Last fall, when we were all tucked behind our computer screens and Zooming into meetings from home offices, kitchen tables, and wherever else our laptops would go, we at the University of Virginia Alumni Association noticed an uptick in alumni feedback. It usually came in the form of emails, but we also received phone calls and, in some cases, letters.
As an organization whose mission has always been to represent the independent voices and perspectives of alumni, the increase in volume inspired a few questions: Was this feedback representative of greater trends? Were there other widely held alumni sentiments that we should know about? How could we more systematically capture the diversity of perspectives among our 250,000 alumni?
Enter Vox Alumni, a new initiative of the Alumni Association, designed to do that and more. The name is a play on the Latin phrase vox populi (“voice of the people”), and it is a reaffirmation of that part of our mission I just mentioned, to represent your voice.
Vox Alumni has two goals. The first builds on the Alumni Association’s role as an indispensable conduit for you to share your views on important UVA issues. Some of that will come at your prompting, as you make use of the more-robust ways we’re developing for you to talk to us. Some of the dialogues will start with our reaching out to you.
Vox Alumni’s second goal is to use our unique expertise and relationship with alumni to provide you, University leaders and the Association itself deeper, more textured, and actionable insights. We aim not just to gather more input but also to turn what we hear into something more powerful and productive.
I hope that the special report in this issue of Virginia Magazine is just the beginning of a much longer conversation with you, our alumni. We look forward to listening to and learning from you as we continue to bring Vox Alumni to life.