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A Conversation With the New AVP for Alumni Relations









 
 

A Conversation With the New AVP for Alumni Relations


Michael Griffin

Photo by Chris Taggart

By Joanna Klimaski


On April 16, Michael Griffin was appointed Fordham’s new assistant vice president for alumni relations.

Griffin arrived at Fordham after working for more than 15 years at Columbia University, most recently as executive director for alumni relations and, before that, as assistant director of athletics. He has a bachelor’s degree in business management from the University of Rhode Island, and a graduate certificate in sports marketing from New York University.

What drew you to Fordham?

It was an opportunity to advance professionally, to work in a city that I love, and to work for an institution that has a deep and meaningful mission. At Fordham, you also have individuals that are going to go out in the world, look to make a difference, and truly live as men and women for others.

Why did you make the switch to alumni relations from athletics?

I’m the son of a college football coach, so being around institutions of higher learning is in my blood. As the assistant director of athletics, a portion of my job was to cultivate and build alumni relationships, therefore, the move over to alumni relations was a natural extension of what I already was doing, and the idea of working in a wide-ranging and impactful administrative role at the university level was very appealing.

What is the most rewarding part of working in alumni relations?

The most rewarding part for me is connecting people to each other and to the institution in ways that are meaningful. Fordham will only benefit from having alumni actively involved as alumni support, advocacy, and leadership continue to drive Fordham’s ascendance amongst the world’s leading universities.

What is your initial goal at Fordham?

My short-term goal is to get myself acclimated—I want to look, listen, and learn. I want to get out and meet key stakeholders, both alumni and folks on campus. I want to evaluate every piece of the current operation and the personnel, and then develop a more comprehensive, strategic plan. There are lots of wonderful things happening right now, and also things that need to be refined. I look forward to evaluating and reshaping the alumni relations effort at Fordham.

How can new graduates get involved as alumni?

Just as Fordham boasts an array of opportunities for students to grow intellectually, socially, and spiritually while on campus, similar possibilities await alumni. Alumni can connect professionally by attending lectures and workshops, mentoring undergraduates, networking with other alumni, and serving on boards and committees. Alumni can celebrate and strengthen personal bonds at reunions and other signature annual events. And of course, opportunities for spiritual enrichment and volunteering exist in the form of retreats and alumni participation in the Global Outreach program. Finally, Fordham’s 175,000 alumni are dispersed throughout the world; so while the presence and energy is palpable in New York, alumni are also able to stay connected through more than 30 regional chapters around the world.

 

 


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