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Utah's Foremost Platform for Undergraduate Research Presentation
2015 Abstracts

Connecting Alumni Past, Present, and Future

Chet Norman, Dixie State University


Maintaining alumni relationships can be difficult with a changing institutional culture and identity. For example, the name change from Dixie State College to Dixie State University (DSU) and change of the mascot’s identity, from the Rebels to the Red Storm, has caused alumni to become detached from the institution they once knew. This study, conducted in coordination with DSU’s Alumni Office, investigates strategies to communicate and foster relationships with discouraged alumni. A dynamic outreach strategy, based on academic theory and research from the disciplines of human communication and business marketing was developed to reach this goal. In particular, uncertainty management theory (UMT) and narrative storytelling methods were employed to develop a marketing campaign to further involve disheartened alumni through YouTube videos, monthly e-newsletters, alumni card program, social media interaction, and contests. This presentation will consist of a brief overview of the history of change in DSU’s identity, application of theories used to decrease alumni uncertainty, and lastly an identification of strategies for implementation.