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Alumni Relations: Dos, dont’s, and what-ifs? of preparing for fall
Monday, July 20 from 1-2 p.m. EDT
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Panelist include: 

  • Ralph Amos, Assistant Vice President, Caltech Alumni Relations and Executive Director, Caltech Alumni Association –
  • J Thomas Forbes, CEO, Indiana University Alumni Association –
  • Mo Cotton Kelly, Vice President, Alumni Relations and Communications, UConn Foundation –

AT06. Bonus – About Your Host

What’s Up Trendsetters!

This is a bonus episode of the Alumni Trending podcast and is a re-airing of an episode of the #OnTheStacks podcast hosted by Bill Corcoran Jr. Check out the #OnTheStacks podcast at

I was honored to be a guest on the May 13 episode of #OnTheStacks and I thought that this might be a good way to introduce myself to my Alumni Trending audience.

On this trend line you will hear about my professional and personal background, the Penn State Alumni Associations COVID-19 approach, and an amazing story about how the Penn State Alumni Association helped Bill propose to his wife.

Quick listening guide:
3:45 My career progression
5:53 My 90 days as a college football player
8:04 How I become my college mascot
9:14 What I love about my work: “No two days are the same.”
13:30 The Penn State Alumni Association’s approach to COVID-19 
14:56 Form Three Prides (Digital First, Class of 2020, Lifting Up Lions)
17:48 Using membership as the key for ALL alumni
21:53 Advice to the Class of 2020
23:51 Celebrating milestones
24:48 The power of technology
28:14 A great wedding proposal

Thanks for staying #OnTrend with the Alumni Trending podcast.

AT05. Alumni Identity with Jay Dillon

What’s Up Trendsetters!

Our guest is Dr. Jay Le Roux Dillon, chief alumni strategist at the University of California – Berkeley and today’s trend line includes:

  • Alumni Identity,
  • Building a Community of Practice during COVID-19,
  • and his career in higher education advancement.

Here’s a quick listening guide:
At 4:30 – About me and careers in higher education
At 7:30 – My ultimate frustration with advancement work (hint: lack of research)
At 9:50 – What do music and fundraising have in common?
At 16:15 – What is the best thing alumni and alma mater can do for one another right now?
At 23:30 – My favorite alumni relations brainstorming exercise
At 29:30 – Identity making and the alumni experience
At 34:45 – Creating professional community without “gurus”
At 40:20 – How to test your own Alumni Identity

Dr. Jay Le Roux Dillon is a redhead, father of a redhead, social scientist, and executive director of alumni relations for the University of California, Berkeley. His research is focused on “Alumni Identity” – a new approach to identifying ideal alumni donors through the lens of social psychology and data science. He was previously director of alumni engagement at the University of San Francisco and executive director of alumni strategic initiatives at UCLA. Jay is dedicated to improving philanthropy in order to bring social justice and equity to education. He is the founder and principal of Alumni Identity Fundraising Consultants and holds a doctorate in organization and leadership from USF and a master’s and bachelor’s degree in music from UCLA.

A bit about Alumni Identity:
Your Alumni Identity is that quantifiable part of who you are – your own self-identity – that is related to your alma mater. It’s both a measure of engagement and a predictor of future philanthropy. You can test your own alumni identity in under two-minutes at


To test your own Alumni Identity:

AT04. Integration and the Alumni Association Brand with Jennifer Heisey

On this episode,  I visit with Jennifer Heisey, Chief Alumni Relations Officer for the University of Cincinnati and we discuss power of integration and the value of the Alumni Association brand.  Today, she talks about:

  • her career and advice;
  • the integrated model at Cincinnati; and
  • the metrics they drive towards annually.

On April 14, 2014, The University of Cincinnati named Jennifer Heisey to the dual role of executive director of UCAA and vice president of alumni relations for the UC Foundation.

Heisey’s core responsibilities will be to provide strategic leadership and vision for UCAA while managing the daily operations of alumni staff and volunteers. She will work closely with the UC Foundation president to connect with alumni and cultivate development opportunities for the university. Her efforts, along with those of UCAA staff and volunteers, ensure that alumni stay engaged and active in the UC community.

Before Cincinnati, Heisey served as associate vice president for alumni relations and annual giving as well as the executive director of the alumni association at the University of Louisville. Prior to that, she led alumni affairs efforts for SUNY College at Buffalo. She has more than 21 years of experience serving higher education institutions where she developed exemplary leadership, advancement and relationship building skills.

AT03. A Conversation with John Feudo

John Feudo is the vice chancellor for advancement at UMass Lowell, leading a team of 46 staff members through the university’s first-ever fundraising and engagement campaign. With more than three decades of experience in higher education advancement and nonprofit management, Feudo is an internationally respected fundraising and alumni relations professional. 

He formerly served as senior vice president of development and chief development officer for United Way of Massachusetts Bay, one of the top organizations within the global network of United Way affiliates. Prior to arriving at United Way, Feudo spent eight years at his undergraduate alma mater, Boston College, as both associate vice president for alumni relations, and later as senior development officer.

From 1999-2006, Feudo served as executive director of the University of Connecticut Alumni Association, where he also built and led the association’s capital campaign. Prior to his arrival at UConn, he spent six years as the associate vice chancellor for university advancement at UMass Amherst, and executive director of the UMass Amherst Alumni Association. 

John’s expertise has been sought by more than 200 colleges, universities and organizations around the world. He is also an award-winning speaker and author, having published six books in the field of advancement.