In an email early this morning, Co-Chair of the USenate Student Affairs Committee Art Benoit announced that “eligible students” can now access a Columbia alumni directory boasting over 350,000 alumni members from around the world. Branded as the Online Alumni Community, this initiative comes as the result of a partnership between the Student Affairs Committee and the Columbia Alumni Association (CAA), after the former had received feedback from students requesting access to an alumni directory.
While resources like the Odyssey Mentoring Program, an opt-in professional networking platform provided by CAA, have long existed, Columbia students have not previously had access to such an alumni directory. With its introduction, The Online Alumni Community will allow students to reach out to all alumni who have not opted out of displaying their information, whether for professional networking purposes or to create conversations with alumni over shared experiences.
On the portal, students are limited to “24 direct messages within a 24-hour period,” and are encouraged to be “both thoughtful and purposeful in their messages.” Users can search up alumni and filter results according to degrees, geographic location, industry, organization, and title.
According to the eligibility section of the website, all “current Columbia University students in good standing” will have access to the portal. This does not include students of affiliate colleges (Barnard College, Teachers College, JTS, Union Theological Seminary, etc.), as well as students who are not in good standing with University Student Standards and Discipline. However, the site clarifies that Columbia University students who currently have access to the directory can still retain access after graduating. Additionally, alumni from the affiliate colleges can make an account. All alumni can opt out of having their information displayed on the website, if they so choose.
The full announcement email is included below.
Dear fellow students,
I am excited to announce that eligible students have now been granted access to the Columbia Online Alumni Community, joining for the first time the exclusive digital hub for the 350,000+ members of Columbia’s global alumni network.
The University Senate’s Student Affairs Committee partnered with the Columbia Alumni Association (CAA) on this initiative after hearing from members of our student body spanning dozens of Columbia Schools, clubs, committees, and interest groups. The most common request has been to have better access to alumni, and this opportunity is now available!
I encourage you to take advantage of this exciting and valuable opportunity. Log in with your UNI and search for alumni in your industry of interest, connect with a graduate in your city of residence, message a potential networking contact, get career advice, and more!
Learn more and get started.
Art Benoit, Ph.D.
Co-Chair Student Affairs Committee, University Senate
MBA Candidate 2019
Columbia Business School
SEAS Class Day Photo via Bwog Archives
Landing Page via Columbia Online Alumni Community