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By Benoît Charlebois, Director of Alumni Engagement

While most of us have been busy putting some distance between ourselves and fellow citizens, even loved ones, a small but mighty group of Pearson College UWC alumni have been quietly working behind the scenes, generating ideas to get closer with their Alma mater.

Back in December, the Board’s Engagement Committee invited alumni to form the Alumni Engagement Working Group (AEWG) with a mandate to help recommend the most optimal model, programs and channels for Pearson and its alumni to support each other in advancing and carrying out the UWC mission.

Since the first recorded cases of coronavirus, this group of 20 alumni ranging from Year 1/1976 to Year 42/2017, originating from many regions of the world, located over 14 times zones, and with myriad skills and expertise, have been busy finding ways to support the College and its alumni strengthen their relationship.

Over the past 12-week, their adventure has had them doing, both individually and collectively, more research, benchmarking, dialogue, comparisons, proposals, and recommendations than were probably allowed under most lock-down conditions.

This global team effort required a fair amount of coordination which, luckily, was facilitated by the College’s recent adoption of the MS TEAMS collaboration platform. Although the technology was new to most, in the end, everyone was pleased to have learned to use a very practical tool when forced to shelter in place.

The AEWG process has been rich in exchanges, has helped uncover key factors which compel alumni to engage, and possible causes of disengagement. All this while allowing diverse voices to be heard, to interrelate and come up with new engagement paths, including being more intentional about Reconciliation with Canada’s First Nations, exploring novel Thought Leadership events showcasing Pearson talent, reviewing our social media strategy especially targeting younger cohorts, and even exploring the possibilities of an alumni association, just to name a few.

In coming weeks, spurred on by the new ideas of the AEWG, the Engagement Committee will make its recommendations to the Board, one of which will be to launch an online consultation. Stay tuned for your opportunity to engage in a cool interactive way, on an idea-sharing platform created by a Year 15 alumnus. A prize to whoever guesses the name of the alum and the company!