Alumni chapters offer members an opportunity to remain connected to International House by providing an invaluable link with other alumni in their area, and assist International House in recruiting strong residents and maintaining relationships with friends and supporters. International House values alumni chapters as an integral part of the alumni effort and crucial to maintaining ties to its alumni worldwide. If you are interested in forming a chapter in your area, there are several guidelines we require alumni to follow.

The Mission of Alumni Chapters

Typically chapters conduct specific programs to advance their purpose, and their mission should be to assist and promote the House in the following areas:

Recruitment: identifying and orienting potential International House residents. (e.g., speaking with prospective residents and contacting the appropriate agencies or institutions responsible for channeling graduate students to the United States).

Alumni Networking: maintaining contact with the alumni community in the chapter’s county or region, welcoming back recent International House resident members, and updating alumni lists for the chapter’s country or region. These lists will help you to organize events (cocktail parties, dinners) and will help I-House keep its records up to date.

Development: support development and fundraising efforts by identifying prospective donors (individual, foundation, and corporate), encouraging members of the chapter to give to the Annual Fund, and creating a scholarship fund or supporting a specific project in the name of the chapter.

Chapter Structure

We believe that a strong chapter needs leadership in order to initiate chapter formation and carry out chapter activities. While each chapter will be different based on cultural nuances, expectations and governmental requirements, we recommend that it have a president and a steering committee that can help guide its activities. The President of the chapter should serve for a minimum of two years as we find that this length of time provides for consistency and achieves the best results.

Chapters can only function if there is substantial interest in their development and sustainability by alumni in the area. Therefore we recommend that at least 10 alumni who have expressed an interested in being active members of the proposed chapter be identified prior to the chapter’s formation.

A clear statement of how the leadership is selected and the method of succession needs to be identified and presented along with a list of active members to the Alumni Relations Office.

Expectations

1. Because the primary role of any alumni chapter is to serve as a liaison to the alumni in that area and assist with networking among them, hosting alumni events is crucial. Therefore, we require that at least one event, whether it be an annual meeting, cocktail reception or cultural outing be held each year and recommend that chapters hold at least two events per year.  Please see our sample list of alumni events for examples.

2. The Development & Alumni Relations Office must be notified of all events conducted by the chapter. The Development & Alumni Relations Office may be able to publicize events in the World Newsletter, in I-House E-News and on the International House Web site. The deadline for publication in the World Newsletter is October 15th (for events between December 15th and June 15th) and April 15th (for events between June 15th and December 15th) of each year. After any event, a list of attendees, any photographs taken and a description of the event including any highlights, should be forwarded to the Alumni Office.

3. If the chapter engages in fundraising efforts on behalf of International House or for scholarships to be distributed the chapter’s country or region, I-House requires a list of all donors and any specifications regarding their contributions to be submitted to the House at least once a year. This will allow the House to prepare proper acknowledgment of these donors including listing them in the Honor Roll of Donors and to better inform the House’s accountants.

4. If the chapter engages in recruitment activities, the House asks that alumni inform the House after meeting with any institution or group of prospective residents and provide an evaluation of that meeting. While not required, it is strongly encouraged that if alumni refer individual applicants, they inform the House of these individuals so that any necessary special attention can be paid to them.

Role of the Alumni Relations Office/I-House

The Development & Alumni Relations Office will cooperate with chapters in the organization and coordination of their events. This may include providing the chapter with the names, addresses, phone numbers, and e-mail addresses (if available) of alumni in the area, mailing labels (if necessary), samples of invitations from previous I-House events, and I-House brochures, calendars, and other published information.

Please note that International House is unable to financially assist alumni chapters, but will try to be as supportive as possible, particularly as they get started.

A representative from International House will strive to attend events if possible.

The formation of the alumni chapter will require approval by the leadership of the World Council of Alumni and the President of International House.

If you are interested in pursuing an alumni chapter in your area, please contact the Alumni Office at alumni@ihouse-nyc.org or by phone at 212-316-8440.