There’s a new face in King Alumni Hall — and soon at Oswego alumni events everywhere.
After 27 years of leadership by Betsy Oberst, who is now associate vice president for alumni relations and stewardship, the Oswego Alumni Association welcomes a new director of alumni and parent relations: Michael Sgro.
He will oversee the direction of all alumni programs and initiatives at Oswego including reunions, regional events and programs, and student/alumni programs.
“We are excited to welcome Michael into the Oswego Alumni family,” said Oberst. “He has a wealth of experience and many exciting ideas.”
Sgro has been a higher education professional for 15 years, beginning his career in residence life and student activities before moving into alumni relations and marketing.
The Syracuse native most recently was marketing and communications manager at Campus Groups, Novalsys. He served as assistant director of alumni and parent programs at his undergraduate alma mater, Le Moyne College in Syracuse, from 2006 to 2010, and prior to that was senior associate director of alumni affairs at New York University’s Leonard N. Stern School of Business.
He is the founder and a frequent contributor to the blog Alumni Trending, which has grown to more than 600 participants in its first month. It is a forum for sharing best practices among alumni relations professionals over social networks including LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.
“I get great joy by working with alumni and parents, and alumni who are parents,” said Sgro. He hopes to especially connect with alumni with children who are busy running between schools and soccer practices, and find ways to engage them with Oswego.
“I’m really excited about connecting with Oswego graduates and parents whom we already know, and meeting thousands more, identifying what they love about the institution and why they come back,” Sgro said.
He is enthusiastic about partnering with colleagues across campus, sharing his expertise in things like event planning, and helping to advance the goals of the institution.
He is proudest of his partnerships with community organizations, like Le Moyne’s early collaboration with the Rosamond Gifford Zoo’s Brew at the Zoo. “Supporting your community is what it’s all about,” he said. “Your community thrives and we (the alumni association) thrive.”
Stressing that “every alum is different,” Sgro hopes to provide a menu of opportunities so alumni who are busy can choose the ways they can become involved.
“Oswego’s 150th anniversary is a great time to continue traditions, but also to start new ones,” Sgro said. He stresses that alumni can become involved in multiple ways that “meet the needs of people today,” from providing email updates to helping current students prepare for or begin their careers, speaking to classes on campus, hosting an event in their homes, or helping a fellow graduate land a job.
He hopes to use social media to engage and connect alumni and to help them share their Oswego stories.
“I would love to, but I know we will not get all 75,000 alumni back to campus,” Sgro said. “So I want to put Oswego on the brain — every day — of our graduates, have them thinking about Oswego
“My dream is that every alum will believe that the relationship can change and grow stronger, even if they have not been involved for 30 years.”
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