Date of Award

Spring 2014

Degree Type

Professional Project

Degree Name

Master of Public Service


College of Professional Studies

First Advisor

Leslee Ruscitti


An important aspect of higher education is alumni relations as universities develop a connection with former graduates. The ways alumni connect to their alma mater are represented through organizational identification. Organizational identification allows the alumni the opportunity to create a long lasting relationship with their alma mater. This relationship is beneficial to alumni relations departments at collegiate institutions as they strive to understand methods to keep alumni connected philanthropically, serving in volunteer roles, as well as mentoring and recruiting prospective students. All of these areas are important to the institution in an effort to maintain and strengthen the institution’s status. This qualitative, exploratory study utilizes face-to-face interviews with alumni of various accredited institutions to clarify the importance of this connection as well as to provide input from alumni. The results of the study suggest that organizational identification may benefit both alumni relations professionals and former students, alumni are more likely to volunteer or donate based on a personal connection to the university, and the academic and social experience as an undergraduate student has a significant impact on alumni involvement and philanthropy.