Conference to foster strong university alumni associations

A conference that brings together alumni associations from 21 universities will be held next week in Nairobi.

When a former Chuka University student died, the family was overwhelmed by the medical bills he had left behind.

But his former comrades were at hand to help the family. “Alumni association members came together and settled the entire hospital bill. We are now in the process of establishing a sacco,” says Livingstone Makori, the university’s alumni chairman.

The association, he says, goes beyond academic and career progression.

This is the motivation behind next week's conference.

The conference, to be held on Tuesday at the Strathmore University, has been organised by Future First, an alumni relations organisation, in partnership with Impactrics, a sister organisation from the US, and the University of Nairobi Alumni Association.

The gathering will bring together alumni leaders and educational professionals to share the best practices of fostering alumni associations as well as discuss opportunities and challenges facing universities in the country.

The forum will be open for other universities as well.

It will be graced by Prof Collette Suda, Chief Administrative Secretary in the Ministry of Education, President of Impactrics and the University of Nairobi Alumni Association organising secretary Barrack Muluka.

Anne Aseey, the vice chairperson of the University of Nairobi Alumni Association, said alumni associations form a critical stakeholder of any university’s ecosystem.

At the University of Nairobi, the alumni association helps in research and development and boosts the institution's bursary. To date, it has donated Sh21 million to support needy students, said Dr Aseey.

“The association chips in and supports various university events and activities like the annual Nairobi Innovation Week, prize giving and sports day,” she said.

Future First–Kenya CEO Pauline Wanja said the organisation previosly catered for high school alumni networks.