"Switchboard can build you a stronger and happier university community."
So concludes CASE Currents' senior editor Tara Laskowski in her recent profile of Switchboard at Oberlin, Reed College, and Willamette University. With 5,000 users and 4,000 posts between the three of them, these Switchboards are some of our strongest. They've taught us a lot about how Switchboard can make higher ed communities better.
Switchboard lets alumni and students interact directly with one another on their own terms, for one. Laskowski interviewed Willamette's Director Alumni and Parent Engagement, Colleen Sump, who loves Switchboard because it attracts more students and alumni than Willamette's career database.
"It casts the net much wider," Laskowski quotes Sump as saying. "It's really like that old switchboard model—if one person cannot connect you, chances are they'll know a friend or a family member who can."
“IT'S OUR NETWORK—ON STEROIDS.”
–DIRECTOR FOR ALUMNI AND PARENT ENGAGEMENT COLLEEN SUMP, WILLAMETTE UNIVERSITY
In the long run, Switchboard's accessibility and utility lay the groundwork for a lifetime of generosity. Alumni who find success on Switchboard are not only better positioned to give—they also come to understand and appreciate the power of their college network.
And alumni who appreciate their network are more likely to give back.