Winds of change coming to alumni club
When Windy City Orange was renamed the Syracuse University Alumni Club of Chicago in July 2012, a new board of directors and strategy for engaging local SU graduates in Chicagoland came with the change. The new board president, Suzanne Butler G’01, led the club through this transformation, working closely with the Chicago Regional Council and Syracuse University’s alumni engagement office to align local efforts with the University’s nationwide initiatives.
Now, three years later, the club is in transition again as Butler’s term comes to an end. A new club president will take the reins on July 1, as the Alumni Club of Chicago looks to continue the momentum built so well under Butler’s leadership.
“Our endeavors really focused on broadening our variety of programs to engage as many SU alumni here as possible. Social gatherings like game watches have always been popular and remained important, but we introduced a great mix of family-friendly, professional, and cultural events to meet other interests” says Shana Segbers ’12, G’13, SU Alumni Club of Chicago board member. “Suzanne was instrumental in bringing that vision to life and is leaving a strong foundation for our incoming leadership.”
Supported by concentrated marketing plans and a heightened social media presence via Facebook and Twitter, the club has seen greater volunteerism and increased its membership and general attendance at alumni events. Learn about the benefits of becoming a club member.
In addition to its annual partnerships with University staff for events like SUccess in the City and the New Student Send-Off, several new club events now hold good potential to become annual gatherings—including the Syracuse vs Northwestern tailgate, Chicago Cubs game-watching event, and Zoo Lights walk and reception during the holidays. The Alumni Club of Chicago was also the first to bring Otto the Orange to its city for a meet-n-greet with SU fans of all ages. This, too, became an annual event, coinciding with one of the last basketball game watches of the season.
Beyond expanding its outreach efforts to SU alumni, the club has partnered with club leaders from other ACC schools in the Chicago area to develop new engagement opportunities and events—like the annual ACC Holiday Party, which supports the Chicago Children’s Hospital.
One of the club’s greatest accomplishments over the past three years was the creation of a club scholarship which assists a Syracuse-bound student from Chicago with the purchase of textbooks and other necessary materials.
“There’s a lot of passion among Syracuse alumni in Chicago, and it’s been wonderful to see so many fresh ideas come together over the past few years,” says Dave Bartell, executive director of outreach programs for Syracuse University’s office of alumni engagement. “We’re deeply grateful to Suzanne and the whole board, whose efforts played a crucial role in strengthening our regional presence, and we’re excited to work with the incoming leadership to build off these successes.”
The board is always looking for spirited alums wanting to get more involved in the SU Alumni Club of Chicago. Interested? Contact the club, and learn how you can help ensure more great opportunities come to the Chicago area!