The HART of Hamilton
Hamilton's alumni admission volunteer program has a new name — the Hamilton Alumni Recruitment Team (HART) — and a refined mission.
Formerly WAVE (Worldwide Admission Volunteer Effort), the HART program maintains many of the goals of its predecessor. What has changed in the reorganization is a set of clearly defined expectations for both volunteers and those on campus managing the program.
“We have an incredibly loyal group of volunteers, and our intention is to make the program more responsive to their needs,” said Susan Donegan, associate dean of admission and HART coordinator. “Over the years, WAVE had grown to more than 1,250 alumni members — many of whom for one reason or another were no longer active — and as a result it became increasingly difficult to manage effectively. With improved data management and clearly defined expectations, we hope to take the core of what worked best in WAVE and build on it.”
This summer, the Admission Office contacted former WAVE members inviting them to participate in HART. To date 396 have signed on. HART volunteers are asked to commit at least 10 hours each year to such initiatives as representing Hamilton at college fairs, conducting off-campus interviews with prospective students, attending receptions and special events for prospective students and their families, and contacting accepted students in their areas. Volunteers also will be required to return to campus at least once every five years for training.
“The most important criterion for effective alumni recruitment volunteers is confidence that they can effectively communicate the current Hamilton experience to 17- and 18-year-olds,” Donegan said.
Volunteers will be encouraged to participate in the online Connections Project, an effort to match prospective students with alumni volunteers via the admission Web site. In addition, a partnership with the Multicultural Alumni Relations Committee (MARC) strives to attract students of color. The Admission Office hopes to create a Hamilton alumni presence with programs with which the College has already partnered, such as the Washington Metropolitan Scholars, LINK in Chicago and other community-based organizations.
“There’s no question that the HART program serves a dual purpose. Prospective students can learn more about Hamilton from its best representatives — former students,” Donegan said. “Volunteers, in turn, have a great opportunity to reconnect with the College. HART serves the needs of both groups.”