our graduates will play in the future of this institution, our strong desire to enhance alumni relations programs, and his reputation as one of the best advancement professionals in the country,” says Scott Nichols, vice president for development and alumni relations. “As the chief executive in charge of alumni relations, Steve will provide professional leadership for all programs, events, and activities that are sponsored by Boston University on behalf of its alumni.”
Taylor McNeil can be reached at email@example.com.