Earlier this year, Alex Forti ’09, MS’10 was approached by Brianne Ross, associate director of Alumni Relations, with the idea for an initiative aimed at reconnecting alumni with the university, called Crimson Crew. He knew immediately they were onto something that alumni could relate to.
Forti, who currently volunteers with the Alumni Association Board of Directors as one of its members-at-large, explains that Crimson Crew will be an opportunity to create a strong bridge between students and alumni. From a common mission of helping students succeed through mentoring, guest lectures, and advising to events and fundraising, Crimson Crew will be a united assemblage with one ambition—to further the goals of WPI through alumni engagement.
“My time at WPI was a deeply personal experience,” says Forti. “I was supported and inspired by so many great people—professors, students, and alumni. I think I owe it to the school and to the next generation to be someone who gives back and provides the same level of support.”
Ross often hears stories of mentors who helped navigate schoolwork or offered career advice. She says Crimson Crew will be a way to align the passions of alumni with those of current students.
“Oftentimes you hear about building connections,” she muses, “but this is more than that—I think people should be building relationships. Through Crimson Crew, alumni will build stronger relationships with and within WPI—and, potentially, with students. This is a win/win for everyone involved.”
With a personalized approach to engagement, Crimson Crew will align alumni with other alumni and students with shared interests. As Ross explains, “I think anytime you can create a strong personal connection for someone, you can keep them engaged for years to come.”
Ross shares that the goal was to host a training event for all volunteers on campus, but given COVID-19 closures, this has been delayed. “Still, it would be ideal to host it each year during Alumni Weekend, when we welcome so many of our alumni back to campus over the course of several days,” she says. “It would be wonderful for alumni to get to know one another better in a casual and fun setting, with the common mission of being passionate about their WPI.”
Learn more about Crimson Crew at wpi.edu/alumni/community/volunteer