Date of Award

Summer 2011

Degree Type

Professional Project

Degree Name

Masters in Leadership Studies


College of Professional Studies


The Seven Essentials of Highly Engaged Alumni define the desirable characteristics of a highly engaged alumnus/a of Marquette University – in how they view themselves and how they connect to their alma mater. Alumni Engagement staff at Marquette analyzed current alumni offerings to identify voids in current programming. This study utilized four focus groups segmented by life stage to test ideas for new programming to help fill voids in the essential areas of Learning (particularly online opportunities), Spirituality and Character, and Service. Thirty-eight alumni participated in the focus group sessions and also shared insights on their perceptions of their own involvement with Marquette as well as their feelings about their alma mater as a philanthropic organization. Findings from this study will help Marquette’s Alumni Engagement team determine which offerings are most likely to be successful for implementation to ideally increase engagement levels of the local alumni (and eventually regional alumni) demographic. Future research will take the focus group model established for this study to regional segments of alumni.