Convocation is SUA’s alumni association, which represents everyone who has studied at SUA in the past. It aims at bringing together alumni to support one another and the university. Building an effective alumni organization at SUA can enhance the reputation of the university and establish a source of support for university activities. Realizing that Convocation at SUA was an underutilized resource, SUA and the Executive Committee of the Convocation (ECC) requested iAGRI’s help to revitalize the organization.
Current Status – Active
With iAGRI’s assistance, the ECC has developed and begun implementing a new strategic plan. A top priority has been rebuilding the alumni database and communicating with alumni throughout Tanzania and the world. Andy Gurd, President of the Ohio State University Alumni Association, conducted a workshop with the ECC and other SUA alumni to kick-start the convocation revitalization. Additionally, iAGRI is supporting a convocation liaison officer to be hired through SUA for one year. SUA has agreed to begin funding the liaison officer position beginning in January, 2016 to continue implementing Convocation’s strategic plan.
Key Actors at SUA
The Executive Convocation Committee (ECC).
Program Coordinator Lilian E. Mpinga
Start date of the first ‘Conversation that Matters’: August, 2014
Stage 1 – Conversations That Matter
When SUA and iAGRI agreed to revitalize Convocation, they began by consulting specialists in alumni affairs from the US and Dar es Salaam. These specialists led a workshop that explored best practices in alumni management and outlined potential solutions for SUA.
Stage 2 – Ways That Work
Based on what they learned from the alumni relations specialists, Convocation requested iAGRI’s support to create a strategic plan and hire a liaison officer to implement the plan. The liaison officer was hired in January 2014 for a period of one year, and the ECC developed a strategic plan that outlined a number of activities to improve Convocation, including fundraising and relationship-building activities. ECC has already begun implementing the strategic plan, and SUA has agreed to pay the Convocation liaison officer after the 1-year iAGRI funding is finished.