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Alumni & Corporate Engagement

Key Aspects of Alumni & Corporate Engagement

  • To enhance existing industry relationships / revive former relationships / develop new relationships through engaging alumni subject matter experts and corporate partners.
  • To pursue and utilize supplemental funding that helps achieve a purpose as part of your club’s mission and/or event.
  • Deliver value to corporate partners that invest financially in clubs. (Sponsorship funding received must be utilized as agreed upon between the company and club.)
  • All external engagement activity and collaborations should be transparent to the various stakeholders involved [corporation, club, MBAA and Fuqua administration]

If you have specific questions, but aren’t sure whom to contact or what next steps to take, send an email outlining your questions/needs to:


Securing Speakers and Subject Matter Experts

Note:  Make sure your corporate partners/sponsors have been allocated all the speaker/panelist spots that are associated with their level of support (ROI).

  • Start thinking about this as early as possible; i.e., the more advance notice you have the more likely it is the desired speaker will be available
  • Talk to the CMC Sector Director assigned to your club
  • Talk to Denise Done in Development & Alumni Relations
  • Talk with Stephen Windham in Corporate Relations
  • Check the Fuqua alumni database
  • Use LinkedIn as a way to identify practitioners with Duke or Fuqua connections
  • Ask your peers

HIGH-PROFILE Speaker Process

You MUST secure clearance AND obstain assistance from the appropriate Fuqua staff member(s) BEFORE approaching:

  • Duke Board of Trustees members
  • Fuqua Board of Visitors members
  • Corporate Officers [CEO, CFO, Chairman, President etc.]

Note: Be prepared to discuss whom you want to contact as well as the scope and nature of the request [date(s), event context, time required, expertise needed].

GENERAL Speaker Process

  1. Contact the CMC Sector Director and/or DAR for recommendations and assistance with outreach; keep both groups informed of your outreach efforts.
  2. Invite the representative(s) at least one to two months in advance of the event, which allows ample time for them to arrange their schedule and travel plans.
  3. Your outreach message should include:
    • Name, date, time and location of the event
    • Topic and purpose of the event
    • Specific details about the event (agenda, format, expected audience)
    • Expectations of their participation (keynote speaker, panelists, moderator, etc.)
    • Provide your contact information, and thank them for their involvement with Fuqua
    • Include whether their participation in the event is part of their employer’s corporate sponsorship
    • Once the representative confirms their participation, provide information about area hotels (the JB Duke and others), additional information about the event, the preferred time that you would need for them to arrive, and request their biography (if necessary)
  4. Follow up with more details about the event if the details are not solidified by the time of the initial outreach. Additionally, provide questions in advance that panelists will need to be prepared to answer during the event.
  5. Develop a plan to thank speakers and demonstrate your club’s appreciation for their involvement in your event.

Securing Corporate Partners | Generating Corporate Sponsorship Revenue

  • NEVER solicit an individual at an organization for a personal contribution to your club
  • Connect with the industry relevant CMC Sector Director and/or Stephen Windham in Corporate Relations for best practices
  • Use your club’s history of corporate sponsorship to identify current and past companies/key contacts
  • Use the summary of corporate sponsorship for all clubs to identify companies that would see synergies or find additional value/ROI in partnering with your club

Note: company decisions regarding spending allocations to specific clubs and target b-schools are usually finalized between May – August

Once sponsorship funding is secured:
**ALL invoicing and collection of corporate sponsorships MUST be done by Corporate Relations

**Include a final version of the pitch/solicitation materials that your club developed to secure corporate sponsorship funding

When your club secures a financial commitment to sponsor, notify Corporate Relations via email:

To:     Ginger Blackley (blackley@duke.edu)

Provide the following information in your email:

  • Company name
  • Person with whom you spoke regarding the financial commitment
  • Their email address [and: Title, Phone #, Mailing address]
  • Name of the student club or organization
  • Name of the club activity
  • Date of the club activity
  • Amount of sponsorship ($)
  • Student club contact person (name & email)

Helpful Tips when Addressing Alumni on Print or Web

Use of Alumnus, Alumni, Alumna, or Alumnae

  • Use alumnus when referring to a man who has attended a school.
  • Use alumna when referring to a woman who has attended a school.
  • Use alumni when referring to a group of men and women, or a group of only men.
  • Use alumnae when referring to a group of women.

Listing of Names and Grad Years

All alumni of Duke/Fuqua, including faculty and staff, should be notated as such in all print and web instances. Only degrees earned at Duke/Fuqua should be listed behind a person’s name.

For an undergraduate alumna/alumnus of Duke only:

The undergraduate alumnus/a’s name followed by degree and then the year of graduation.

  • John Smith ’12

For an alumna/alumnus of Fuqua only:

The graduate’s name followed by graduate degree (regardless of program) and then the year of graduation.

  • John Smith MBA ’17
  • Jane Smith MMS ’09

For an alumna/alumnus with multiple Duke Degrees:

List abbreviated graduate degree(s) following undergraduate degree, separated by commas.

  • John Smith ’95, MBA ’00
  • John Smith ’95, MBA ’00, JD ’01

When hosting and/preparing for alumni interactions, be sure to check the Duke Alumni Directory and the Fuqua Alumni Directory for accurate degree programs and graduation years.  If you are unable to find alumni using the directories, contact Denise Done, Assistant Director, Student & Alumni Engagement for assistance.