Alumni & Advisors
Each chapter is required to have an advisor who meets with the chapter regularly to provide advice and guidance. There is a strong correlation between successful chapters and good advisor support. Consistently good chapters usually have a group of dedicated advisors, who work closely with the officers and the chapter, to continuously improve the chapter and the fraternity experience.
Most national organizations have resources on-line for chapter advisors and you are encouraged to contact your national organization to learn more about your role as chapter advisor and how you can assist the chapter. Our office has also developed resources for advisors which can be found here
In addition to a chapter advisor, there are several ways for a fraternity/sorority to organize alumni to assist the chapter and engage alumni. Many chapters use some or all of these suggestions.
An advisory board consists of a team of volunteers whose primary purpose is to mentor, guide, and advise the undergraduate chapter. Often time, an advisory board consists of alumni from other chapters, parents, University administrators, and/or community leaders, in addition to alumni from the chapter.
Successful advisory boards match undergraduate officers with an advisory board member who has some level of expertise with the position (similar to current career field, held position as an undergraduate, etc.). Through this partnership, goals and expectations are established and the advisor serves as a mentor, coach, and resource for the undergraduate students. Some positions that typically receive advisors include: Recruitment/Intake, New Member Education, Risk Management, Service, Philanthropy, Scholarship, Ritual, Brotherhood/Sisterhood Development, and Alumni Relations.
The role of the Alumni Board is to oversee all alumni operations. Typically, all advisory boards, housing corporations, and standing/temporary committees will fall underneath the umbrella of the Alumni Board. An Alumni Board will typically have officers to assist with the operations of the Board. Some of the positions may include:
- President – Chairs all Board meetings and serves as the representative of the Board at both University and National organization functions.
- Vice President – Assists the President and leads the Board in the absence of the President.
- Secretary – Records minutes at all regular and special meetings of the Board and ensures minutes are distributed and archived.
- Treasurer – Prepares a budget and produces financial statements of Board.
- Communications Director – Produces newsletters and manages all alumni communications.
- Members At-Large/Decade Representatives – Responsible for serving as a liaison for different constituency groups of the organization (i.e, members during certain decades, new member classes, etc.). These positions are a great way to ensure diversity on the Board and get more alumni involved.
- Homecoming Chair – Works with the undergraduate chapter to plan events around Homecoming weekend, including sending save the date cards and invitations to alumni.
The primary responsibility of a Housing Corporation is to assist the undergraduates with all aspects of housing operations. This could include spearheading house improvement or renovation projects, assisting the kitchen manager with kitchen operations (i.e, cook), and/or working to recruit members to live in the chapter house. Typically, the Housing Corporation will have an annual budget generated from either undergraduate chapter parlor fees or an allocation from the Alumni Board/Development Committee. A typical Housing Corporation will have between five and nine members.
The two main responsibilities of a Development Committee are to raise funds for the organization and/or a specific purpose, as well as allocating available funds. The Office of Alumni and Development is able to assist groups with establishing a foundation account through the University, drafting spending guidelines for the account, and developing a strategy for raising funds for the account to support the undergraduate chapter and alumni operations. Between five and nine members is the average amount for a Development Committee.
Members of the boards and committees mentioned above may be either elected or appointed and typically serve a term of anywhere between two and six years.
BGSU Alumni Association Society Program
The BGSU Alumni Association is able to help your Alumni organization distribute newsletters to alumni at no-charge to the undergraduate chapter or the alumni organization. To learn more about the society program and how it can help your organization visit Get Involved. If you have any questions about the society program, please contact Sue Ballard at firstname.lastname@example.org. Sue is the Assistant Director responsible for alumni societies in the Office of Alumni and Development.