University of Portland Uses Switchboard to Help Alumni and Advancement

THE ALumni Relations office

Craig Swinyard '98 is the University of Portland's Director of Alumni Relations, and Katie Mitchell '09 handles Marketing, Communications, and Online Engagement for the alumni relations office. The University of Portland is home to over 4,000 undergraduate and graduate students, who study everything from business to nursing to the liberal arts.

Switchboard helps UP unlock its community's abundant goodwill. "Prior to Switchboard, we always lacked an efficient way to connect our community members to one another for the purpose of asking for help and offering support," says Mitchell. Now, Pilots can access their entire network whenever they need help or want to lend a hand


"In the past, people's requests were fielded by a single staff member," Mitchell says. "Switchboard has been the perfect solution because now our community members have access to everyone's network."

UP's network is large enough that the Pilots it comprises have a "diversity of opinions, experiences, and perspectives," Swinyard says, but small enough that they share a common ethos and a strong bond. "The relationships formed on Switchboard strengthen the Pilot communities that exist all over the country, including in our alumni chapters. And the relationships forged in our alumni chapters lead people to say: 'Hey, you should put that on Switchboard!'"

Swinyard says UP's Development Office is excited about the opportunities to engage young alumni that Switchboard creates. "When our alumni connect using Switchboard, it brings them closer to the university, it connects them to UP. And, particularly when they’re younger, they may not have financial gifts to offer, but their non-financial gifts, their own personal expertise, their personal gifts, I think those are even more valuable, and it connects them to UP," Swinyard says. "So ten years down the line, the ask that comes from Development and be much more pinpointed and much more successful."


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Stephanie '12 posted an Ask for a summer internship in the bay area. She landed one with the help of Adam '01.


Staff member Sarah posted an Offer for a volunteer internship and filled it thanks to Switchboard.


Rachel '14 posted an Ask for an informational interview in analytics and connected with alumna Jazmyn.