(Victorville) – In a competition dominated by a who’s who of universities from around the globe, Victor Valley College was recognized for the most Innovative Alumni Program in 2014. The Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) selected the Victor Valley College Foundation’s Great Alumni Hunt as the 2015 Circle of Excellence Gold Award Winner.
CASE’s new Innovative Alumni Program category was one of most highly contested of the 100 categories in this year’s competition which drew in total more than 3200 entries worldwide. In this category, judges emphasized that the “submission from Victor Valley quickly rose to the top.” Silver in the same category was shared by Georgetown University (Washington, DC) and Technical University of Denmark (DTU); and Bronze was shared by the University of British Columbia (Canada) and the University of California, San Diego.
“The fact that the Victor Valley College Foundation placed first in its category, and amongst so many prestigious domestic and international institutions, demonstrates the caliber of its staff, board of directors and most importantly, its alumni,” said Mike Nutter of ISU Insurance / ARMAC Agency who led the winning Great Alumni Hunt team. “It was an honor and a privilege to participate in such a well-planned and valuable outreach – one that served to successfully unify those individuals, both past and present, who hold the college near and dear to their heart.”
The Great Alumni Hunt challenged 20 teams of college and community volunteers each supported by a Victor Valley College intern to locate and contact at least 500 former students within 30 days. The teams surpassed the goal, more than twice over, to reach 1,157 Victor Valley College alumni and capture their stories. Periodic check in challenges, advertisements identifying “found” alumni and scholarships awarded to interns on winning teams, motivated participants and drove the campaign’s momentum.
Judges in the CASE Circle of Excellence competition noted that the Great Alumni Hunt represented “a highly replicable program for others in the community college world.” Noting that its peer-to-peer identification of alumni was “interesting, fun and playful” and that it demonstrated clear success.
“We thought we’d won big when we learned how much our alumni valued their Victor Valley College experience. They told us about the key role the college played in their successes and reminisced fondly about their time here.” said Ginger Ontiveros, Executive Director of the Victor Valley College Foundation and creator of the Great Alumni Hunt. “This CASE Circle of Excellence award, however, took that win to a whole new level. We owe our success and share this recognition with our volunteers, students and alumni who got excited about connecting with each other and their community college alma mater.”
The international Circle of Excellence awards program recognizes outstanding work in advancement services, alumni relations, communications, fundraising and marketing as judged by peer professionals at schools, colleges and universities as well as by professionals from outside education. In 2015, CASE received more than 3,200 entries for consideration in nearly 100 categories by more than 720 member higher education institutions, independent schools and nonprofits from around the world. Judges gave 307 awards: 93 bronze; 106 silver, 91 gold and 17 grand gold. Winners are selected based on a number of factors, including overall quality, innovation, use of resources and the impact on the institution or its external and internal communities, such as alumni, parents, students and faculty and staff. The Circle of Excellence awards program is open to professionals working at member colleges, universities, independent schools and nonprofits around the world.
The Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) is a professional association serving educational institutions and the advancement professionals who work on their behalf in alumni relations, communications, development, marketing and allied areas. CASE helps its members build stronger relationships with their alumni and donors, raise funds for campus projects, produce recruitment materials, market their institutions to prospective students, diversify the profession, and foster public support of education. CASE members include more than 3,600 colleges and universities, primary and secondary independent and international schools, and nonprofit organizations in 77 countries. The organization serves nearly 78,000 advancement professionals on the staffs of member institutions.
The Victor Valley College Foundation is an alumni relations, community outreach and resource development partner of Victor Valley College. To learn more about the Foundation, its programs, including the Great Alumni Hunt, and how you can help change lives, visit them on the web at www.vvcfoundation.com or like them on Facebook.