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Why you are central to our mission

Alison Traub is Executive Director of Development and Alumni Relations

  • Illustration
    Kate Copeland
- 4 minute read
Alison Traub

What do I think matters in our University? You. For me, alumni are at the heart of everything we do: what you think about the University, how you talk about your experience, whether you have accurate, timely information about how the University is developing its thinking are all vital to our mission.

It may surprise some of you to read that the Collegiate University spends a great deal of time and resource thinking about you and what you might want – but from the our perspective it makes perfect sense. We sometimes describe the University as comprising three pillars – students, staff and alumni – but, ultimately, we are who we educate: and that means we are Newton, Milton, Darwin, Rosalind Franklin, Jagadish Chandra Bose, Hans Blix, Alan Turing, Rab Butler, Jo Cox, Kwame Anthony Appiah, Tara Westover, Ali Smith, Sacha Baron Cohen, Stephen Hawking, Greg Winter, Zadie Smith, Richard Ayoade, Naomie Harris, Thandie Newton… and you.

Join an alumni group. Keep your details updated. Read CAM. Pick up an alumni benefit. And tell us what you think

Over the past 30 years that the alumni office has been in operation, we have spent a great deal of energy developing a responsive, useful, fun alumni programme – one that can deliver the benefits and content that you want, wherever you are in the world. Your feedback – whether you write to CAM, took part in our alumni survey, or have volunteered for focus groups or the Alumni Advisory Board – has a direct impact on that programme and I thank you for your thoughts, time and support.

Indeed, almost 30,000 of you took the time to complete the Collegiate University Alumni survey and subsequent focus groups. I was delighted to note how highly you value CAM, and I was also heartened to see your ambition for this magazine. You told us that you wanted more hard research, more access to alumni networks, and a better understanding of our thinking on the big issues such as Brexit and diversity

Your feedback spurs us on to strive to make the magazine and the programme even better. Together, the College and University alumni offices are working hard to respond. In Cambridge, the Alumni Festival is a chance to hear the latest academic thinking and the CAMCard gives alumni discounts and access to hospitality across the city.

And outside Cambridge, we have expanded the Global Cambridge lecture series. Now, you can access leading academics sharing directly how Cambridge is working to solve some of the most important global challenges, in locations all over the world. (This year, the series will be hosted in Munich, Kuala Lumpur, Toronto, Edinburgh and Birmingham – visit our website, below, for more details.)

We are increasing the support provided to the many University alumni groups around the world (you can read more about what they offer on page 5) and we have expanded your access to academic journals beyond JSTOR to nine research portals. We have already reported on University policy on issues such as admissions, diversity and Brexit in CAM, but we are increasingly looking to provide immediate, detailed information direct to alumni. Our alumni admissions toolkit dispels media stereotypes by providing up-to-date information about how admissions really works in 2019 (you can access it here).

Finally, we know many of you want to volunteer, mentor and advocate for the Collegiate University and we are working on more ways that alumni can do that in the future.

Ultimately, we want to make sure that you know that your connection with Cambridge is recognised – that you know how much we value your contribution to this institution. Want to make the most of us? Come to a Global Cambridge event. Join an alumni group. Keep your contact details updated. Read CAM. Pick up a University or College alumni benefit. And tell us what you think: about our alumni programme, about the University, about diversity, about admissions. Your relationship with Cambridge is lifelong. We look forward to hearing from you and growing with you as our community strengthens and expands.

Learn more about Alumni Relations.

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