New Platform to Bring College Community Together
After almost a year’s preparation, Marlboro College is pleased to introduce Branch Out, a new online platform for alumni to connect with each other as well as with current students, faculty, staff, trustees, and friends of the college. The official launch for Branch Out will take place at the Marina Restaurant on May 1, at an event for graduating seniors and alumni from both the undergraduate and graduate programs.
“Imagine a virtual commons for the full Marlboro College community, because that’s just what Branch Out offers,” said Kathy Waters, alumni director. “Everyone will occupy the same cyberspace to share stories, support each other, create interest groups, mentor, offer resources and advice, and give or get a helpful nudge to careers. All in one place. All exclusive to Marlboro.”
The college was extremely fortunate to work with alumna Maia Segura ’91 as project manager and consultant. Maia helped research the project through a series of focus groups with students, faculty, staff, undergraduate and graduate alumni, and interviewed board members and stakeholders to determine what content would be most beneficial in a platform tailored to Marlboro College. Dozens of existing platform options were evaluated before Marlboro selected VineUp, which the greatest number of criteria.
Dubbed Marlboro College “Branch Out” by one student focus group member, the new platform will provide real-time opportunities for alumni to both benefit and give back through engagement opportunities, mentoring, events, and fundraising efforts. Similar platforms have been adopted at many colleges and universities worldwide over the last few years, and have been highly successful at increasing alumni engagement during particularly challenging times for institutions of higher education.
“I’m feeling super fortunate and excited to work with Marlboro College on this project,” said Maia. “Branch Out will provide a medium that allows us to connect with the rich, unique resources that we all bring to the table, to strengthen the community, and help it to grow. Technology has finally caught up with the magic of hanging out on the dining hall steps with 2,500 of our favorite people.”
The platform is currently being tested by a group of volunteers from the community. It will be rolled out to the greater community starting with the official launch party May 1, followed by personalizeed instructions to be sent out mid-May. Alumni will be encouraged to participate, to make this new tool as engaging and useful as possible in the years to come.