Columbia Portraits to Inform Alumni Programming

Columbia is about to get smarter — or at least better informed when it comes to its alumni. A new survey, slated to hit inboxes this spring, will create a more complete picture of the alumni community by gathering information on interests, attitudes, and activities.

“We all know there is no typical Columbian,” says Donna MacPhee ’89CC, vice president for alumni relations and president of the Columbia Alumni Association. “By taking a careful look at what’s important to our alumni, we can start deeper conversations to help us deliver more programs they want. We hope alumni will take this opportunity to express themselves.”

The survey will go to all alumni for whom the University has e-mail addresses. Alumni will be asked what they do in their spare time, their attitudes toward Columbia, how they prefer to communicate with friends and colleagues, and much more.

The results of the survey project, which is called “Columbia Portraits,” will help inform events, programming, and communications at the University. In particular, insights from the survey will help the University connect like-minded alumni based on their passions and interests.

“The goal is to have alumni educate us, so we can know who they are today, which is often very different from who they were as students,” says Tim McGowan, deputy vice president for alumni and development marketing and communications, who is spearheading the effort. “By listening, we can learn to be better partners.”