Resources For Alumni
When you graduate, there will be always be a role available for you as an alumni volunteer with Pi Alpha Phi. Do not wait to be asked! Brothers are encouraged to be proactive in seeking ways to help within the Fraternity. Whether you are seeking to help at the chapter, region or national level, there are always places where additional alumni support is needed.
Although an alumni volunteer’s role is important, it is also one of the most challenging ones in the Fraternity. There is no one formula for success. However, measuring success comes from knowing that your time has been well spent and that you have been an important ingredient in the continued success of our brotherhood.
We asked this question of many of our current volunteers and their responses may help you understand not only what motivates those you work with but also your own understanding of our purpose:
▪ A desire to make a difference in the lives of others
▪ A concern about the future
▪ A belief in “The Five Pillars”
▪ A desire to mentor other brothers and grow personally yourself
THE REWARDS OF SERVICE
Although hours will feel long and a paycheck is never “in the mail,” for the many alumni who currently volunteer, the rewards of service to the fraternity are more than enough reason to stay involved.
However, everyone always likes to be recognized for the time they contribute and there are certificates of appreciation and other types of awards that are used to honor alumni. There also is a simple handshake and a word of thanks. But the real rewards for alumni volunteers are much less tangible and add to your fraternal experience.
As an alumni volunteer you may:
▪ Gain personal opportunities by working with other alumni
▪ Pass on your life experiences to those with whom you share the bond of PAPhi
▪ Continue friendships gained as an undergraduate
▪ Develop new friendships with other committed alumni
▪ Help further develop and direct chapters toward excellence, and to ensure their future success
▪ Be a role model and teacher of “fraternity” to brothers at all developmental stages
▪ Enjoy observing young men mature from new member status to responsible leaders
▪ Continue to develop your loyalty to Pi Alpha Phi
▪ Repay the Fraternity for what was provided to you as an undergraduate member
We have many volunteers, all serving a common cause, and it shows in our relationships with each other. We know why we are here, and we are enthusiastic about what we are doing. Pi Alpha Phi may have met a need for you as a college student. It still can do that and you can share with others what you experienced as a brother.
It is important that alumni of the fraternity serve as volunteers. Alumni have a special understanding of the operations of the organization, especially at the chapter level. Those new to the organization are able to provide a new perspective as well as variety of different experiences.
As always the rewards you will receive from doing any form of volunteer service remain the same: a child’s smile, a skill learned, a sense of satisfaction derived from a job well done for others and an opportunity for personal growth and leadership.
All volunteer appointments are mutually agreed upon by the responsible elected chair/director and volunteer involved. Usually, all staff appointments expire with the term of the section chair and/or the region or program director.
Prospective volunteers should have in mind specific areas, ideas or projects that they wish to pursue. In fairness to those with specific objectives and aims towards regional or sectional activities, the goal or desire of simply “being on staff” is not sufficient, by itself, to warrant an appointment. Activity on the sectional level is highly recommended as a precursor to joining regional staff. This allows one to learn about staff roles with a lighter commitment in terms of travel, communication and conference expenses. Having greater contact with chapters and local activities also is seen as a desirable experience of someone first serving as sectional staff. The Fraternity is administered at three levels and there are multiple volunteer opportunities at each level.
The Chapters (includes Colonies and Interest Groups) The Fraternity currently has approximately 20 chapters, colonies and interest groups spread across the country. There are units of the Fraternity at state universities, colleges, and private educational institutions spread amongst six geographic regions. The oldest chapter – the Alpha Chapter – was formed at the University of California, Berkeley on February 1, 1929.
Each and every chapter looks for volunteers who would be willing to serve as advisors, help with projects and numerous other instances. These opportunities differ from chapter to chapter, as each one is unique. A group of alumni volunteers has the ability to act as an “advisory pool,” through various backgrounds and resources, to provide a chapter with four roles important for member development and chapter success: 1. The mentor to counsel and guide 2. The teacher to develop and refine skills 3. The evaluator to measure success 4. The encourager to cheer on and support future achievement
The Regions Chapters are geographically grouped together to form regions. Each region is headed by an appointed regional governor. The regional governor supports interest groups, colonies, and chapters in his region by working closely with chapter advisors – alumnae who directly support and advise each chapter. The regional governor reports directly to the National board through the Vice President – Internal Operations. Each region director is responsible for supporting and promoting activities within his or her region.
The Nation The volunteer Board of Directors is tasked with ensuring that the Fraternity uphold the vision set forth in its Five Pillars to make sure that the organization is able to change to meet the needs of its undergraduate members. _______
Most importantly, an alumni volunteer needs to be a good brother. A volunteer must believe in the mission of the Fraternity, and through good sense and sound advice must direct the Fraternity toward its great potential. Volunteers should be visible and available as a friend in times of uncertainty or problems. The alumni should not be the “doers” for the chapter. The doing must be left for the undergraduates as they function as the leaders and voting members of the chapter. Instead, an alumni volunteer’s role is as an advisor for the chapter.
Alumni advisors also have an understanding of where the Fraternity has been and a vision of where it can go. However, alumni should not be preoccupied about why the chapter is not the same as it was when they were in school, because the chapter is always changing. Instead, alumni need to respect the changes of the Fraternity during the years following their participation as an active member of the Fraternity, by supporting the current undergraduate leaders.
An alumnus’ support is more valuable when working with the chapter’s current priorities and issues. Alumni advisors need to work closely with the chapter officers, and by motivating them, the average member can more easily be enthused. The alumni do not make the decisions for the chapter. Instead, they alert the chapter before problems grow or when a decision is in violation of the laws of the Fraternity. The alumnus advisor is a liaison between other alumni, the university or college, and the Fraternity.
The alumni advisor allows mistakes to be made, but also must gauge the impact of an impending disaster and determine when intervention is not only desirable but necessary. Perhaps the most important role of an alumni volunteer is as that of a role model. Alumni have the ability to demonstrate that the Pi Alpha Phi experience continues after graduation, and that the values and principles taught in the Fraternity have very real applications in the everyday world. The alumni advisor also must help a chapter continue to develop high standards and advise the members on how to hold the chapter to these standards.
The Chapter Advisor
A chapter advisor to a Pi Alpha Phi chapter makes a major commitment to the leaders of tomorrow. It is not an easy job, but helping our chapter's men flourish into strong leaders is incredibly rewarding and meaningful experience.
What are the values of Pi Alpha Phi?
What are the basic expectations of a chapter advisor?
Communicate, communicate, communicate
Be proactive. Do not wait for problems to come up
Set up face-to-face meetings at least once per month
Communicate regularly with the chapter, alumni, national leadership, and campus-based advisors
Be a great role model for the students. They will model your actions more than your words
Hold a chapter leadership retreat twice per year
Who can be a chapter advisor?
It's recommended that the advisor be an alumnus of any chapter of Pi Alpha Phi, but non-members are able to fill the role. The most important qualification is a desire to help.
Are there any resources and support for the chapter advisor?
Pi Alpha Phi maintains a Chapter Advisor Manual for detailed descriptions and advice.
Who can I contact for more information?
The Pi Alpha Phi National Board of Directors can be reached via email email@example.com