Following an inaugural meeting, the Kuyper College Alumni Relations Committee is heading into its
first full year in 2024. As Kuyper College introduces new alumni events and programming, the group aims to share these activities with Kuyper’s alumni community.
The growth of this network excites Nathan Slauer, who serves Kuyper as Manager of the Annual Fund & Alumni Relations.
He believes the new group will strengthen the many connections between Kuyper alumni and staff.
“The Alumni Relations Committee provides alumni with a space to share what’s on their mind, and it helps the College to engage alumni with upcoming opportunities,” Slauer said. “This two-way communication channel helps establish lasting relationships.”
When newcomers join the Alumni Relations Committee, they agree to serve as critical thinkers and idea generators. During meetings, they present feedback on existing offerings while imagining what the future might hold for Kuyper.
Brainstorming sessions provide valuable suggestions to Kuyper’s Advancement and Alumni Office, which uses this group’s insight to form proposed initiatives. Examples of upcoming projects include an online directory, webpage updates and an alumni ID card.
Committee members also serve as ambassadors. They consider features for Kuyper’s signature events, such as the Spring Gala and the International Golf Scramble, designed to give guests the best possible experience.
“It has been fantastic to see alumni roll up their sleeves and do the hard work of building a great alumni program,” Slauer said. “I can hardly wait to see what comes next.”
The Alumni Relations Committee currently consists of Kuyper alumni who commit to a year-long term. Committee membership is open to all Kuyper graduates, and members are eligible to serve up to three years.
The 2023-2024 membership spans a wide range of graduation dates and professional backgrounds, such as nonprofit leadership, education, graphic design, and human resources. The diverse membership makeup is intentional as the group seeks to reflect the diversity of the Kuyper student body.
“We want our alumni committee to be able to represent the varied interests and goals of the current student body, our future alumni,” said Katy Jorritsma, a Kuyper alum and staff member in Kuyper’s Advancement Office. “They should also be able to apply their experiences and relationships to represent our wide range of alumni – from different decades, in different fields, and in different countries – who have prepared to follow God’s calling on their lives at Kuyper.”
The committee had hoped to start its winter season with Homecoming, a celebration of Kuyper’s student-athletes, but wintery weather in Grand Rapids forced a postponement.
But the Alumni Office invites alums to participate in fun spring outings, including a board game night, a March Madness viewing party, and a hike at Provin Trails followed by a bonfire and s’mores will mark the transition from winter to spring.
Beyond supporting events, the committee seeks out inspiring alumni stories. These stories are shared with Kuyper’s news team to highlight where a Kuyper education takes people.
“One of the things I am most looking forward to with the committee is reconnecting with fellow alumni and hearing stories of how God has worked in their lives after their time at Kuyper,” said Ann Essenburg, a Kuyper alum and staff member in Kuyper’s Admissions Office. “It is important for us to share these stories with the broader community as we seek to bring the next generation of Kuyper alumni to the college.”
More information about Kuyper’s alumni program is available at kuyper.edu/alumni.