An Agnes Scott College program designed to encourage alumnae to gather for socializing and book discussion has won a top award from the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE).
Called Scottie Book Month, the program won gold in the CASE 2010 Circle of Excellence Awards in the Alumni Relations Category. It was the only program to receive gold in this category.
Scottie Book Month encouraged alumnae to read Einstein’s Dreams, a best-selling novel by Alan Lightman, that was also being read that year by first-year students at Agnes Scott. Alumnae then met to discuss the novel at one of many events held in the homes of fellow alumnae. At each event, the attendees watched a DVD of Chris De Pree, an Agnes Scott astronomy professor, exploring themes in the novel as a springboard for their own discussions.
There were 57 events in cities all over the country, and alumnae response was overwhelming.
“We sent an e-mail to alumnae asking to ‘borrow’ their living rooms for a book event, and the responses poured in — from Los Angeles to Boston to San Antonio and everywhere in between,” said Kim Vickers, director of alumnae relations at Agnes Scott and a member of the class of 1987. “We engaged more than double the number of alumnae who have participated in events, other than reunion weekend, in previous years.”
Volunteer hostesses were mailed a package from the college that included the DVD, a copy of Einstein’s Dreams, a T-shirt, a journal, cocktail napkins and an allowance for refreshments.
Alumnae compliments flowed in following the event.
“As a group, we ranged from alums who graduated in 1950 to 2004, and the depth of the group was so impressive. I was proud to be part of the experience,” said Jamie Lee Fraser, a class of 2001 graduate who attended the event in Charleston, South Carolina.
Scottie Book Month spurred more alumnae participation at a lower cost than alumnae events in previous years.
“Scottie Book Month is a great example of thoughtful creativity when you have to do more with less,” said Rob Parker, vice present of college advancement at Agnes Scott. “With a tighter budget, Kim and her staff were able to create a successful event that brought together more alumnae than the college has engaged in years for meaningful discussion and connections.”
Agnes Scott College educates women to think deeply, live honorably and engage the intellectual and social challenges of their times. Students are drawn to Agnes Scott by its excellent academic reputation, exceptional faculty and metropolitan Atlanta location – offering myriad cultural and experiential learning opportunities. A diverse and growing residential community of scholars, this highly selective liberal arts and sciences college is known for its dynamic and challenging intellectual community. Encouraging students to engage the wider world through study abroad and presenting its curriculum with international context, Agnes Scott College delivers on its promise: The World. For Women.