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Successful 2021 Virtual Alumni Retreat

Successful 2021 Virtual Alumni Retreat

UWIAA Presidents and Contacts, as well as Executive members met with the Director of Alumni Relations and the Campus Alumni Officers on Feb 6, 2021 to discuss the successes and challenges of the past year and look towards increasing engagement in the coming year. The COVID-19 pandemic caused a pivot to the virtual world in order to provide alumni relations programming. Myriad resources and methods were used to successfully engage graduates in line with The UWI’s Triple “A” goals of Access, Alignment and Agility.

The Agenda follows for your information:

Opening Prayer – Bro. Paulos Craig Tuckett – (St. Kitts & Nevis)

Welcome – Pelican Pride – The UWIAA officially acknowledged and welcomed the Class of 2020 to the graduate family.  The Alumni Pledge was recited. (Director of Alumni Relations) 

The Role of Alumni as Influencers: - Director of Alumni Relations, Celia Davidson Francis 

The following was highlighted:

Influence:

Alumni have given input into the Chancellor’s Commission Report – as they are important stakeholders of The UWI and are recognized as such in The Charter, Statutes and Ordinances of the institution. The alumni wish their key recommendations to be incorporated and request to be included in the Advisory Board and the Implementation Committees regarding this report.

Social media is the key for direct engagement to alumni - LinkedIn – the global professional site is where most of our alumni connect to us - 72, 699 followers as at Feb 2021.

SLSS Webinars: (Soft and Life Skills Series), this virtual series is now more important than ever to reach out to our alumni and this falls under the Pelican Perks Advantage Programme. They are conducted by UWI graduates who generously "pay forward" by sharing their expertise in this way. Sessions average 150-300 participants and in 2020 over 3000 graduates were reached. The  3 day inaugural virtual SLSS Conference was held in association with the Young Alumni Advocates (Alumni Ambassadors of UWI STAT) and engaged over 600 alumni globally on topics from emotional intelligence to communicating effectively and team building.  We already have a robust calendar for 2021 and SLSS webinars have commenced.

UWI Quality Day Nov 12, 2020: The alumni participated via video testimonials streamed on social media, including the UWIAA Florida Chapter (Dr. Carmen Nicholas and Mrs. Miriam White), alumni in Qatar (Karyn Williams Sykes) and across the Caribbean.

Connectivity: The thrust to augment UWIAA membership continues, as well as the drive to increase the robustness of the alumni database across the regional institution. The UWIAA Chapters continue to seek to engage and offer networking opportunities, for example, the Centre for Tourism and Management (CHTM) Christmas Lyme and the UWIAA Florida “Christmas Mask-er-ade”, the latter also raising US$2,500.00 towards scholarships and grants.

The Director underscored that alumni also use their networks and influences to build relationships and encourage sponsorships and donations, as this can result in tangible and intangible giving and thus contribute to the financial fitness of The UWI.

Greetings: – UWI Chancellor, Mr Robert Bermudez

Greetings: – UWI Vice Chancellor – Professor Sir Hilary Beckles

Greetings: – UWIAA President – Craig Tuckett (St Kitts & Nevis) – Chapter that would have hosted the in-person Retreat

Covid 19 Task Force Vaccination Update: – PVC Professor Clive Landis   - This was very well received and alumni committed to influence their colleagues and network to be “vaccine confident” so that the entire world may return to normalcy as soon as possible. A video of Professor Landis’ presentation will be circulated.

UWIAA Chapter Achievements: – Introduced by Jerry Medford (Trinidad & Tobago) + Updates by Carmen Nicholas (Florida) Dwayne Haynes (Jamaica) Barbara Brissett (Washington DC)  - highlighted engagement activities and alumni philanthropy.

Staying Connected to UWI as Alumni: - Young Alumni Advocates (UWISTAT Alumni Ambassador Charles Ball (Australia) – Video message identified with strongly by the participants.   

The Alumni Resource: Ways Chapters assist: (Carina Dyce – Soft & Life Skills Webinars & the Regional UWI STAT Corps + Sandra Griffith Carrington - Chancellors’ Presidents Club)

UWISTAT – Cultural & Climate Change Impacts: James Peart - Penpal Programme (President Mona Corps) & Shirlyn Simon (VP Disaster Mitigation & Climate Change – Open Campus) – Video messages which were heartily applauded. 

Closing – General Discussion and Action Points for the Way Forward, further building “One UWI, One Alumni Family”

**All participants had or wore something (T shirt, Flag, Symbol) of their Caribbean country that was displayed while they were speaking - #caribbeanpride! The evening ended on a high note of camaraderie and commitment.  

All were reminded that the annual Pelican Awards will be held in Oct 2021 and were asked to remind their Chapter members to send them their nominations (CV + Short Rationale for why the nominee merits the award) to their Chapter Presidents by June 1, 2021

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