Homecoming, 2022. (Image courtesy: Taylor Posik)

Institutional Advancement is an office located in Gustafson, suite 214, that features departments that work with students and alumni and provide outlets for connection and engagement.

Departments within the office include Development and Advancement Services, Alumni Engagement, Advancement Communications, and Grants.

SNHU has over 215,000 alumni from at least 175 countries, and Institutional Advancement provides the ability for alumni to remain connected long after commencement.

Associate Director of Alumni Engagement Alli Pudvah discussed what the office has to offer.

“We are the official record after students graduate. We communicate with alumni, we talk with alumni, we have volunteers that come back, [and] we have different events that we host,” said Pudvah.

Pudvah also discussed the office’s goals and how they are connected to the SNHU community.

“Our goal is to support alumni and the advancement of the university, and so a lot of the work that we do aligns with the strategic plan and the ultimate goals of the greater university, and so we align all of our tasks [and] goals individually and as a group to some of the programs that are happening across the university.”

Alumni are also given opportunities to return to campus to give back to the SNHU community. These often include assisting in mock interviews, presenting during career days, and even attending classes.

“We really love when our alums can come back and share their story with current students, volunteer at different events, and really be able to share what they’ve been up to and inspire the next generation,” said Pudvah.

Pudvah also discussed that alumni seeking assistance in their career paths are always welcome to connect with career advisors in Gustafson.

Within the office, they host different events throughout the academic year. The first one they host is Homecoming, which is held during the second weekend of October.

In preparation, Institutional Advancement will partner with the Office of Student Involvement (OSI) along with other campus offices.

“We always love our alums that come back each year. If you haven’t been, it’s an incredible weekend that is jammed packed to the brim with opportunities,” said Pudvah.

Following Covid-19, Homecoming included virtual opportunities for those that are unable to make it to the SNHU campus.

Activities include the 5k, big money bingo, paint nights, and live streams.

Homecoming for the ’23-’24 academic year will be hosted Friday, October 13 through Sunday, October 15. Registration for virtual events will open in September.

“There’s always a ton of things going on, both on campus and off campus, that weekend and we really encourage folks to come back, celebrate the future, and honor the past…and it’s a great way to see campus, see the spaces, especially if folks haven’t been in quite some time,” said Pudvah.

Another event that is hosted from March through April is Global Days. Institutional Advancement works with OSI and the Chandler Center to promote and provide opportunities for Global Days.

In the past, it was held only in April; however, it has since been extended to a duration of approximately two months. This is their eighth year holding the event.

Global Days provides all members of the SNHU community with new opportunities to give back through service. Participants are able to lead various projects throughout the event.

“We find that service is such a great equalizer. It doesn’t matter how you got your degree, it doesn’t matter what your title is, it doesn’t matter what you’re currently doing, but when we could come together in the name of service, it’s really powerful for our communities,” said Pudvah. “Folks have the opportunity to lead a project, which has a little bit more responsibility behind it. They find an organization they want to partner with, and they kind of are like the organization liaison.”

Projects typically performed include hosting food banks, beach clean-ups, and events within a community. Options to get involved can be found on the SNHU Global Days of Service website.

Following commencement, alumni are also encouraged to join SNHU community groups, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and LinkedIn. Pudvah emphasized that LinkedIn is a great resource for members of the alumni community to share information and ask questions.

Additional information regarding Institutional Advancement can be found on their website, Southern New Hampshire University (snhu.edu), and questions can be sent to alumni@snhu.edu.