Networking: More Than a Buzz Word

By Jerry Rollene
Thursday, June 30, 2011

Connecting Alumni and Students

A big part of Alumni Relations is networking.  Alumni connecting with other like-minded alumni or students can produce amazing results. 

For example, last April 16 I witnessed a powerful program in our new Berry Performing Arts Center that blended the passion and artistic skills of thirty plus students with the real life efforts of alumni Matt Aspergen ’07, with the Red Window Project, and Laura Roebuck ’01 with the International Princess Project. Both Matt and Laura were highlighted in the Winter 2010 issue of the Brown Bulletin, along with Parish’98 and Kelli (Brockman) Wessels ’98, and Amy (Russell) Karum ’97.

The program “Deliver Us: Stories of Modern Day Slavery and Sex Trafficking Through the Arts,” was designed to awaken both the John Brown University and Siloam Springs communities to the struggles and victories of modern day slavery.
 
Senior Chenoa Barker, organizer of the event and spring 2011 graduate, said talking with Laura Roebuck, who lives in Siloam Springs, gave her valuable perspective.  A video clip of Matt Aspergen, played during one of the program’s segments, was a testament to the packed auditorium of how young JBU alumni can make an impact in some of the darkest places of human degradation.

Networking is not just a buzz word.  It really is a modern day description of how the body of Jesus Christ is supposed to function. It is happening among so many JBU alumni, students, their parents, faculty and staff.

I have the opportunity to talk to an amazing number of alumni who are engaged in a wide variety of efforts to impact people around the globe. It always amazes me how creative and inventive JBU alumni are and what they have found to do to build the kingdom of God wherever He has put them.

The Alumni Office, in conjunction with the Alumni Board, has been working hard to build channels to network the university’s growing family through different tools. The Career Development Center’s College Central Network is available to alumni, as well as students, to post resumes or jobs. There is also the monthly e-Prayer Network Letter, in which Lee (Rodgers) Sale ’68 reminds us of the need to pray for JBU as it continues to uphold its motto of “Christ Over All”, and the AlumNet online alumni director. Finally, there are the thirty some Alumni and Friends events held every year on campus and around the country. This is all because we believe that getting to know others in the JBU family face to face is a vital aspect and will enhance our phone conversations, e-mail correspondence and social networking posts.

I hope you will take advantage of the opportunities JBU is creating for you to network with your fellow alumni and friends. Watch the redesigned university website (www.jbu.edu) for more ways to stay connected.  It may result in more than just “news.”  It may result in equipping you for what God has called you to do.

Jerry Rollene is director of alumni
and parent relations.