The VPM Blog

Case Study: How Texas Exes Stay Connected

Posted by Piper.vpm on Jun 5, 2013 4:38:13 AM

On Monday, Don discussed how recent grads could stay connected with their universities, but how can universities stay connected with their recent grads? It’s a two way street after all.

A perfect example is Texas Exes, the University of Texas’ alumni organization. They have everything from trips around the world to local events -- heck, you can even create your own wine label through them.

When you first arrive on their website, you are welcomed by photos of luxurious trips to Italy, a link to career consulting webinars, and drop down menus that provide information on all of their services -- and there’s a lot of services.

It goes far beyond an easily accessible website with helpful information, however. Texas Exes engages with their alumni to build a sense of community.

The Chicago chapter of the Texas Exes holds a thirsty Thursday every month where fellow Texans in the windy city get together to loosen up on a Thursday evening. It’s a great opportunity for alum to reconnect to their university, catch up with old friends, and possibly make new ones. And the best part is, people actually go. They want to stay connected with Texas and with each other. And they have Texas Exes to thank for that.

On a larger scale, 34 exes recently hopped over the Atlantic and explored all corners of Spain. They danced in streets, hiked up mountainsides, and toured different cities. The participants were strangers, but, as described by one exe, they felt an immediate sense of camaraderie. Get this, one man was in his 80s, explaining that to complete the trip “took stamina, but it was worth the effort.” Pretty impressive. His love for the University of Texas must be strong if it compelled him to travel the world at 80 years old.

Think you’d like to join? Well, if you’re a Texas Ex, don’t worry, the Exes hold 39 other yearly trips abroad.

Not just that, but they hold multiple leadership conferences, class reunions, and even gameday tailgates all over the country throughout each year. They take engagement offline and keep people connected through live events. The best part about it? It works. And it’s fun.

It may seem like these Texans are all about fun, and they are, but they pride themselves on giving back to the community. After the recent and devastating Oklahoma tornados, the Exes sprang into action. Tim Bain, president of the Houston chapter, said he “started receiving calls right away” from members asking what they could do to help. They came up with a plan in one day, and by the next the Exes were out in Oklahoma. Bain described the event as special thanks to the spirit of cooperation and respect from the alumni.

True camaraderie could be seen at this event, Texas Exes came together with a passion for their university and a desire to help others. And the reason this was made possible was because of, again, Texas Exes.

The organization cultivates community between alumni by providing them with resources to stay connected with each other and with the university. In fact, by providing so many opportunities, Texas Exes makes it hard for alumni not to stay engaged.

It all comes down to making staying connected easy by providing what may seem like a ridiculous number of ways to stay linked, combined with a school spirit that drives community. Once it’s convenient for them, alum will come.

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Author: Piper Donnelly is our Summer Editor, Word-Smith and Communications Connoisseur here at Verge Pipe Media. Verge Pipe Media assists public institutions, enterprises and the non-profit sector with Imaginative Inbound Marketing strategies + campaigns. We also have a development team chock full of Marvelous Mobile Migrators, poised to help transition our clients into a mobile + social world with custom software, iOS and Android mobile apps.

photo credit: Joe Shlabotnik via photopin cc

Topics: higher education, Alumni Relations