Introduction from the President
In 2019, we will work to harness the moments of connection facilitated by the College’s 125th anniversary by increasing the direct involvement of our Old Boys’ Union Committee, concentrating on growing engagement in regional and younger communities and communicating our message more effectively to a range of constituencies.
We will implement our strategic objectives enumerated in A Timeless Mission: The Strategic Plan of the Old Boys’ Union (2017-2020); and the relevant documents provided for within the College’s own strategic plan Brave Hearts, Bold Minds: The Vocation of a School (2016-2025).
- Outcome 1. Increased Committee Involvement
- Outcome 2. Stronger Regional and National Engagement
- Outcome 3. Stronger Young Old Boys Engagement
- Outcome 4. More Effective Communications
In doing so, we will build upon the foundational work conducted in previous years and utilise the significant dividend received from strategic projects like Torus that were completed in 2018. In keeping with the traditional role of the Old Boys’ Union, we will provide continuing and ongoing cultural leadership in the College community by bringing the best Old Boys back to Scots through developing ‘In Conversation’ and supporting sporting and cultural programs across the student community. The Alumni Relations Office will operate under the direction of the Principal and the Old Boys’ Union President. To that extent that direction is provided by the Old Boys’ Union President, that focus will be on ensuring the day-to-day relational work of the office is appropriately conducted and the Old Boys’ Union has a stronger relationship with its graduates. Together with the College’s broader advancement resourcing, the Old Boys’ Union will ensure its programme of sustainable, excellent and engaging events are completed.
The Secretary shall report to
Committee meetings and the Principal regularly on each outcome and the
strategic objectives relevant to each. The Annual General Meeting in 2020 shall
also receive a report that covers the attainment of these outcomes.
To implement this direction, I provide further guidance as follows.
Mathew Collett ('86)
Old Boys' Union President
Outcome 1: Increased Committee Involvement
The Old Boys’ Union Committee is a significant talent pool with members who give generously of their time to bring their expertise to bare on improving our community. Committee involvement is a strength, not a weakness, and it will be a core operational focus of the Old Boys’ Union in 2019 to strengthen Committee involvement.
It is mandated by the Old Boys’ Union Constitution that the Committee is responsible for the management of the Old Boys’ Union. It is also the view of the President that the Committee is the peak deliberative body for the Old Boys’ Union, and as such, should be consulted on all matters practicable. A Timeless Mission provides that it is a strategic priority for the Old Boys’ Union Committee to provide sound governance, wise financial stewardship, cross-generational representation, succession planning, the growth of corpus funds and the implementation of governance controls.
To that end, the Alumni Relations Office shall:
- Work with the Secretary and the President to ensure a minimum of six (6) Committee meetings are scheduled within the calendar year
- Work with the President to create a delegation structure for sub-committees and ensure their regular consultation on matters that are relevant to their areas
- Regularly communicate with Committee members as to opportunities get involved with the College
- Connect College staff with the Committee for briefings and ensure that Committee members are consulted appropriately on core changes in the Old Boys’ Union and College
Outcome 2: Stronger Regional, National and Global Engagement
Our regional and national communities afford significant strength to the Old Boys’ Union – they are passionate supporters and custodians of the foundational spirit of our community. Last year, the 125th anniversary of the College provided a unique opportunity to reconnect with communities in the country. In 2019, the Old Boys’ Union will grow engagement with regional communities and support Old Boys in local businesses by targeting functions and activities at existing entities with a College connection. Our global engagement is critical to ensuring the ongoing viability of the Old Boys’ Union and serves the College’s own strategic imperatives by positioning our community as one of repute and first choice.
In 2018, international clubs were seeded in London, San Francisco, Hong Kong and Singapore for Scots Old Boys to connect with one another. In 2019, we will continue to build the capacity of these clubs by building mentoring and networking opportunities and by developing localised and community based digital engagement opportunities. To that end, we will leverage diverse digital projects already completed to ensure sustained international engagement.
A Timeless Mission provides that it is a strategic priority for the Old Boys’ Union to increase the sustainability and accessibility of events by keeping costs down, encouraging regional, national and global engagement.
To that end, the Alumni Relations Office shall:
- Work with the Sub-Committee for Regional and National Engagement to make arrangements for a programme of regional and national events that are in areas which will be well-attended, viable and beneficial
- Work with the Office of the Principal to harness the Principal’s international travel as moments of engagement with global communities
- Strengthen and grow the network of international clubs and societies through regular communication and the appointment of local leaders
- Utilise and implement the digital projects agenda of the Old Boys’ Union to sustain regular engagement
- Identify clusters of Old Boys in locations and provide reporting to the Committee on the specific areas in which alumni are focused to ensure accurate decision making and timely identification of guest attendees.
- Work with the Treasurer to assess and identify opportunities to financially support functions held in regional areas with a view toward ensuring local member businesses are supported
- Work closely with the Secretary and broader College teams to promote events in regional areas, with a view to selecting dates that align with times that the Principal is visiting regional areas
- Ensure that regional engagement results in follow up in terms of engagement and the correction of entries within the broader College database through deep collaboration with the Community Engagement Manager
Outcome 3: Stronger Young Old Boys Engagement
Reconnecting with Young Old Boys is crucial to ensuring the sustainability, relevance and value of the Old Boys’ Union in future years. Equally, the Young Old Boys of today will be the successful of tomorrow. Building a bridge into their lives now means that an organic association grows in their hearts and minds throughout their life.
Crucial to engaging with young Old Boys is an identification of what is actually sought in terms of ongoing connections with the College. It is insufficient to simply market existing events to a younger audience. These must be developed in deep consultation, be relevant and ensure that they are successfully implemented through continuous feedback and improvement.
A Timeless Mission references the importance of cross generational engagement, programs and events that engage diverse demographics and ensuring that community feedback is at the heart of ‘what we do’. In 2017, the President of the Old Boys’ Union constituted the President’s Committee for Young Old Boys to advise him, and through him the Committee, on matters that relate to Young Old Boys. By bringing younger members of our community onto key decision making bodies, the focus of the Old Boys’ Union has shifted from a reactive stance toward younger graduates to a proactive one. The Class of 2017, for example, has now graduated with a greater understanding of what it means to be an Old Boy than any preceding it. Further, with the Principal now having served at Scots for over a decade, there is now over 2,000 Scots Old Boys who graduated from a College that is — in many ways — demonstrably like that which exists today.
To that end, the Alumni Relations Office shall:
- Work with the President’s Committee for Young Old Boys and the President to develop a programme of events for young Old Boys that are informal and engaging
- Continue to implement, utilising completed digital projects, an employment search service to drive young Old Boys to the Old Boys’ Union as a method of seeking professional guidance and work
- Work with stakeholders at the College – including the Institute of Business and Economics – to grow ‘Year 13’ programmes and ensure a lasting mentoring capacity for the Old Boys’ Union
- Encourage individual class leadership and work with the President’s Committee for Young Old Boys to appoint class captains, rather than relying solely on Head Prefects
Outcome 4: More Effective Communications
Since the first survey of Old Boys in 2014, and the subsequent survey in 2017, there has been a continued point that the Old Boys’ Union is improving its communications but with work still to be done. Qualitative feedback from our community throughout 2018 was clear – they are excited about the future direction for the College, eager to engage with it and passionate about reconnecting with friends from across the generations. That interest makes the Old Boys’ Union relevant – it is our reason for existing.
To that end, we are offered significant opportunities to connect and engage with Old Boys in ways that are relevant to them. Central to that is a recognition that within our community there are many constituencies, interests and aspirations that we must cater to. 66 years ago, we published the first issue of Lang Syne and today we are in a position to offer outstanding communications across a wide variety of mediums.
In acknowledging that, the Alumni Relations Office will recognise that communication is both a means and an end. It is a means to building contextual certainty for the College and Old Boys’ Union, as a means for bringing people back together again, and a means for ensuring that our caring community is integrated and strong. In close partnership with the College, the Old Boys’ Union has made significant strides in data accuracy. Further to that, the Old Boys’ Union has made a significant investment in its own digital projects which provide it with a world class base for the provision of outstanding and engaging digital first communications.
This means that we are in an outstanding position in terms of resourcement to deliver the improvements our community seeks and to continue the good progress that has been made in the past years.
To all that end, the Alumni Relations Office shall:
- Implement a communications strategy and provide a communications plan to the Old Boys’ Union Committee for ratification
- Communicate regularly in a relevant and engaged way ensuring that Old Boys are aware of what’s happening at Scots and how they can get involved
- Build beautiful, responsive and web-enabled communications that encourage opening a two-way dialogue between the College and its graduates through the Old Boys’ Union
- Work collaboratively across the Old Boy community, the College and other relevant interest groups to collate and narrate the compelling stories of our graduates
- Drive forward the improvement of data records and ensure the harnessing of analytics to make communications relevant and engaging to wide audiences